Novelists remembered what economists forgot

Source: Cato Unbound
by Maria Pia Paganelli

“The bifurcations between the individual and the social and between the political and the economic, mentioned in all the essays this month, create parallel worlds in which the public spirit is segregated into the political sphere and self-interest into the economic sphere. This generates an idyllic image of the political but also a despicable image of the economic. While politicians care dispassionately about the world, economic agents are heartless calculators. What novels help us see is that that bifurcation is artificial and potentially limiting. Characters in novels, whether they are politicians or economic agents, are generally complex individuals. Many of public choice theory’s agents are not.” (03/15/17)