a somewhat surprising profile of the president of the world bank by the new yorker.
Nash equilibrium: Named after U.S. mathematician John Nash (1928-). In game theory, a concept where each player’s best strategy is to maintain her present (non-cooperative) behaviour given the present behaviour of the other players.
oh what a beautiful mind.
creative destruction: Coined by economist Joseph Schumpeter (1883-1950). The elimination of one product by a superior product, the process of competition through innovation. Argued as the driving force of economic growth and the raising of living standards.
Oligopolies. Patents. Incentives to innovate.
Neoclassical theories. Growth & development. Steady-state economics.
random fact: Schumpeter considered Léon Walras (1834-1910) as the greatest of all economists. And he didn’t think Adam Smith (1723-1790) was all that hot.
Vilfredo Pareto (1843-1923), who introduced the notion of Pareto-optimality (duh), also made a famous observation that 20% of the population in Italy owned 80% of the property. Italian/French engineer who turned to economics, he took over as chair in political economy from Walras at the University of Lausanne.
Though apparently they didn’t get along too well together.
Walras‘ father was a schoolmate of Augustin Cournot, who came up with an economic model to describe duopoly competition. That model’s prediction is that firms will choose Nash equilibrium output levels.
“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everybody gets busy on the proof.”
as I keep intending to go to the bookstore–but consistently fail to do so–my list of books to pick up keeps growing: jeffrey sachs’ the end of poverty, jan wong’s red china blues, madeleine albright’s mighty & almighty, jonathan spence’s biography of mao.
it made me happy to read this, in between all the regular grimness. And even though there may be some evil corporate agenda behind it, or the peanuts are picked by slave labour, or whatever (damn this constant scrutinizing of news stories), I don’t want to think about it.
The wonders of Plumpy’nut: Saving lives with peanut butter (The Economist)