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August 26, 2004

Designing a Utopian Economy

A good Economic Systems/Ethics question would be how we would want to structure an altruistic economy.

Suppose we could instill virtue into everybody so nobody lied or stole and everybody cared about everybody else's utility-- but people still had private information. What kind of economic system would attain efficiency?

We would not, for example, want everyone to give away their wealth to the poor, because then the poor would become the rich. We would not want everyone to work hard, because they'd work inefficiently hard, without detailed instructions. Some kind of decentralized system would be needed, probably using prices. But what would it be, since we could now, unlike in an Adam Smith world, rely on morality too?

Posted by erasmuse at August 26, 2004 09:35 AM

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