Jane Austen, Game Theorist

An economist tries very hard at convincing us that Jane Austen thinks like an economist, specifically a game theorist in her books. FWIW, the link is here.

A game theorist like myself begins with the economic premise that human beings make individual choices based on their reckoning of the costs and benefits. It is a premise that, I argue, Jane Austen obviously shares.

In “Pride and Prejudice,” for example, when Jane Bennet wonders whether she should marry Mr. Bingley, even though his sisters dislike Jane, her sister Elizabeth Bennet advises, “If, upon mature deliberation, you find that the misery of disobliging his two sisters is more than equivalent to the happiness of being his wife, I advise you by all means to refuse him.”

He has even written a book on the subject. So what’s the next mash-up: Pride and Prejudice and John Nash?

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