Homoeconomicus said that humans have utility function. What about countries?
In other word is there a utility function whose maximization correctly predict countries’ behavior?
would a country’s best interest (utility function) would be whatever correctly predict the country’s action?
What does “American’s utility” function mean if there are 200 million different americans that want different things? The interest of their swing voters?
If countries have no utility function, how do we analyze and predict countries’ behavior?
This paper seems to talk about a country’s utility function: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1884588?uid=3738224&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=47698830804037
However, countries often behave that defy “it’s interest”. For example, how do we explain why so many countries complain about other countries selling stuff cheaper to them?
Also, countries, unlike most humans, do wage war and kill each other. Hence, just maxing out their GDP will not be the utility function.
Note: If countries have utilities function, we run into some issues. Some countries, like Turkey or Nazi Germany prosecuted their richest minority (armenians, jews). Does that mean genocide serve the country’s best interest?
If utility function is defined as what ever correctly predict an object’s behavior, then the answer is yes. Moreover, if utility function is defined as the objects’ best interest, then yes it’s to the best interest of most countries to prosecute their richest smartest minority.
This lead to a really bizarre and politically incorrect conclusion that holocaust actually serve Germans’ best interest at that time because that’s exactly what they did.
Another way to reach the same conclusion is to observe that the countries’ interests are pretty much its ruling class interests. The interest of the ruling classes are often served by scapegoating more successful minorities.
Another sample. So many countries complain about other countries dumping goods to them. Dumping goods hurt the interest of democratic countries’ ruling class because swing voters need job. So, even though the country economy is actually benefited by other countries dumping good, the whole country as a whole will behave differently.
The same way many countries have tough immigration laws to protect jobs for its’ swing voters.
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