Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Hasnas' Rule

What I think he is saying is that the market produces a particular set of outcomes. When those outcomes are not to someone’s satisfaction, they can engage as an entrepreneur to change market conditions, or they can appeal to legislation to change the climate. If we look carefully at legislation, we can uncover the market conditions which existed prior to that legislation. The legislation will be more or less explicit about the new set of conditions it is attempting to create, and/or the set of conditions it was attempting to adjust. Often times legislation is very explicit concerning the conditions it found unsatisfactory. In these cases we can just read the legislation and show the set of market conditions it describes. This is one way to learn what markets can do. I find Hasnas’ Rule very compelling, interesting, and a novel way of investigating what market conditions are like. This rule further provides a tool for understanding what market conditions were like in older societies, where the market might not ever have been described, but where legislation did exist. We can read that legislation and learn something about the way markets have operated in different places and times.

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