Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Small Transaction Costs and the Marginal Utility of Cafeteria Food

Trays are making college students fat. University cafeterias (all you can eat) waste about 30% less food when trays are eliminated, which essentially requires students to go through the line getting ONE plate and ONE drink instead of loading up. I like the comments on this one, especially Michael:
As someone who goes to a college that just eliminated trays, it really
isn’t a win-win situation. It might make people eat less food and waste
less, but it substantially increases the hassle when you have to carry
a plate or two plus a drink and silverware. All that isn’t easy to
carry without a tray.
Yeah, that's basically the point, Michael. That relatively small hassle, or cost, is what we call a transaction cost, and its keeping you from eating enough for a small African village for lunch.

No comments:

Post a Comment