In a Time of Ten Percent U3 Unemployment, This Is the Most Important Economics Paper Ever

Or not. By way of Paul Kedrosky, we come across this scintillating abstract:



This paper develops an economic analysis of the toilet seat etiquette. I investigate whether there is any efficiency justification for the presumption that men should leave the toilet seat down after use. I find that the "down rule" is inefficient unless there is a large asymmetry in the inconvenience costs of shifting the position of the toilet seat across genders. I show that the "selfish" or the "status quo" rule that leaves the toilet seat in the position used dominates the down rule in a wide range of parameter spaces including the case where the inconvenience costs are the same.

I can feel the unemployment rate dropping now....

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Listen to the voice of experience: the cost, to a male, of leaving a toilet seat up easily far exceeds the effort of lowering it.

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 24 Jan 2011 #permalink

I for one am quite glad that I've never dated someone who was incapable of looking at the goddamn toilet before they sat down, and therefore have never experienced the sitcom-style argument about the seat. In fact, the thing I never understood about this was the idea that if the seat is up, at least the guy lifted the seat before peeing. Everyone out there who complains about the seat being left up should be subjected to living with someone who leaves the seat down and pees standing up (which would incidentally cure anybody of the "not checking the seat" problem).

This may be a little TMI, but ever since I started doing the "if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down" thing to conserve water, I never leave the seat up any more. This due to the only disadvantage to my system - it gets a little smelly if you don't keep the lid shut.

TMI? Did I just time-warp back to 1999? I better go find my past self and tell him not to vote for Nader.

By Rob Monkey (not verified) on 24 Jan 2011 #permalink

it gets a little smelly if you don't keep the lid shut.

And do not forget the urine-feces-water plume that emanates from the bowl when you flush. For the life of me I could never figure out why people don't leave the lid down at ALL times when not in use, and especially during flushing. A good reason to keep the toothbrush in the cabinet.

By Onkel Bob (not verified) on 24 Jan 2011 #permalink

Onkel: Exactly! The issue is not whether to put the seat down or leave it up, the issue is why won't everyone, men and women, close the damned lid? There are reasons that they put lids on toilets, and not all of them are aesthetic.

Also, if you have pets, you learn to leave the seat and lid down at all times.