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American Economic Journal: Microeconomics: Vol. 3 No. 3 (August 2011)

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Kludged

Article Citation

Ely, Jeffrey C. 2011. "Kludged." American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, 3(3): 210-31.

DOI: 10.1257/mic.3.3.210

Abstract

Is there reason to believe that our brains have evolved to make efficient decisions so that the details of the internal process are irrelevant? I develop a model which illustrates a limitation of adaptive processes: improvements tend to come in the form of kludges. A kludge is a marginal adaptation that compensates for, but does not eliminate, fundamental design inefficiencies. When kludges accumulate, the result can be perpetually suboptimal behavior even in a model of evolution in which arbitrarily large innovations occur infinitely, often with probability 1. (JEL D03, D87)

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Authors

Ely, Jeffrey C. (Northwestern U)

JEL Classifications

D03: Behavioral Economics: Underlying Principles
D87: Neuroeconomics

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American Economic Journal: Microeconomics


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