The Case for Mindless Economics

Faruk Gul and Wolfgang Pesendorfer, of Princeton University, defend neoclassical economics against behavioral economics.  They write: "Neuroscience evidence cannot refute economic models because the latter make no assumptions and draw no conclusions about the physiology of the brain."  Their lengthy and defensive piece denies that economics has to concern itself with the content of preferences, or with the content of human irrationality. I am more than willing to admit that the merits of behavioral economics remain an open question.  But if this is the best neoclassical economics can do in defense, we are all in a bit of trouble.  On a related note, here is a short piece on what it is like to have your brain scanned.

Thanks to Dan Houser for the pointer.