Pirates: just acting rationally?

pirate sunset

Economist Peter Leeson has a new book coming out about the economics of piracy in the late 16th and early 17th century ‘golden age’. He uses piracy as a test case for the claim that rational choice economics is what motivates much of human behaviour. In an article on the same subject, he writes:

‘“Pirational choice” differs from rational choice only in that it deals with rationally self-interested decision making in the uniquely piratical context.’ (Leeson, 36)

The book has a great title, But is he right?

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