December 16th, 2008

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I accidentally use secret bardic powers.

I often do presentations as part a cattle call. Panel presentations like the one I just gave for the FCC transition team.

Let me defang the inevitable punchline to thing I'm about to say: "Because you're finally finished" (and any variant thereof). Haha. OK, now onto the thing I actually want to talk about.
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Thought Experiment: Where Are The Bank Shots?

So if we assume that incumbents will seek to block and/or coopt change that threatens their business model, what are the ways to circumvent this in policy. That is to say, where are the bank shots?

For example, suppose I created an incentive to release code under a public license of defined characteristics, or to place works in the public domain or under a creative commons-type license of defined characteristics. This would have a significant impact on the ability to create certain types of public media.

Where are the bank shots in public policy? Not the boring idea of manipulation of the tax code for a direct effect. Where would we produce very interesting and useful indirect effects?
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Useful from Freakonomics

This post on why rice may be a Giffen good but prostitution is not. As usual, Levitt uses an eye-catching issue to make a useful economic point, the difference in the willingness to pay a higher quality for a good or service and a true Giffen Good, in which demand increases as a function of a price increase.

Also underlying Levitt's analysis is something I often stress, that not all related goods are close substitutes.