Henry Farrell has a nice post that picks up on my earlier post on the evolution of slugging in DC. Henry disagrees with me that it’s a market process, but I think it is. I define “market process” as involving the consideration of opportunity cost and enabling parties to engage in mutually beneficial exchange. In this case slugging is the informal institution that arises out of that process. I grant that I probably have a broad definition of “market process”, but I think it’s the right way to conceptualize such situations. Sometimes the institutions that make market processes more likely, and more available as a tool for value creation, are formal (like patent law) and sometimes they are informal (like slugging).

It’s interesting that Henry picked up on that point, because I was going to finish the post by pointing out that this is a market process because it is the creation of value through mutually beneficial exchange in a voluntary context. I didn’t because I was worried about being too pedantic, of which I am often accused. Now I shall be more pedantic!!

Thank you, Henry, for your careful and insightful reading. And all y’all should read Jack Knight’s book that he recommends in his post. I read it in the course of doing my dissertation and found it incredibly insightful. And I’ll put their co-authored paper on my to-read list!