sábado, 19 de octubre de 2013

Mercados Repugnantes/ Repugnant Markets Entrevista a Al Roth para Estrategia/ Al Roth's interview for Estrategia Newspaper.

My last days at Estrategia Newspaper in Santiago I conquered my first super important interview: a Conversation with a Nobel Prize. It came in a very specific moment of my life, I was in a shock, and working for the first time in seven years I was doing true journalism work. 
During the first week (the trial one) I did fine.
The problem was the second one. 
I was living at my aunt B. house, and I asked her to sign a contract of rent. I offered her some pesos, in order to make a decent deal. I was enthusiasted by the possibility of opening the doors to new challenges, both with my laboral perspectives and my very personal family life. 
I had the chance to travel with Max, and met Tamaru's family. Everything seemed ok.
And for a moment or so, I noticed I had trouble sleeping, so I took a pill on Sunday to start my second week happy and enthusiasted again. The pill worked to sleep but side effects played it hard on me...
I copy the complete interview with Al in English to thank him for his time (I wrote insisting like 5 different mails) and for the beautiful Redaction.
Questions were prepared with Francisca Guerrero and Patricio Torrealba. Both still working at Estrategia, and the link with Al was made by me, so in words of Pamela Giles "I seduced him to talk". Thanks for reading this post! Soon I'll translate.
Dear Alvin, 
Did you have time to review the new questions? are they more related to your field of work?
Again I apologize for the previous one, it was prepared in a hurry by a colleague that has been more time in the paper, but had not had the time to read the same than I did. The second one was prepared more carefully, and I hope you notice that :D
Truly yours,


2013/10/9 A. García Donoso <andrea.garcia.donoso@gmail.com>
Dear professor,
I am resending you the questions as I said on my previous email. I thank you for considering it, and for accepting my apologies, I feel free to dismiss the ones that are not related to you, or you don't want to talk about. The interview will be published by next Monday 14th of october, so it would be super important to have your answers by friday since our newspaper works from monday to friday only (we do not publish weekends)
Thanks so much for your time and consideration, Sincerely yours,

In your theory about repugnant markets is difficult to avoid the moral discussion, for example, when we think in a transplant market. In your view, what is the right approach to face these issues in order to face the moral problem?
I call a transaction “repugnant” if some people want to engage in it and others don’t want them too, and I have more questions about this than I have answers.  For example, it’s against the law to buy and sell kidneys almost everywhere (with the notable exception of Iran), but it’s legal to sell horse meat in most places, with California being a notable exception.  In Europe in the middle ages it was repugnant to charge interest on loans, and Islamic jurisprudence still limits this, but it’s hard to imagine how our global capitalist economy would work today if there wasn’t a market for capital.  People who find a particular transaction repugnant often think of it as a moral issue, while people who would like to engage in that transaction often think of it as a question of efficiency, or sometimes of liberty…and there are different opinions on particular transactions at different times and in different places.
How exactly a transplant market could be regulated?
We already regulate transplant markets by making it illegal to buy or sell organs for transplant. Of course, making a market illegal doesn’t mean that it becomes non-existent. So you can ask, if we wanted to make payments for organs legal, how might we regulate the payments?  This depends on what features of an unregulated market you would want to avoid. For example we could say that only the Federal government could pay for organs, and that these would then be allocated administratively e.g. as deceased donor organs are presently allocated.  This might help remove the fear that only rich people would get organs…  You could say that only citizens could sell organs, if the concern is that rich nations would buy organs from poor nations… You could make some of the payment in the form of lifetime medical insurance and followup care, if the concern is that seller/donors would suffer from lack of care…
What other sector can be seen as repugnant markets?
I think a good example of a transaction whose repugnance is changing is same-sex marriage. It is a prototypical repugnant transaction—something some people want to do and other people don’t want them to do—but there are more and more American states (about a dozen right now) and more and more countries in which same sex marriage has become legal…
How can we regulate drugs demands, like marihuana, cocaine, heroin among others?
Well, we try to make narcotic drugs illegal, but of course this doesn’t succeed in making them unavailable.  An argument can be made that the purchase of addictive drugs is not a voluntary transaction (because of the addiction)…but there are costs to criminalizing drug use, not least that this creates a lucrative market for criminals.  There are certainly countries like the Netherlands in which narcotic drugs are available legally by prescription to those diagnosed as addicts…
In your view, are there some sectors that cannot be in the market hands, and must be forbidden?
“Must” be forbidden?   I guess in that category would be all sorts of non-consensual transactions, e.g. capturing and selling slaves, trafficking in children…

link to Estrategia's publication online here: (Spanish edited version for online 


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