June 19, 2007

Economic Analysis of Toilet Seats: Up or Down?

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 7:44 pm

From The Social Norm of Leaving the Toilet Seat Down: A Game Theoretic Analysis by Hammad Siddiqi:

If a female finds the toilet seat in a wrong position then she will most probably yell at the male involved. This yelling inflicts a cost on the male. Based on this omission, women may argue that the analysis in [prior] papers is suspect.

In this paper, we internalize the cost of yelling and model the conflict as a non-cooperative game between two species, males and females.We find that the social norm of leaving the toilet seat down is inefficient. However, to our dismay, we also find that the social norm of always leaving the toilet seat down after use is not only a Nash equilibrium in pure strategies but is also trembling-hand perfect. So, we can complain all we like, but this norm is not likely to go away.

Bummer.

(h/t Andrew Sullivan)

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