Sunday, July 01, 2007

Some Behavior I Don't Understand

Sometimes you have to wait for a bus for a long time here in the City. Eventually the bus does appear and what sometimes happens is that another bus will be trailing behind, maybe by a block or less. The first bus will be packed, with standing room only. The next bus will be relatively empty. Here's what I don't get: almost everyone waiting will get on the first packed bus rather than wating maybe less than a minute for the next one. Why? I don't mind waiting a relatively short time for a comfortable ride for a seat.

Maybe this is one of those areas that economists like Levitt, Landsburg or Friedman can investigate. These are the economists who look at things other than wages, inflation, production, etc. They examine everyday behavior to identify why people behave in certain ways or why certain results exist. This is what fascinated me about economics when I was an undergraduate. I didn't care so much about employment rates, GNP or those sorts of things. I especially didn't care for the heavy math. So I find this branch of economics intriguing, fascinating and entertaining. Check these authors out.