Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Private Provision of Public Goods: The Bones of Santa Claus

From Time:
In 1087, the Italian town of Bari hired men — some accounts call them pirates while others refer to them as "privileged mariners" — to steal St. Nicholas from Myra, a town in present-day Turkey. The theft of Santa's bones is still celebrated in Bari with an annual parade and fireworks.
According to this website, this project was launched as a joint venture organized by private merchants and a Bari church. It also says that the church double crossed the pirates and never paid them. They overcame the free-rider problem nonetheless.

No comments: