Monday, December 18, 2006

Oh Lord, Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

Or, the world will beat Path Dependence down Paul David's Stanford doorstep. Meanies:

...a proper understanding of path-dependence, and of the possibilities of externalities leading to market failure, is not without interesting implications for economic policy. But those are not at all the sorts of glib conclusions that some critics have alleged must follow if one believes that history really matters--namely, that government should try to pick winners rather than let markets make mistakes. Quite the contrary.... One thing that public policy could do is to try to delay the market from committing to the future intextricably, before enough information has been obtained about the likely technical or organizational and legal implications, of an early, precedent-setting decision.

Translated from the Lockinese: Stan Liebowitz and Steve Margolis are mean to me. I don't want government to pick winners and losers. I just want government to stop inventors from marketing their inventions until an Authority to be Named Later decides that theirs are the right inventions.

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