> I think rules are already a large part of economic reasoning. I mean, what
> are game theory and institutional economics if not rule based econ? Also,

Well, even these forms of reasoning, especially game theory are about
utility maximization. My point is that actors in games may say "screw
this! I'll use rules!" Consider chess. Even the very, very best chess
players don't search for maximial outcomes because they can't see what
will happen more than five moves ahead of the present move. Instead, they
seem to explore the next three or four moves and then apply some rules
developed from years of studying the game. 

Now that I think about it, chess may be a great example of what I am
talking about. A traditional economic approach to chess would be to
delinieate all strategies and figure out the Nash eq of chess. This is
insane. Chess games seem to be a combination of rule behavior ("try top
control the center board," "castle early as you can") with a little bit of
search through a gigantic strategy space. 


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