December 12, 2003
Netroots From An Economist's Perspective

There’s a good article in today’s Washington Post by Everett Ehrlich looking at the phenomenon of the Dean campaign through the lens of the theories of Nobel economist Ronald Coase, who posited (in 1937’s “The Nature of the Firm”) that large organizations arose as a reaction to the cost of gathering information in the marketplace. Ehrlich argues that information technology has driven that information-gathering cost so low that it’s possible for candidates like Dean to form their own “virtual parties”, going around the need for more traditional party organizations and all the baggage they entail. I don’t completely agree in this case — Dean has worked as many traditional Democratic levers of power as he has invented new ones — but I think in terms of the general trend he’s on to something. [Seen on Slashdot]

Posted by Jason Lefkowitz at December 12, 2003
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