Market Inefficiency vs. Other Values

“Efficient systems have limited ability to deal with system-wide economic shocks. Those shocks are coming with increased frequency. They’re caused by global pandemics, yes, but also by climate change, by financial crises, by political crises. If we want to be secure against these crises and more, we need to add inefficiency back into our systems.

I don’t simply mean that we need to make our food production, or healthcare system, or supply chains sloppy and wasteful. We need a certain kind of inefficiency, and it depends on the system in question. Sometimes we need redundancy. Sometimes we need diversity. Sometimes we need overcapacity.

The market isn’t going to supply any of these things, least of all in a strategic capacity that will result in resilience. What’s necessary to make any of this work is regulation.

—Bruce Schneier, “Bruce Schneier says we need to embrace inefficiency to save our economy.” Quartz. June 30, 2020

Kinky Labor Supply and the Attention Tax — Kortina

“As an example, consider how this increased competition plays out in online dating platforms. On Tinder, the top 20% of men are competing for the top 78% of women. Why? It’s a matter of the breadth of selection. Offline, due to the constraints of physical space and time, any given woman would have a finite set of potential partners to choose from. Online, the selection is much more vast and most women only “like” the most attractive men. The Gini coefficient for the “Tinder economy” is 0.58, which means that it has higher inequality than 95% the world’s national economies – in other words, it’s pretty grim if you’re a man in the bottom 80%.”

—Andrew Kortina and Namrata Patel. “Labor Supply and the Attention Tax.” October 13, 2018.

Strikes me as pretty grim for the bottom 80% of women too. Dissatisfied because of “settling” for a man of equal attractiveness, competing on qualities such as sexual availability or submissiveness, and other generally undesirable outcomes.