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What Do Toilet Paper, Hand Soap and Environmental Economics Have In Common? The Stand-Up Economist Explains…

August 31st, 2011 · 1 Comment
Environmental Econ

Yoram Bauman, the stand-up economist, is in China doing some climate change economics-y stuff:

In case you’re curious, OECD stands for “Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,” and the OECD category on the graphs refers to countries that are members of the OECD, which happen to mostly be developed countries.

Is it bad that my first thought was that, by making people use their own toilet paper, China is encouraging more efficient toilet paper use? On the other hand, if washing one’s hands does in fact have positive externalities (I’m no epidemiologist, but I’m pretty sure this is the case), China could find it in its interest to provide or at least subsidize the hand soap. (Technically, wiping one’s butt properly must also have positive externalities, so I’m a little stymied on the issue.)

Is it worse that my second thought was “They have pink BMWs in China??? That’s not consuming like us, that’s consuming way better than us!” I’m guessing I might be alone on the second part of that statement.

You can find the earlier videos in the series here or on Paul Solman’s NewsHour blog.

Tags: Environmental Econ

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 John F. Opie // Aug 31, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    Jodi, I think you are alone on the pink BMW. It’s a special order color, especially on the Z-4 shown, and you’d never be able to get it on a lease, as the color would limit its resale value …. significantly.

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