Battlepanda: Nanonomics?


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Sunday, April 10, 2005


After writing this post about Freakanomics, I started thinking about whether there could be a whole nother subdiscipline within economics dedicated to the explanation of personal decisions. We have macroeconomics to explain the movement of whole economies, microeconomics to explain the action of companies. What about the next level down?

It just so happened that Tyler Cowen over at Marginal Revolution just wrote a fascinating post on tipping. Did you know that if a waitress draws a smiley face on the back of a guest check, her tips increase on average by 18 percent, but is a waiter does the same thing his tip would go down by 9 percent? Why the heck do we tip in the first place?

By the way, I kick myself for not reading Marginal Revolution until today. I had this idea that Tyler Cowen is wayyyy too libertarian for me. But maybe not. Or maybe I just happened to really like the posts he had up recently.