Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Working on Christmas

More evidence that "People Respond to Incentives":

According to the Christmas Day edition of the Washington Post (registration required):
There is no [U.S.] federal law that says an employee must be given Christmas off or that decrees those who work Christmas must be paid overtime.
This year, in the Washington, D.C. area, some Safeway stores decided to stay open. The union objected until Safeway made it clear that it would staff those stores using only volunteers, that they would be paid up to three times their normal hourly rate, and they would work short hours. Those stores that didn't have enough volunteers had no trouble getting volunteers from other Safeway stores in the area that aren't open on Christmas.

All-in-all, it is a well-written story.

What a terrific example of raising the price to induce a larger quantity supplied by meeting or exceeding suppliers' opportunity costs.

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