The Atlantic describes a very cool study at the University of Newcastle in the UK wherein pictures of watching eyes deterred bike thefts.
That is cool enough, but the researchers also checked to see what happened to bike thefts at racks where they did not put the eyes. Put into econ-speak, they went looking for general equilibrium effects. Turns out the eyes displace bike theft to other racks but do not result in a net decrease in bike thefts on campus.
Who was my favorite student this term?
6 months ago