I Got It On Sale!

Megan explores the psychological torment of passing up a good deal. She makes an economic point:

The market price is (sort of) an average of the item’s utility, not a measure of its utility to you .

The classical economist thinks in terms of utility – what an item or service is worth to you. But utility, worth, and value are slippery concepts. There’s a great deal of psychology involved. Getting a good deal – not being a patsy – is an ego affirming notion. I think it can sometimes be so powerful that it overwhelms other considerations. And the need for affirmation may have a stronger pull when things aren’t going well. If your life is otherwise a mess, you can still take pride in getting a good deal.

What curious creatures we are!


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