Welcome to the Brian Micklethwait Archive. We have started to add writings to this site. For progress on this see the news section.

Archives

Latest Update

The Magic of a Price Rise

We continue to add pamphlets. Economics Notes No. 36 points out that increasing prices can often improve matters.

it is truly wonderful how much good it does to an arrangement to price it properly instead of improperly. And, a product is just as likely to be underpriced as overpriced. If people are, in effect, giving something away, they are all too likely just to slap it down in front of you on a take-it-or-leave-it, whatdid-you-expect-at-this-price basis, rather than serve it up properly. Maybe there are free lunches to be had, but there is an automatic tendency for you to get only what you have paid for.

On the other hand, if the price of a service goes up to the point where it starts properly to reward those who supply it, a truly remarkable process of improvement automatically goes into action. Everything gets better, for all concerned.

By way of example, Brian describes the effect of increasing the price of tickets to Libertarian Alliance conferences.

The difference between £1 and £5 is not, for the punters, a huge one. For us it is the difference between famine and feast. The £1 per head price meant that we had no selling incentive beyond the altruistic urge to give those who did come a good time, and we all know what the libertarian line is on altruism. £5, and we suddenly become rationally egotistical conference pluggers.

Highlight

In this video, Steve Baker MP recounts how Brian introduced him to books about freedom.

Elsewhere

Here is a collection of other places on the internet where you may find writings by Brian.

Video