Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Hobbesian State of Weddings in Kabul

"The Law on Prevention of Extravagance in Wedding Ceremonies [in Afghanistan] would limit the number of wedding guests to 300 and the amount spent to around $7 per guest...'Why should the government tell people how to spend their money?' said Mohammed Salam Baraki, the owner of Uranuse. 'If they pass this law, it will only facilitate corruption. I’ll have to pay off the inspector to allow more guests in.'" [WaPo]

Interesting prisoner's dilemma. Everyone wants to spend less, AND wants to have the nicest wedding in town.

(Nod to Kevin Lewis)

1 comment:

codeandculture said...

Agreed that this is about trying to solve a status competition prisoner's dilemma. There's a long tradition of sumptuary laws to keep such status arms races in check. Ancient Rome had laws about what kind of tableware you could use at dinner parties or how many slaves could be manumitted in a will.