Thursday, September 13, 2012


So, did a "webinar" with the wonderful Sarah Straw of IHS, on the subject of EE and non-worseness.  Very interesting experience, several good questions.  Co-blogger Sam Wilson showed up, and that was nice!

But near the end, a young woman named Andrea posed this question:

Your “ice after the hurricane” example: people object to price gouging because the exchange was necessary for life, etc., and this means that the parties are not contracting on an even footing. This means that non-euvolentary exchanges are prevented from occurring that would have helped the worst off. So, how can we overcome this moral smugness in order to help people? Charity is always allowed, as you said, but it is less efficient than market transactions. Is this dilemma resolveable? 

Wow!  Brought tears to these old eyes.  Because she understood perfectly every aspect of the argument, and the problem.  That's the best short summary I have seen of why I think EE is interesting.  Bless you, Andrea!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the webinar!
    After thinking about it for a day, my conclusion:
    1) We hate non-euvoluntary exchange in lieu of hating the circumstances which led to the BATNA disparity. 2) Disallowing non-euvoluntary exchange hurts the worst off. Allowing voluntary exchange helps the worst off. 3) The more that voluntary trade is allowed (and un-stigmatized), the more euvoluntary trade becomes possible because those worst off have more options.


Do you have suggestions on where we could find more examples of this phenomenon?