It’s that time of year again, our NPR moment. Do you enjoy Marginal Revolution’s blend of economic commentary, book reviews, art recommendations and fun ideas? Please consider making a donation. You can donate through Amazon or via the PayPal link in the upper left hand corner. Any amount would be appreciated. Use the PayPal link for donations over $50. We are also happy to accept donations via snail mail. Send to:
Marginal Revolution, c/o Alex Tabarrok
Department of Economics, MSN 1D3
George Mason Universtiy
Fairfax, VA, 22030
For donations of $100 or more we would be pleased to send you an autographed copy of one of our books, your choice (including my forthcoming book Judge and Jury available in February).
If you are in a position to be especially generous and wish to make a larger contribution through a legally recognized non-profit entity (for tax reasons),
please let us know, this can be arranged.
Why are we asking for donations? MR is never going to be a paying venture but donations help us
to cover our costs. More importantly, donations help to solve a serious economic problem. Efficiency says that goods with zero marginal cost should have a zero price but without prices not only is the incentive to produce diminished but so is information about what to produce. (See Coase’s 1946 classic, The Marginal Cost Controversy, JSTOR). Donations allow prices to be set at MC while at the same time providing a (noisy) signal about where true economic value lies. In particular, Tyler and I know that we can appropriate more of our marginal product from professional work than we can from blogging yet it is conceivable that our marginal product is higher in blogging. Thus, to decide how much to invest in this venture we markup donations to get an estimate of our social value and we put positive weight on social welfare in our utility function.