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In Tragic Choices, Guido Calabresi and Philip Bobbitt explore how societies allocate tragically scarce resources–how societies make "tragic choices." The authors consider the efficacy and morality of different devices used to allocate scarce resources. These devices include traditional markets, markets that are neutral in their impact on the distribution of wealth, nontraditional markets, political agencies, lotteries, and other methods. To illustrate these devices, the authors focus on three paradigm cases of tragic choices: the allocation of kidney dialysis machines (a "good"), military service in wartime (a "bad"), and entitlements to have children (a mixed blessing).

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