December 15, 2004

Gratuitous Gluttony Posting

Let us now praise famous fruits and nuts, specifically, the pistachio.

Oooh, they're guuud. I don't have a particularly addictive personality, but from time to time I do tend to binge on things that I enjoy. To me, there is no such thing as "too many pistachios," so when the Missus brings home a bag of them I tend to cut up rough.

Not only are pistachios delicious, there is something very pleasant in the act of eating them. I like to fill a bowl and dig in, returning the empty shells to the same bowl. After a while, the uneaten nuts start to get buried under the empties and require some digging. As this process goes on, it takes more and more effort to find the next uneaten nut. But there's always a next nut, somewhere, no matter how long I go raking through the bowl. As they become more sparse and more effort is required to find them, the discovery of each additional nut becomes more and more pleasurable. Call me a loony, but it's true. (As a matter of fact, although I don't pretend to know much about the "dismal science," I believe this is a pretty good model of the theory of marginal value.)

Alas, I am now suffering the after-effects of a pistachio rampage. My tummy still feels full above the Plimsoll mark. My fingernail is cut to the quick from prying open shells. But mayun is it worth it.

Posted by Robert at December 15, 2004 09:11 AM

Well, marginal cost, but yes, we know what you mean :-)
For what you are describing is something called a Giffen Good, something we’re not really sure exists.
As the nuts get harder to find, you enjoy them even more, correct? so as their price (in time) goes up, so does your demand.
As you know, normally a rise in price means a lowering of demand.
Thus the name for the opposite, an item whose demand rises when the price rises.
Actually, write that up as a formal paper and it would probably be good for a PhD. Actual verifiable evidence of a Giffen Good.
Would make you as qualified as Steve, who must have one as he teaches at a college.

Posted by: Tim Worstall at December 15, 2004 09:23 AM

I don't know if I could churn out an econ paper, since I'm just a fuzzy-headed English major, but I'd be happy to volunteer as a test subject.

Posted by: Robert the LB at December 15, 2004 09:33 AM

You're a loony. (You asked for it).

My personal snack OCD is to dig for the unbroken Chex pieces in the seasonal Chex Party Mix.

Posted by: JohnL at December 15, 2004 11:55 AM
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