The major feature this week was Swearengen offering a contract to another character that is based on the contingencies in a repeated game (in the game theoretical sense). Specifically, Swearengen had earlier bought off a territorial administrator to eliminate the problem of an outstanding arrest warrant. Now, the administrator has sent back a bag man for more cash. Swearengen offers the bagman $2,000 to kill the administrator. The bagman balks at the offer, indicating that something more like $20,000 would be appropriate. Swearengen points out that there is a repeated game here. If he does this job for this price, there will be other more lucrative jobs in the future. The bag man agrees to the contingency deal.
In more minor economic tidbits:
Tragedy of the commons is touched on when Charlie Utter remarks that his new position as Fire Marshall is not making him friends. Even though what he is doing is good for the camp as a whole, the affected individuals are not pleased.
The effects of uncertainty on a small business are shown as Joni Stubbs notes that her plans for opening a new brothel have been on hold due to unclear funding.
Negative externalites and cash flow valuation are shown when Jewel, a handicapped worker at the Gem Saloon, discusses obtaining a brace for her leg to prevent the shuffling that her boss finds annoying. A fixed cost investment in a brace may help her retain her future cash flow (this sounds like a primitive form of having plastic surgery to enhance your job prospects).
Sy Tolliver is still upset that the opportunity cost of one dead Chinese courier is one dead white man, so he encourages Leon (the junkie) to stir unrest.
Lastly, Trixie offers her services to Sol Star for free, and he accepts. When Swearengen finds out, he demands a payment from Star, or from Trixie in lieu of that. This touches on contracting (do Trixie and Swearengen have an implicit contract forbidding this), property rights (who owns Trixie's services, Trixie or her employer), and market power (Swearengen charges them the normal rate, since he does not have market power over the sort of relationship they are engaged in).
See my earlier economics in Deadwood posts at:
Prices Only Economists Can Appreciate in Deadwood
Corruption's Prices in Deadwood
Deadwood's Invisible Hand
Derivatives in Deadwood
Collusion and Asymmetric Information in Deadwood
Elasticities in Deadwood
21st Century Economics in Deadwood