Class 2 – 1/17/17
Efficiency and Fairness
- Ghen v. Rich, 26-29
- Notes and Questions, 29-30
- Keeble v. Hickeringill, 30-32
- Externalities: 46-50
- The Coase Theorem
- Notes and Questions 50-56 (Skim)
Today in class we will be talking about Ghen v. Rich and Keeble v. Hickeringill, through the lens of economic efficiency and fairness.
Today’s lecture notes are here.
Ghen v. Rich.
Here is the harvesting of a finback whale.
Fin whales are on average about 90 feet long, and can weigh over 70 tons. By point of comparison, an African elephant weighs roughly 8 tons.
This is a bomb lance harpoon.
And a patent diagram of an 1878 bomb lance:
Another patent diagram from 1879.
More pics of bomb lances. It was basically a harpoon with a rocket attached to it.
This is a bomb lance gun.
Here is a drawing from 1897 showing the firing of a bomb lance (Frank T. Bullen, The Cruise of the Cachalot (1897)
This is what a captured whale looks like:
Keeble v. Hickeringill
Here is Edmund Hickeringill (courtesy of the British Musuem)–doesn’t he just look like a jerk!?
This is Lord Chief Justice John Holt who was the Lord Chief Justice of England, the author of the opinion in Keeble v. Hickeringill.
Here is a plan for the duck decoy.
The ducks get caught in these nets over the pipes.
Here is a dutch video showing the ducks getting cut (fast forward to about 1:05)
I suspect many of you have tried this kind of duck hunting.
To illustrate the Coase Theorem, we will utilize the classic example of the Fountainbleau Hotel in Miami.
Or this related case from Dallas:
The Nasher contends that the developers of the $200 million tower, completed in January, have been intransigent in refusing to modify its reflective glass skin; the Nasher has proposed louvers for the facade.
Museum officials say the garden has had to be resodded twice because of the higher temperatures created by sunlight bouncing off the glass; that some trees have burned; and that light-blocking panels were needed for the roof during a recent Ken Price sculpture retrospective.
And the owners have suggested building screens to block the sun!
Gizmodo has a great writeup of the case:
They also hired a group of designers to study the feasibility of installing a gigantic shading system to block the rays, rather than fixing the problem at the source.
It looks complex, but the concept is actually very simple: The team looked at the annual path of the “death ray” and, based on its coordinates, created a huge shading system to block it as it changes. To lessen the presence of the shade, they also devised a series of umbrella-like devices that only open up when needed. So, for most of the year, these devices look like thin tubes strung up on a massive metal frame—which is better than an opaque surface… I guess?
This is like something Mr. Burns would design.
The “umbrellas” open up during different times of the day so as not to obstruct the views.
And they follow the sun’s path through the year.
Images courtesy of dukeminier-property.com, Wikipedia, and Professor Frank Buckley.