Tag Archives: Coase Theorem

Coase theorem primer (police shooting video edition)

Broadly speaking, the so-called Coase theorem states that when bargaining is feasible (i.e. when transaction costs are low), bargaining among parties with conflicts of interest will produce an efficient economic outcome regardless of the initial allocation of property rights. English economist … Continue reading

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Infinite regress, bias, and the Coase theorem

In their paper “Motive attribution asymmetry for love vs. hate drives intractable conflict,” Adam Waytz, Liane Young and Jeremy Ginge appear to extend the logic of the Coase Theorem into the domain of politics. Specifically, Waytz, Young, and Ginge study the problem of … Continue reading

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The Mission Playground Incident

Does this four-and-one-half-minute video depict a Tragedy of the Commons? Does it falsify or confirm the main tenets of the Coase Theorem? After all, “transaction costs” are low, yet we don’t we see any Coasean bargaining in this situation, or do we …? At last count (12 … Continue reading

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The problem of reclining airplane seats

We forwarded our 3 October blog post “The Right to Recline?” to several scholars, including our gentle friends Terry Anderson, Christopher Buccafusco, and Chris Sprigman. (By the way, Professors Buccafusco and Sprigman, in particular, had previously published this thoughtful essay on airplane seat reclining.) In summary, … Continue reading

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The right to recline?

Professors Christopher Buccafusco and Chris Sprigman describe their ingenious Coasean experiment (which at last count has garnered over 1500 comments!) to test how much people value the “right to recline” on airplane seats. Their findings? People’s valuation of reclining vs. not being reclined upon depend entirely … Continue reading

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The Airplane Seat Dilemma

Times writer Josh Barro and cultural economist Tyler Cowen have recently used the so-called Coase Theorem to analyze the economics of cheap airplane seats — the ones with little leg room, so that reclining your seat imposes a non-trivial cost on the person behind you. … Continue reading

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Is the Coase theorem unfalsifiable?

Our recent discussions with Glen Whitman about slavery, Haitian zombies, and the Coase Theorem has led us to think deeper about the relation between the Coase Theorem and other “legal failures.” (We consider the institution of slavery a paradigm case of … Continue reading

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Does the institution of slavery refute the Coase Theorem?

We think it does … because slaves by definition are unable to bargain for their freedom. Our colleague and good friend Glen Whitman says it does not … read his reasons and our objections to his argument in the comments section to … Continue reading

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Haitian Zombies and Slave Economics

Originally posted on Economics of the Undead:
This article on Haitian zombies, which includes a history of attempts to explain their existence in scientific terms, reminds us that zombie folklore is historically inseparable from slavery.  Haitian zombies were created not…

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Why doesn’t the Coase Theorem work in Gaza?

The “Coase Theorem” is a beautiful prediction or simple model from the world of academic economics that does not always hold up in the real world. (Look it up.) (Bonus link: check out our related research on this topic “Does the Prisoner’s … Continue reading

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