At the end of a very long post last week on a different topic, I mentioned this gem of an academic study on Greek cab drivers. The study was done by a group of Austrian economics professors in mid-2010, so before the full extent of the recent eurozone crisis.
Turns out almost half of passengers are subject to at least 5% overtreatment (driving further than necessary) but explicit overcharging occurs in just 11% of the cases. Those who say “I am not familiar with the area” tend to get overcharged. Also those wearing a suit and tie.
Nothing surprising here from the point of view of anyone who travels regularly, but the rigor and vocabulary of the whole study makes it clear why we need economics professors to study and quantify things like this for us.
They also cite an older, but related study of credence goods which indicates that up to 1/2 of all car repairs may be overtreatment as well, although a portion of that may be attributable simply to mechanic incompetence.
I just think it’s great that these professors were able to combine their work with their vacations quite so neatly! Sort of like travel writers or food critics.
Or those of us in technology who have no choice but to regularly research the newest gadgets in order to stay up to date or “increase our productivity”.