Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Coase smiles

He had to live for a century to see it, but here's The Problem of Social Cost in a nutshell (dome);

Bad air is good news for many Chinese entrepreneurs.
From gigantic domes that keep out pollution to face masks with fancy fiber filters, purifiers and even canned air, Chinese businesses are trying to find a way to market that most elusive commodity: clean air.
An unprecedented wave of pollution throughout China (dubbed the “airpocalypse” or “airmageddon” by headline writers) has spawned an almost entirely new industry.
From the ridiculous;
...a self-promoting Chinese millionaire has been selling soda-sized cans of, you guessed it, air.
Chen Guangbiao, a relentless self-promoter who made his fortune in the recycling business, claims to have collected the air from remote parts of western China and Taiwan. The cans, which are emblazoned with Chen’s name and labeled “fresh air,” sell for 80 cents each, with proceeds going to charity, he said.
To the entirely predictable (Public Choice-wise): 
In China, home air purifiers range from $15 gizmos that look like night lights to handsome $6,000 wood-finished models that are supplied to Zhongnanhai, the headquarters of the Chinese Communist Party, and other leadership facilities.
Those are the transaction costs.

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