A 50-year-old law professor told me yesterday that between college and law school he worked as a carpenter. I said it was great to hear that, as it must make him more productive at home. He said no, he never does carpentry work around his house now for two reasons:
- Skill depreciation: he isn’t as good at carpentry as he was when he was doing it full time.
- His requirement for quality work is such that he wouldn’t use himself as a carpenter—the income elasticity of demand for quality is positive, and his income is much higher now than after college.
He didn’t mention a third reason, which I think is important, namely that the opportunity cost of his time is too high to make carpentry a good way to spend time. (HT: TB)