[arin-ppml] quantitative study of IPv4 address market

Owen DeLong owen at delong.com
Thu Sep 6 14:18:06 EDT 2012

> This makes it increasingly puzzling to me why certain people insist on retention of traditional needs assessments as a matter of religion. I fully understand their desire to discourage unproductive hoarding, but that is an economic problem, not a technical one, and is best addressed through economically oriented policies. Nearly all entities who spend real money to acquire addresses are either going to use them or find a way to lease them to people who will use them. Rather than continue to bicker about the MSFT case, this community should try to move toward a new consensus regarding the role of light-handed, market-friendly policy measures to discourage unproductive use of available blocks.

Continuing to repeat the fallacy that economics prevents hoarding still doesn't make it true.

In many cases in history, economics have, in fact, caused and/or contributed to hoarding of resources perceived as scarce.

Surely as an economist the term "tulip famine" cannot be unfamiliar to you?

If you would like a more recent example, let's consider the "food shortages" in Russia towards the end of Gorbachev's time there (July, 1989 IIRC). I was actually there and visited several homes in Moscow and Irkutsk at the time. There were no perceived shortages in Irkutsk at all and most people wondered what all the hubbub was about. OTOH, in Moscow, everyone was talking about the food shortages and sure enough, any visit to any form of store (meat market, produce store, dairy store, etc.) after about 9:30 AM would be a vast display of empty shelves. However, if you got there before 9:00, you'd see a fully stocked store not yet open and large groups of people waiting to get in.

At peoples homes where these discussions of shortages were going on, they were often having trouble figuring out where to put all of the food supplies they had purchased that morning in an effort to make sure they had as much as they could to survive the shortages. Of course, it was this hoarding behavior that was creating the shortages and when people finally ran out of places to put things, the stocking levels on the shelves slowly returned to normal.

Claims that economics prevent hoarding depend on a number of inherent assumptions:

	1.	The people with the most means will do what is in their rational self-interest.
	2.	The rational self-interest of the wealthiest members of any group will also serve the
		best interests of the group overall.
	3.	Monetary value is a true reflection of societal value.

Each of these assumptions is provably incorrect.


More information about the ARIN-PPML mailing list