by Alex Tabarrok
on July 25, 2009 at 7:05 am
From Bob Nease at Consumerology.
Are spittoons out of favour in the US?
Sadly, the creator of this picture has misinterpreted ‘nudge’. *Both* the empty and the single pitted picture are nudges; one suggests that the use of the olive pit bowl is open-ended, while the other suggests that it’s for olive pits. The first picture is not ‘nudge-less’, it’s a particularly poor nudge!
Reminds me of the urinals with an embossed fly. Also, this is a nudge by precedent or suggestion, rather than nudge by default-option-requiring-explicit-opt-out, which is what I usually see described as a “nudge” in the wake of Thaler and Sunstein’s book.
I believe Curb Your Enthusiasm had a show about this. Larry David’s verdict was no pit or “garbage” plate. Because no one would eat at a restaurant with garbage plates on the table.
Actually, this picture is dead-on. Think of piano players or Starbucks employees, who work in part (or in whole) on tips. Each provide a place for people to put tips in. It takes longer for an empty tip jar to start getting tips than one that has already been seeded by the person wanting to get tips. The result is that seeded jars get more tip money than non-seeded tip jars.
Troy Camplin is right, of course. The olive pit business is hardly a major insight, since the people he mentions have known this for years, maybe centuries.
(I myself have, as a small joke, a beer mug with some dollars and change in it on top of my piano. Not to say that anyone would be motivated to tip for my playing, except perhaps o get me to stop.)
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