Monday, June 02, 2014

A Real Life Wilt Chamberlain Case

In Anarchy, State, and Utopia, Robert Nozick argues that free market transactions will, if not interfered with, upset distributive patterns, such as equality. Nozick's famous example features the basketball player Wilt Chamberlain. In Nozick's example, Chamberlain signs a contract giving him 25 cents out of each ticket sold for his games, the result being that at the end of the season he is vastly richer than everyone else.

Given that few current students (especially in the UK) have heard of Wilt Chamberlain, the example is sometimes made more relevant by substituting the name of a more recent sports star, such as David Beckham or Wayne Rooney. I thought it interesting that ex-England cricketer Andy Flintoff has apparently signed a contract like Chamberlain's, giving him £1 from each ticket sold (above a certain number). It looks like a nice example to use in future.

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