Stories You Should Understand

[shorthand summaries of ideas presented in the course. Links are to the relevant passages in the lecture notes from a few years ago]


The Doctor and the Candy Factory*


Railroads, Farmers, Sparks and Clover*


Coase Plus Pigou Is Too Much of a Good Thing*


Two Careless Hunters and One Dead One (Marginals don't add up)*


Playing with Matches--The Hazards of Too Much Fire Insurance


Moral Hazard as a Feature--You're in Good Hands With Allstate


The Market for Lemons


I Want Life Insurance Right Now, Dammit


How Ami Glaser Bought a Secondhand Car


Don't Shake That Coke Bottle--One Cheer for Caveat Emptor


You can't give me a traffic ticket for arguing with the Radio*


First We Take Everything You Own, Then You Work the Rest of It Off*


The Rational Voodoo Killer--Why We Punish Impossible Attempts*


The Strategic Bully--A Doomsday Machine Up Close and Personal*


How Not To Hunt Deer--The Down Side of Private Property*


The Lost Hunter: Efficient Burglary*


The Floating Island: Property When Boundaries Don't Stay Put*


Owning the Engish Language--a Very Quiet Story*


The Bionic Burglar Alarm--How Dogs Created Human Civilization*


Royalties Without Copyright and Copyrights Without Royalties, or how the Xerox machine destroyed civilization.*


Wiping Out the Land Value of the U.S. in One Easy Lesson


Africa Down the Darkroom Drain or Don't Send $50,000 worth of photos to CostCo.


If You Don't Like The Price I'm Offering, Move the House (Why Contracts Are Useful)


"Your Money or Your Life?"

"Will You Take a Check?"

(Real Duress)


Bargaining While the Rats Leave--Freedom of Contract In a Sinking Ship?


The problems of using property rules when you should be using liability rules--or "Don't Exhale Till the Last Two Neighbors Sign the Contract."


A Christmas Tale: The cost and gain of Price Discrimination


Deadly Deterrence: Why armed robbery shouldn't be a capital offense.


What Do Children, Lunatics, Brides and Grooms Have in Common? (The Problems of Unenforceable Contracts.)


The Best Years of my Life: Opportunistic Breach on the Marriage Market


Diamond Chains: The Engagement Ring as a Performance Bond


Falling Safes and Innocent Killers: A Paradox of Causality


The Blind Billionaire: Enough is too Much


Out of One Pocket and Into Another: How Not to Leverage Your Monopoly


How To Lose Your Shirt: Predatory Pricing For Fun and Loss.


"When You've Killed as Many Men as You Can Afford to Pay For." Why the Icelandic System was stable.


"Night Killing Is Murder" or Avoiding Probability Multipliers in Tenth Century Iceland


"N-1 of Your Cattle Are In My Field" or How Not To Enforce Norms


Efficiently Hunting Whales to Extinction: Locally Efficient may not be Globally Efficient


[Suggestions for More Titles Gladly Taken]

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