Day: January 17, 2014

Zero-sum, but not a gameZero-sum, but not a game

“It would clearly be desirable if the only actions performed were those in which what was gained was worth more than what was lost. But in choosing between social arrangements within the context of which individual decisions are made, we have to bear in mind that a change in the existing system which will lead to an improvement in some decisions may well lead to a worsening of others. Furthermore we have to take into account the costs involved in operating the various social arrangements (whether it be the working of a market or a government department), as well as the costs involved in moving to a new system. In devising and choosing between social arrangements we should have regard for the total effect.” – R. H. Coase, “The Problem of Social Cost”