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Faulkner, Phil, Feduzi, Alberto and Runde, Jochen (2017) 'Unknowns, Black Swans and the risk / uncertainty distinction.' Cambridge Journal of Economics, 41 (5). pp. 1279-1302.

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Abstract

Tony Lawson’s work on probability and uncertainty is both an important contribution to the heterodox canon as well as a notable early strand of his ongoing enquiry into the nature of social reality. In keeping with most mainstream and heterodox discussions of uncertainty in economics, however, Lawson focuses on situations in which the objects of uncertainty are imagined and can be stated in a way that, potentially at least, allows them to be the subject of probability judgments. This focus results in a relative neglect of the kind of uncertainties that flow from the existence of possibilities that do not even enter the imagination and which are therefore ruled out as the subject of probability judgments. This paper explores uncertainties of the latter kind, starting with and building on Donald Rumsfeld’s famous observations about known unknowns and unknown unknowns. Various connections are developed, first with Nassim Taleb’s Black Swan, and then with Lawson’s Keynes-inspired interpretation of uncertainty.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Finance & Management
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Finance and Management
ISSN: 14643545
Copyright Statement: © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Cambridge Political Economy Society. All rights reserved. This is the accepted version of an article published in Cambridge Journal of Economics published by Oxford University Press: https://doi.org/10.1093/cje/bex035
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1093/cje/bex035
Date Deposited: 23 May 2017 09:12
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/24190

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