Monday, March 21, 2011

Coase and apps

Ronald Coase famously suggested that mutually satisfactory agreements and property rights allocations would follow property rights clarity when and if accompanied by low transactions costs. He could not have foreseen the power of his insight in light of the internet and smart phones and apps. But these days countless new services and transaction opportunities routinely become available each day. In fact, many of them are "free" or very inexpensive, paid for by linked offers and available upgrades.

Brad Hill points us to whereby instant carpools can be formed. Parker.streetline can find vacant curbside parking spaces. Today's WSJ reviews apps to help us stay fit, eat less, etc.

In fact a Letters to the Editor correspondent (Joe Szeles of Colorado Springs) to today's WSJ joins the criticism of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, noting that, "We already have a consumer financial protection bureau. It's fast, efficient, requires no funding with taxpayer money, has no employees, no unions, no pensions to fund and no health-care expenses. It's called Facebook and it has a back-up system called Twitter."