Brian Gothberg’s piece on whaling and property rights deserves another look, as he channels Nobel laureate Ronald Coase:
According to a simple version of the Coase (1960) theorem, if the costs of transacting were very low, it would not much matter for the allocation of resources how stock rights were initially assigned. Trading ensures that rights would be put to their highest-valued uses, whatever they might be. If particular whales have more value as a source of pizza toppings than as the subject of a tourist?s photo session, whale-watching companies would be encouraged to sell any rights that they might have to whalers. If, on the other hand, particular whales have great value simply as magnificent creatures whose existence is to be nurtured and cherished, conservation groups would tend to end up with the rights to those whales.
Reality is not always simple, however. Transaction costs are sometimes high. In particular, there is a free-rider problem […]
Co-editor Fred Foldvary opines on how deregulation hurts the economy. This is perhaps the best piece I have found on regulation and its effects on the economy at large.
I found this piece by Jeffrey Rogers Hummel on President Martin van Buren, whom he calls the ‘American Gladstone’. If you’re itching for some historical information on one of the American republic’s little known presidents, I recommend you grab a cup of coffee and enjoy.
And, not to be outdone, Jacques Delacroix asks if the French have it better. He is specifically referring to the debt-to-GDP ratios of France and the U.S. The whole thing is good throughout, more so because Delacroix professes to hate the French.