‘Tomorrow 3.0 – Uber & Beyond’ Lecture Examines the Software Revolution

Trinity College Hosts Talk by Influential Economist and Author Michael C. Munger

Hartford, Connecticut, March 7, 2016 – Trinity College recently hosted a lecture by Michael C. Munger, an economist, author, and professor and former chair of the political science department at Duke University.

Students and faculty from Trinity’s political science and economics departments filled McCook Auditorium on February 24 to hear Munger’s talk and engage him in conversation. The author of Choosing in Groups (Cambridge University Press, 2015) discussed the arrival of the “Software Revolution” and its effects on increasing productivity and displacing human workers.

Munger touched upon the rise of entrepreneurial companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and Bla Bla Car as some of the first pioneers to make money through a more efficient exchange by reducing transaction costs. He is the author of Analyzing Policy: Choices, Conflicts, and Practices (W.W. Norton & Company, 2014), a standard work in the field of policy analysis, and has published numerous articles in academic journal. 

In his talk, Munger highlighted the importance of software and companies that can take advantage of reductions in transaction costs. For example, Bla Bla Car, a hitch-hiking service that was founded in France in 2006, can charge 5 or 6 euros to go from Warsaw to Prague, as compared to 40 euros for a train ride covering the same distance. “These companies take advantage of triangulation, transfer, and trust,” said Munger.

One economics student asked Munger how students can better prepare for this transition to the Software Age. He replied, “Specialization will change the relationship we have to employment. It’s up to students to learn software, take computer science classes, and plan how to accommodate it.”

Gerald Gunderson, Shelby Cullom Davis Professor of American Business and Economic Enterprise at Trinity College, said of Munger, “He combines examples that go right to the heart of important ideas. His examples show how expanding the degree of exchange allows individuals to improve their circumstances at each step, while only using the same initial supply.”

Written by Josh LeBlanc ’16