Markets in . . . not quite everything

Tyler Cowen does not expect the male birth control pill to be popular. Nor do I. He lists several possible reasons but misses what I think is the main one: incentive structures. As any woman can attest, it's all too easy to miss one or more of those pills. It's therefore very difficult to trust someone else to take them. It's especially hard if you are the one who will bear the heaviest price for a failure. As long as women have the stronger incentive to avoid pregnancy, it will be easier to trust them to keep taking their pills. Especially if you don't live together and thus can't watch him taking it at the same time every morning. The transactions costs on making a Coasean bargain are simply too high.

Presented by

Megan McArdle is a columnist at Bloomberg View and a former senior editor at The Atlantic. Her new book is The Up Side of Down.

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Best 71-Second Animation You'll Watch Today

A rock monster tries to save a village from destruction.

Video

The Case for Napping at Work

Most Americans don't get enough sleep. More and more employers are trying to help address that.

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Video

Stunning GoPro Footage of a Wildfire

In the field with America’s elite Native American firefighting crew

More in Business

Just In