So many mistakes ….
One mistake is in the embedding of the URL.
Who’s the poor guy that gets to play standard economics?
Very nice! Incidentally I will be blogging tomorrow on “what makes a good gift.”
In the comments on my sushi post, I was impressed that people intuited several principles of behavioral economics.
Any thoughts on Madoff, Ponzi schemes, and (ir)rationality?
Just a note for future research, maybe.
I’ve tried to give away items on Craig’s list; a new matress set and later a predistal sink after a bathroom remodel. In both cases when it was free, people would promise to come to pick up the items and then not show, or call and have an excuse for not picking up the matress or sink. This happened a number of times. I removed the items and resubmitted them for $20 for the matress and later $90 for the sink. I was immediately contacted after the posting and people came the next day to buy the items. Always the first time.
Do people value something more with a price on it? Do they think it’s crap if someone else doesn’t value it (free)? Is this a variation of the “free” you describe?
For years I was calling for UC Santa Barbara’s economics department to work together with the evolutionary psychology (anthro) department. I hope that soon enough each side will recognize the importance of the other.
On another note, Dan, is there anyone who specializes in the study of behavioral economics in Israel that may be looking for a potential phd student?
– Itai –
So why don’t people sign up for EZPass?
EZPass lets you drive through tolls from Boston or Richmond. Coming down Monday from NYC to D.C., every toll plaza we glided through had about a quarter mile of people backed up to pay cash. I don’t figure this out. Why spend 15 minutes in line when you could zip through the toll in less than 15 seconds? There can’t be that many who live out of the area.
To Bucky: Maybe these people don’t want Big Brother to know when they were where. Some people also turn off their cell phones while traveling, because the GPS system has been used by police to find people or place them at the scene of a crime.
Re: Don’s note on Craig’s list and things that are free.
There is an old story my grandpa used to tell. His mother bought a new dining room table and needed to get rid of the old one. She offered to give it away free, but no takers. The junk man wanted her to pay him to remove it.
So, my grandfather put it on the street with a sign: “Antique French Dining Room Table For Sale: $100″
That night it was stolen.
Re: Mitch Weisburgh
That’s hilarious to a disproportionate degree.
Great tip for getting rid of things that seem apparently worthless.
Looks great. Thanks for the tip :)
Hi, I’m Dan Ariely. I do research in behavioral economics and try to describe it in plain language. These findings have enriched my life, and my hope is that they will do the same for you.
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