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Eric Crampton
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Hi Frances, I'm referring to the new index that ranks both personal and economic freedoms. I'd noted it here: I wonder if we see relatively higher levels in some corrupt regimes because you can effectively live free by just paying the cops to leave you alone. Best is a free state with good rule of law; worst is heavy restrictions on liberties coupled with an incorruptible police force.
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1. NZ scores 7.9 on that question and also ranks as the world's most free country in the latest survey. Interesting that Trinidad and a few other places tie for 7.9. 2. I'd put money on that most people put very little value on freedom so long as you're beyond some minimum. How many self-professed libertarians live in California and New York? How many self-professed libertarians emigrated when the TSA turned US travel into hell? They self-deceive about loving freedom; what they really love is being part of a tribal group and shouting about how bad the government is getting.
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I'd worry folks have incentive to hold out to see whether they'd be the marginal contributor or not, in which case you can get coordination failure. Sure, you're pivotal if you're in and the thing goes ahead. But somebody else could have held the pivotal spot instead of you, right? In that kind of case, dominant assurance contracts might have worked a bit better. Suppose all folks pledging money and who didn't pull their pledges got to download an exclusive track, regardless of whether the project wound up going ahead. Then folks have stronger incentive to sign up early on instead of dithering. It's still not perfect, but it's an improvement.
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Aug 3, 2010