As seen in class, the jungle economy is characterized by a power ranking and a social endowment, rather than private endowments of goods as in an exchange economy. Another important characteristic of the jungle economy is the fact that a higher position in the power ranking enables an agent to consume more, mainly because it can expropiate from those with less power (less ranking). In a jungle, each agent has a finite consumption set and a binary power relation, which is the ranking of all agents that allows for a clear path of expropriation.
For me, reading about this brought some thoughts regarding the way in which we choose classes each semester at ITAM. The ranking between agents (students in this case) is set through two main aspects: grade and seniority (as far as I understand it). It is important to note that we do have a finite consumption set since there are an established and limited number of classes and professors (specific to each career) from which each student must choose, and each class has a limited number of students that will accept per semester. The higher your grades are, the best schedule or time in line you will receive to choose these classes, taking into consideration which are the best professors, the class hours that suit you best, among other different criteria. In this case, expropriation would occur as those with higher ranking (grades) choose the best classes offered by ITAM and the courses start to fill and close, no longer being available for those far in the line/ranking.
The sentiment of “repugnance” (to use the terminology used in the chapter) some students have regarding this system can be explained by the fact that as the best classes and professors become unavailable for many students, it can become harder for them to close the gap with those having a higher ranking.