I Love My Stuff, I’m Not Sure Why
The late comedian George Carlin made fun of our hoarding sensibilities in his famous discussion about our attachment to “stuff.”
Placing a higher value on something because you own it (the endowment effect) is simply a primordial survival instinct, reports The Economist. It’s an evolutionary adaptation that helped us when trade — and survival — were uncertain, but makes little sense in a modern free-market economy.
But irrational instincts make for great business. Self-storage companies are discovering a growing market in, as Carlin puts it, “a whole industry based on keeping an eye on your stuff.”
Making money off irrationality works in other industries as well.