Matt McCaffrey Profile picture
Austrian economics, especially entrepreneurship, innovation, and organization. Lately researching video game economics. Manchesterism.
Oct 17, 2022 25 tweets 4 min read
My critical review of the literature on #lootboxes, problem gambling, and problem gaming is now available. Short version: the vast majority of this “research” is borderline junk science. papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf… Here's longer version in 2 threads: In 2017, the Battlefront II controversy brought widespread attention to loot boxes—randomized digital rewards sometimes paid for using real money. Ever since, academics have been jumping on the bandwagon to show a relationship between loot boxes and problem behavior.
Aug 3, 2022 4 tweets 2 min read
One of Rothbard's important and often misunderstood contributions to economic theory was his theory of monopoly price. People sometimes complain that his approach amounted to creating his own definition of monopoly, but his insight was deeper than that. 1/ papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf… He realized that standard accounts of monopoly *and competition* were based on mistaken assumptions and were themselves arbitrary and unrealistic. In particular, the idea of a competitive price was difficult if not impossible to define in a free market.
May 30, 2021 5 tweets 2 min read
🧵 Here's a short article published last year discussing some of the policy implications of the debate about #lootboxes in gaming. Basically, the case for regulation is non-existent, even setting aside the rights issues involved. papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf… The burden of proof is on regulators to show that (1) loot boxes cause serious harm, (2) the game industry can't deal with that harm on its own, and (3) regulation won't produce more costs than benefits, and/or unintended consequences.
May 29, 2021 4 tweets 1 min read
@SSRN reminds me that this paper has been getting more attention lately. In it, I argue that William Baumol's idea of unproductive entrepreneurship would benefit from the more Austrian, judgment-based view rather than focusing only on innovation. papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf… Baumol argued that entrepreneurship in the sense of innovative behavior isn't always a good thing: instead, institutions set the "rules of the game" and the relative payoffs to different kinds of entrepreneurship.