Rev Austrian Econ (2011) 24:455–459 DOI 10.1007/s11138-011-0166-0 Vernon Smith: Rationality in economics: Constructivist and ecological forms Cambridge University Press, New York, 2008, 364 + xx pp., index, ISBN 9780511353208, $56.00 Loïc Sauce Published online: 26 August 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011 This four part book deals with an essential theme in economic theory. We cannot talk about individuals’ behavior without making assumptions about their cognitive and computational capacities and about the amount and nature of information they need to select the best strategy. Vernon Smith’s whole career has been devoted to the study of these two assumptions. This book can be seen as a synthesis of his lifetime work and as an exposition of the main outcomes of experimental economics, a field that Smith has helped to build for more than 40 years. The main result of this research program can be stated as follows: laboratory experiments demonstrate that repeated impersonal exchanges through well-defined rules of interaction (whether markets- like or not) may converge toward the optimal equilibrium configuration described by economic theory, even though subjects are not described by the strong assumptions that are commonly conceived as necessary to obtain this outcome. A learning by trial-and-error process
The Review of Austrian Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Aug 26, 2011
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