I want to record some examples:
- men's suits can be bought off the rack in various sizes but may also, much more expensively, be custom tailored
- an employer may find it useful to have an employee who can be called in at a moment's notice to deal with an unexpected issue, while an employee may well prefer to have work hours that are limited to certain hours in the day or certain days in the week
- a buyer might incur a sudden desire to buy something at a different time from that at which the seller finds most convenient to produce it; one or both will have to change the timing of the transaction to suit the other
I've been thinking about "market liquidity" as essentially a coordination issue, but in the context of the ideas presented here, it seems that what in finance is referred to as "liquidity providing" generally amounts to "conceding flexibility/choice/the ability to plan", and "liquidity taking" generally amounts to "taking advantage of the flexibility offered by someone else". In the context of financial market microstructure it's pretty clear that liquidity provision is in a lot of ways like writing an option that is, at least most obviously, being given away for free; to some extent what I'm trying to do here is to note that the phenomenon is somewhat more general — though especially outside of finance, where heterogeneity is less pervasive than in most markets — and that the final decision to execute a deal (and perhaps to choose its timing) is only one way in which the specifics of a deal will only be fully coordinated when at least one of the parties is willing to go along with something other than what might have been that party's first choice.