Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Lavatorial economics

Important (though not so recent) advances in the economics of toilet seats.

Here is the abstract:
This paper develops an economic analysis of the toilet seat etiquette, that is, whether the toilet seat should be left up or down. I investigate whether there is any efficiency justification for the presumption that men should leave the toilet seat down after use. I find that the “down rule” is inefficient unless there is a large degree of asymmetry in the inconvenience costs of shifting the position of the toilet seat across genders. I show that the selfish” or the “status quo” rule that leaves the toilet seat in the position used dominates the down rule in a wide range of parameter spaces including the case where the inconvenience costs are the same. The analysis can be applied to other shared facilities that can be customized to each user’s preference.
For those with access to such things, the paper was published in Economic Inquiry in 2010.


ivegas said...

Thumbs up to your efforts to create and put such informative and interesting points in the blog. You exactly got the points which I was looking for. Keep up the real work.

Dimitriy said...

I don't know what this means, but it's pretty awesome: