Crusoe’s Kingdom: Cost, Choice and Political Economy

  • J. Wiseman
  • S. C. Littlechild


Robinson Crusoe is the economist’s archetypal expository device. He is used to illustrate individual consumption and investment decisions before Friday is wheeled on to illustrate trade. But a reading of Defoe’s novel reveals a somewhat different picture. Crusoe’s own decision-making process is significantly richer than that envisaged in economics textbooks. Furthermore, Crusoe and Friday never engage in trade: their relationship is somewhere between that of a firm and a command economy.


Political Economy Public Choice Contingency Plan Subjectivist Approach Command Economy 
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  1. 1.
    Page references are to Daniel Defoe, The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe of York, ed. J. Donald Crowley ( London and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1976 ).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Stephen F. Frowen 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Wiseman
  • S. C. Littlechild

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