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Guest Column

What price healthcare?

  • from Shaastra :: vol 02 issue 01 :: Jan - Feb 2023

'Rational irrationality' drives up healthcare costs. There are no quick fixes, but there is a case for an open discussion.

Rationality is of two types. First, a deliberate avoidance of logical fallacy while forming belief systems, as in scientific inquiry (epistemic rationality). Second, an instrument to choose the most effective means of reaching personal goals, a routine part of human decision-making (instrumental rationality). Given that the most logically correct belief may sometimes be an impediment to personal goals, rationality on one axis may be irrational on another.

Rational irrationality, a term coined by Bryan Caplan in The Myth of the Rational Voter, reflects greater tolerance of irrationality where the personal cost is low or there is an underlying preference.This differs from the deliberate embrace of untruth for personal gain, and reflects a failure to note or correct irrational beliefs that carry negligible personal cost or support personal biases or goals.


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