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544 pages, ebook
First published March 5, 2020
Business people, policy-makers and families could not even imagine having the information needed to determine the actions that would maximise shareholder value, social welfare or household utility. Or to know whether they had succeeded in doing so after the event.
Real households, real businesses and real governments do not optimise; they cope. They make decisions incrementally. They do not attain the highest point on the landscape, they seek only a higher place than the one they occupy now.
If neither Magnus Carlsen (in 2019 the world champion) nor Deep Blue can play a perfect game of chess, it stretches the imagination to suppose that ordinary people and businesses could optimise the game of economic life.