Mansfield Fox

Law student. Yankees fan. Massive fraggle. Just living the American dream.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Information Asymmetry in Criminal Enterprise

Would it be reading too much into things to suggest that The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is fundamentally an attempt to explain Arrow's Information Paradox through narrative?

By which I mean: The Man with No Name, Tuco and Angel Eyes each have partial information about the location of the gold. Each needs the information the others have, but they can't get it because none is willing to part with his own information, since to be the first to do so is to lose all leverage against the others. Because they're operating in what is effectively the state of nature, they lack the intellectual property mechanisms we've developed to get around these kinds of problems, so they're at each other's throats, and work together only with the implicit understanding that they will betray each other once they reach the gold.