Waylaid Dialectic

May 6, 2014

The economic rationality of polygamy

Filed under: Random Musings — terence @ 12:42 pm

Kathleen Geier has written a great obituary, not so much for Gary Becker as for his ideas:

Becker said quite a few other wacky things in the Treatise. For instance, he performed a formal mathematical proof that purports to demonstrate that women are better off under polygamy, because, given Becker’s theoretical assumptions, their income under polygamy would be higher. H’okay.

Useful lesson for theorists of all types. If your theory leads to conclusions which are palpably crazy, abandon it.

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