Are economists the only people who think like this?

By Paul Walker 12/04/2015

This is from Diane Coyle at her The Enlightened Economist blog:

I wonder what Professor Kotz would have thought of the arrangement at dinner at the Royal Economic Society conference. There were two options for each course, and staff served each one to alternating places at the table. If you preferred the other, you had to exchange. Perfectly efficient and logical – surely only an economist could have thought of it? I’m tempted to do this every time I invite people round for a meal in future, unless that would be a bit neoliberal.

One assumes that side-payments made be necessary to clear the market. But who other than economists would use such a mechanism?