Thursday, October 29, 2009

Monkey Business

A few weeks ago I suggested to my students that economic research with cognitively advanced animals could be a good way to learn more about ourselves. In the NPR audio clip below you'll hear an excellent example of the potential of such research (HT Mankiw).

Notice in the clip how changes in individual productivity will subvert rigid hierarchies based on monkey politics. No coincidence then that the political order frequently tries to interfere with the economic order - most of the time a futile effort, as exemplified by the decline of aristocracy in Europe with the ascension of entrepreneurship as narrated by Niall Ferguson.

No comments: