Friday, April 02, 2010

Life (and Death) in the Fast Lane - Freakonomics Blog -

Life (and Death) in the Fast Lane - Freakonomics Blog -
"...of course, another dynamic at play here: the thrill of speed and the allure of time savings.

None of the papers I’ve seen have calculated the economic benefits we derive from going faster, in large part because they vary so widely. (Benefit of high speed limit to driver on lonely rural highway: potentially large. Benefit to driver on congested urban freeway: zero).

But nevertheless the benefits are there. If cancer researchers can save a few minutes a day on their commutes, some of that time will go to finding a cure for a dreaded disease.

Plus, going faster is fun."

Again, as we mention in class so often, remember that people make decisions based on utility, not just risk and return as quantified by dollars and cents.

1 comment:

David Hall said...

I'd be curious to know who is advocating for the higher speed limit. Who's best interest is it to have a higher speed limit anyways? My friends with a "need for speed" always say that when you're going faster it forces you to pay more attention to what's going on around you thus being safer. Looks like this study shows something much different though.