Behavioural economics, 1892 version

Well I’ve read Paul Mason’s and can’t write about it because I’ve agreed to do a review elsewhere, and I’ve read Dani Rodrik’s and can’t write about that because it’s embargoed until the autumn.

[amazon_image id=”1846147387″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]PostCapitalism: A Guide to Our Future[/amazon_image]  [amazon_image id=”0393246418″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science[/amazon_image]

So I’m going to offer instead another thought about by Alfred and Mary Marshall, which has been my bedtime reading for a few days. One of the striking features is that so many of what seem to be recent insights in economics are there in Marshall, in crystal clear English. For example:

“An increase of income nearly always causes pleasure; but the new enjoyments which it provides often lose quickly much of their charm. Partly this is the result of familiarity, which makes people cease to derive much pleasure from accustomed comforts and luxuries, though they suffer great pain from their loss.”

Doesn’t this sound just like modern behavioural economics?

[amazon_image id=”1932512136″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Elements of Economics of Industry[/amazon_image]

I noticed Brad DeLong coincidentally also writing about Marshall – his earlier Economics of Industry with Mary Marshall.


5 thoughts on “Behavioural economics, 1892 version

  1. Pingback: Behavioural economics, 1892 version | Homines Economici

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  3. Can you link to your review of PostCapitalism please? I’ve been following Paul Mason avidly through the Greek debt crisis and am keen to see what he has to say about the future of capitalism.

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