So Valuable It’s Free
Tompkins Sq. Park, Manhattan
Free, RSVP: email@example.com
It’s a cliche of Animal House theme songs and Visa ads: the best things in life are free. Or priceless. But what does this really mean, and how does that kind of free exist in a market economy? In case studies from drinking water to student debt to the emergence of new ideas to the basic existential questions of how to live, we will look at value and how economics does or does not measure it well. This is partly a story of “externalities” like common education–that economics doesn’t price at all–and “public goods” like water–that economics doesn’t price well. Ultimately, it’s a story about what is important to you, and how to use economics to design space for it.