Marketism/discipline of constant dealings

Jump to navigation Jump to search

The discipline of constant dealings refers to the idea that entities who are likely to be dealing with each other repeatedly will ultimately benefit from their own honesty and suffer from their betrayals of others.

As David Friedman put it:

If you and I are going to be interacting for a long time, many times over, each of us knows if he breaks his word this time, the other one isn't going to trust him him next time, that's the end of a profitable relationship, therefore it is prudent in that kind of a repeat relationship to try to maintain your reputation by actually doing what you say you're going to do.

This concept does not appear to be used widely outside of marketist circles, however, despite Friedman's assertion that "economists sometimes refer to" it by this name.

There may be some science to support the basic assertion. In the iterated form of the Prisoner's Dilemma, for example, "greedy strategies tended to do very poorly in the long run while more altruistic strategies did better, as judged purely by self-interest."

It is important, however, to note the requirement that the same entities are likely to be dealing with each other repeatedly over time. This requirement may not hold true in a transient, highly mobile society. (It is my contention that excessive (and not always wanted) mobility is one of the main destabilizers of modern Western society, especially in the US, due to precisely this effect: when most interactions are with unknowns, honesty is no longer rewarded. --Woozle (talk) 22:06, 22 December 2014 (EST))