Four Cultures and Bounded Rationality

Recently this site suggested grid-group cultural theory as a type of bounded rationality could explain certain economic behaviour (that of pirates) more completely than rational choice theory could. But is grid-group cultural theory actually a version of bounded rationality, or are there important differences.? A forthcoming article in the Harvard Law Review should shed light on this:

Kahan, D. M., & Slovic, P. (in press). Is cultural cognition a product of bounded rationality? Harvard Law Review.


I’m informed that the above article is already available  on-line. It is part of an in-print discussion with Cass Sunstein.  Sunstein’s response to the review essay, Fear of Democracy: A Cultural Critique of Sunstein on Risk, 119 Harv. L. Rev.1071 (2006) is also available online.


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?

Continue reading “Pirates: just acting rationally?”