Samuel Wilson’s prodigious and interesting output at Euvoluntary Exchange lead me to two articles by Michael Munger, the source of the blog’s name and focus. The first article “Euvoluntary or Not, Exchange is Just” is fascinating. Here is the main thesis:
For Munger, euvoluntary exchange is the name given to any any truly voluntary exchange that leaves both parties better off than before. To be truly voluntary or euvoluntary, the exchange requires
- Conventional ownership of items, services, or currency by both parties,
- Conventional capacity to transfer and assign this ownership to the other party,
- The absence of regret, for both parties, after the exchange, in the sense that both receive value at least as great as was anticipated at the time of the agreement to exchange,
- Neither party is coerced, in the sense of being forced to exchange by threat, and
- Neither party is coerced in the alternative sense of being harmed by failing to exchange.
Munger explains the last requirement:
He then explores the idea with a common example:
After running through some examples, Munger explains the political significance of this line of thought, asking should we have anti-gouging laws?
I can see a host of applications for this line of thinking, especially in Uber’s surge pricing and online privacy. More to come.