Clones and the Coase Theorem
Journal of Law & Social Deviance, Vol. 2, pp. 43-91, 2011
49 Pages Posted: 25 Jan 2012 Last revised: 31 Jan 2019
Date Written: March 29, 2012
What could clones and the eponymous “Coase theorem” possibly have in common? Although the film Blade Runner, and the dystopian science fiction novel on which the film is based, pose a wide variety of deep ethical, scientific, and philosophical questions, such as the legal and moral rights of human androids and the ethics of cloning, in this paper we will focus on the life-and-death struggle between Roy Batty and Dr. Tyrell, the central conflict presented in Blade Runner, using a “Coasian” lens. We shall also address the following subsidiary puzzles posed by the film and the novel: what is the optimal lifespan of a human clone, such as the fictional Nexus-6 replicants depicted in Blade Runner? In addition, who decides what the optimal lifespan of a clone is? These queries from the world of science fiction may appear to be fanciful or esoteric, but they shall help us see Coase’s famous theorem, and the problem of conflict generally, in a new light.
Keywords: clones, Coase theorem, time scarcity, Blade Runner
JEL Classification: J15, J22, O30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation