Conspicuous Conservation

Steve and Alison Sexton, two young economists (who happen to be twins) have discovered something they call "the Prius effect,": in places that are more "green," if people buy a hybrid car, they tend to buy a Prius -- instead of a Nissan or Honda -- because the Prius is the only hybrid that is immediately identifiable as a hybrid . . . and people in these especially "green" places do this for a good reason: showing your friends, neighbors, and colleagues that you are "green" is financially and socially beneficial . . . i.e. conspicuous conservation and so, in a sense, they are being less altruistic, because they might be buying the car simply to keep up with the Jones's (the Greens's?) and not to save the planet; this brings me to the real reason for this sentence: Saturday morning, I impulsively donated fifty dollars to the Unicef fund for victims of typhoon Haiyan and no one saw me do it (except my wife) and I'm not sure how to remedy this . . . I should have done it at work and "mistakenly" left the receipt page on the screen of the communal computer in the office, but now it's too late for that, so maybe I should I pretend to donate the money at school . . . but that's kind of cheesy, so maybe I'll just mention that I donated the money here on the blog (but, of course, there's no proof that I actually donated the money, aside from my word, which isn't worth very much).



6 comments:

zman said...

The Sextons clearly ripped me off -- I said this about 4 years ago as a justification for application of the entire market value rule for damages stemming from Toyota's infringing hybrid transmission.

rob said...

this is an extremely well executed look at me humblebrag.

zman said...

It would be better if he donated $19 more.

Dave said...

i invented the humblebrag.

John Lecky said...

This is so low. Hopefully there's another tragedy in the future that you can use to your benefit. The upcoming holidays are a great time to humblebrag. BTW Socrates invented the humblebrag

Dave said...

true on all accounts. my humblebragging will rise to meet all tragedies.

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