Of all economics, public choice must be the research discipline that offers the greatest opportunity for a good laugh. Where else is such a full range of human folly explained? Writing with a Dallas dateline, George Will recently examined the public policy story behind the relationship of Love Field, Southwest Airlines and American Airlines. In the airline industry, as is much of the case in many established networked industries, rentseeking is the name of the game.
Last month at the IRLE, we used this Wall Street Journal article on Love Field to illustrate rentseeking and public choice principles. (Registration required.) The important lesson from Love Field is to see that there are markets for nearly everything, including laws to provide special protections for individual firms, public entities and geographic areas.
Hat Tip to Newmark's Door.