Knightian Uncertainty Workshop
| Peter Klein |
The authors of this blog find Knightian uncertainty a useful concept for understanding both entrepreneurship and the economic theory of the firm (e.g., here and here). So we were pleased to learn about a workshop on Knightian uncertainty organized earlier this month at Columbia University by and Daniel Beunza David Stark. Nassim Taleb was there, as were Douglass North, Anna Grandori, Bruce Kogut, Adam Branderburger, and others well known to readers of this blog. Buenza summarizes the discussion and offers some commentary at the Socializing Finance blog.
One problem with the treatment of Knightian uncertainty in the management literature (not necessarily in the presentations above) is that the concept itself is not always defined precisely and consistently. Terms like Knightian uncertainty, radical uncertainty, case probability, complexity, ambiguity, and plain old uncertainty are often used interchangeably. Sometimes what is meant is ignorance of the relevant probability distributions. Sometimes it is ignorance of one’s own ignorance. Sometimes it means simply the lack of common (Bayesian) priors. To move forward, more clarity is surely needed.