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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Polycentrism at the Playground

In the spirit of Landsburg's book, I have been meaning to remark that at the playground, there is a spontaneous polycentrism. Parents have different rules for what is safe/permissible for their kids, and generally speaking parents allow a situation to be resolved in the home court of the offending party.

For example, today Clark decided to go up to a kid on the swings and grab him. The outraged kid (who was much bigger) was getting ready to push him away. By this point I had left the bench (where I was reading the WSJ) and yelling, "Clark! Hey, leave him alone!"

My yelling alerted the mother of the kid on the swing, and she yelled, "Jimmy, just wait a minute."

Not the Cuban Missile Crisis, I grant you. But yet another point for private law.

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