R.A. Radford’s essay from 1945, The Economic Organisation of a P.O.W. Camp, is making its rounds. Considered a classic text, Radford’s paper describes in detail how a capitalist market developed in the German camp where Radford was imprisoned during WWII.

Of interest to me is this passage on “just” pricing:

There was a strong feeling that everything had its “just price” in cigarettes. While the assessment of the just price, which incidentally varied between camps, was impossible of explanation, this price was nevertheless pretty closely known. It can best be defined as the price usually fetched by an article in good times when cigarettes were plentiful. The “just price” changed slowly; it was unaffected by short-term variations in supply, and while opinion might be resigned to departures from the “just price,” a strong feeling of resentment persisted. A more satisfactory definition of the “just price” is impossible. Everyone knew what it was, though no one could explain why it should be so.

Remind you of anything?