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The Marschak Memorial Lecture: Robert H. Frank, Cornell University

May 18 @ 1:00 pm-3:00 pm

“The Darwin economy: Liberty, competition and the common good—a view from behavioral economics” Presented by: Robert H. Frank H. J. Louis Professor of Management and Professor of Economics, Cornell University Abstract Who was the greater economist-Adam Smith or Charles Darwin? The question seems absurd. Darwin, after all, was a naturalist, not an economist. But Robert Frank, New York Times economics columnist and best-selling author of The Economic Naturalist, predicts that within the next century Darwin will unseat Smith as the intellectual founder of economics. The reason, Frank argues, is that Darwin’s understanding of competition describes economic reality far more accurately than Smith’s theory of the invisible hand-the most widely cited argument today against regulation, taxation, and even government itself. Frank begins with Darwin’s insight that individual and group interests often diverge sharply, often leading to wasteful arms races. The good news, Frank argues, is that simple changes in tax policy could annually liberate several trillions of dollars of additional resources without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone.


May 18
1:00 pm-3:00 pm
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