“I had been on the island eighteen years before I saw the first footprint. I had been there twenty-three years before I saw any other signs of savages. It was likely that many more years would pass before any harm should come to me”
This week’s reading of Robinson Crusoe rendered fragments to reinforce the concept I talked about last time, satiation point.
Last week I said that Robinson had reached the satiation point within the confines of the Island². That is to say Robinson wasn’t quite satiated, after all he would very much enjoy leaving the Island, if he dared. But, as we’ve seen, he stopped daring to undertake such an adventure after his first attempt to do so. Nevertheless, once he gave up the idea of leaving the Economic Island, he managed to harvest and produce everything he needed, thus reaching satiation point.
However, when savages arrived at the Island in order to have their feast, not only they ate human beings, for they were cannibals; but, economically thinking, they actually ate Robinson Crusoe’s satiation point:
2 Or the confines of the model, in economic analysis. That is, as I’ve pointed last week, when we let one of the goods be a composite good, the satiation point becomes unreachable. But, for a limited set of goods, satiation point is reasonable. That’s why Robinson’s story is so insightful to economists; it actually portrays a limited set of options and isolation of social influence, which is pretty much the starting point of microeconomics.