Crusoe’s Kingdom: Cost, Choice and Political Economy
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.
KeywordsPolitical Economy Public Choice Contingency Plan Subjectivist Approach Command Economy
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- 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