Suppose that you work in a restaurant …

22 Sep, 2019 at 19:32 | Posted in Varia | Comments Off on Suppose that you work in a restaurant …

“Suppose that you work in a restaurant where two regular customers, Ann and Bob, are equally likely to come in for a meal. Further, you know that Ann is indifferent among the 10 items on the menu, whereas Bob strictly prefers the hamburger. While in the kitchen, you receive an order for a hamburger. Who is more likely to be the customer: Ann or Bob?”

feat-work-570I just love this paper, not so much for its content (which is fine) but for its opening. “Suppose that you work in a restaurant…”

I get the feeling that econ papers always take the perspective of people who are more likely to be owners, or at least consumers, not employees, in restaurants. Sure, there was that one famous paper about taxicab drivers, but I feel like most of the time you’ll hear economists talking about why it’s rational to tip, or how much a restaurant should charge its customers, or ways of ramping up workers’ performance, etc …

It’s just refreshing to read an econ paper that takes the employee’s perspective, not to make an economic point and not to make a political point, but just cos why not. Kind of like Night of the Living Dead.

Andrew Gelman

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