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 . . . . . . . . . . . .

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Economics of Good Vibrations:
Eva Longoria

When an anonymous reader sent me this link [from Fark], my thoughts immediately turned to economic analyses of the situation [hey, I'm old; I'm also apparently hard-wired in The Economic Way of Thinking]:

Eva Longoria has been bombarded with hundreds of vibrators by obsessed fans. The 'Desperate Housewives' star confessed that ever since she mentioned sex toys were fun, her post box has been flooded with parcels of X-rated aids.

The striking brunette, who says starring in the TV show has changed her life, revealed: "I get boxes and boxes of vibrators sent to me just because I happened to mention I thought they were fun."
My first thoughts were about gifts and altruism, but I quickly moved on, suspecting the motives of the donors and suspecting that their pleasure in making these gifts had less to do with interdepent utility functions with positive partial derivatives and more to do with increased utility from their own personal fantasy production.

My second thoughts were how the widespread use of vibrators has come about, in part, because the change in relative prices has led, as an economist would predict, to capital-labour substitution in the production of sexual gratification. But I don't think it would be wise to examine students on the substitution and output/income effects.

All those gifts mean she faces a zero price for vibrators.
Zero price implies using them up to the point at which MU = 0.
If so, I'll bet she doesn't have Cobb-Douglas utility functions .... the mind boggles....
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