08 September 2014

Coase, Reclining

Nerd alert: I have a post at The Monkey Cage, a bog of political science research (broadly construed) that is hosted by The Washington Post. You can find it here. It is only nominally about the recently newsworthy conflicts between recliners and reclined upon among passengers on domestic U.S. flights. It is really about the willful mis-use of social science research by libertarians. In this case, Josh Barro, writing in The New York Times, invoked "the Coase theorem" to rationalize his personal boorishness. He did so in ways that more or less completely distort what Coase actually claims. And his claim is just a small scale instance of the sort of boorish, venal policies that libertarians often promote.

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