Rothbard on Sunk Costs

Monday, September 29, 2003
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Austrian Economist Roger Garrison recalls a great Rothbard story on sunk costs: “Some people forget the Rothbard corollary to the sunk-cost doctrine. Years ago, I was a member of a dinner party during a Mont Pelerin meeting in Brussels. We decided to dine at what turned out to be a half-star restaurant. As I remember, Rothbard thought his serving of lamb was particularly bad–though he ate most of it. When the quality of the meal became the subject of an extended discussion later in the evening, someone reminded Rothbard of the doctrine of sunk costs. To which Rothbard replied, “By-gones might be by-gones, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bitch about it!”

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