Unmeasured inflation from higher tip demands?
Increasingly many point-of-sale terminals ask if you would like to tip – these days even occasionally at places like grocery stores. This (probably) has the effect of increasing the true average prices paid for a considerable fraction of consumer goods. If you buy that premise, then the addition of this feature to POS terminals has a (perhaps short-term or temporary, but perhaps significant) inflationary effect (no?). How interesting do you think it would be to see this quantified? From my perspective, it would be interesting if this seemingly-small UI feature measurably contributed non-negligibly to inflation. (I’m not an economist. I’d also be curious to know where one might start getting data, etc., to do this kind of analysis.)
That is from an email from Andrey Mishchenko.