terça-feira, 12 de janeiro de 2016

The theory of interstellar trade

Este tem de ser um dos mais extraordinários papers de Economia de sempre. Um genialmente irónico - e muito jovem - Krugman perora sobre a taxa de juro ótima a aplicar a mercadorias em trânsito, se as mesmas viajassem à velocidade da luz. O paper conclui com a demonstração de dois teoremas, ambos classificados por Krugman como sendo inúteis. Pelo caminho, diz coisas assim:

Many critics of conventional economics have argued, with considerable justification, that the assumptions underlying neoclassical theory bear little resemblance to the world we know. These critics have, however, been too quick to assert that this shows that mainstream economics can never be of any use. Recent progress in the technology of space travel ... make this assertion doubtful; for they raise the distinct possibility that we may eventually discover or construct a world to which orthodox economic theory applies. It is obvious, then, that economists have a special interest in understanding, and, indeed, in promoting the development of an interstellar economy. One may even hope that formulation of adequate theories of insterstellar economic relations will help accelerate the emergence of such relations. Is it too much to suggest that current work might prove as influential in this development as the work of Adam Smith as in the initial settlement of Massachusetts and Virgina?

Este é um paper de 1978. Há uma boa coleção de papers subsequentes que, sem a ironia, têm tudo o resto (incluindo a intenção de construir um mundo novo onde as hipóteses assumidas se verifiquem). 

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