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

Monday, October 17, 2005

Art, Constipation, and Economics

Brian Ferguson sent me this item from The Australian:
Britt-Maj Wikstroem of the Ersta Skoendal University College in Stockholm had 20 women of around 80 years of age gather once a week for four months to discuss different works of art.

"The result was positive. Their attitudes became more positive, more creative, their blood pressure went in the right direction ... and they used fewer laxatives,"...
I can readily imagine it is cheaper to pay for the laxatives and blood pressure medication than it is to hire someone to host art discussions. In fact, even if the people who host art discussions are volunteers, it might be cheaper if the discussion leaders worked elsewhere for minimum wage and donated less than their entire earnings to the purchase of pharmaceuticals for the test subjects.

Of course that ignores the pleasure these people might get from hosting art discussions rather than working at minimum-wage tasks. And that realization also indicates that people who like to host art discussions have a vested interest in how this research is received.

I'm sure Brian was not thinking of this art when he sent me this story.
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