24.7 Eclipsed by the Solar Eclipse

Worth. Now there’s a loaded term, much like the notion of quality as I discussed in some recent posts, here, and here. And the reason? It’s substantially a subjective, qualitative notion, not an objective, hard concept. Worth, unlike productivity, can’t be measured easily. It’s difficult to assign dollar values to the price of it, maybe even the costs. You can offer a supercar Lamborghini to an exclusive market for $2 Million (USD!) and someone will buy it. The manufacturer can probably give you a pretty firm figure of the cost of producing and selling that supercar. But was it worth it? That’s what makes the ‘dreary science’ fascinating: economics is about human behaviour in the material world. Of course, many people who experienced the eclipse with enthusiasm and satisfaction would definitely claim it was ‘worth it’. But the price, or the cost, of this experience can’t be measured. The cost of lost productivity from the distraction of the eclipse may be calculable, but are we missing something here?

Published on 07 Jun 2024