If Your Income Goes Up, Will You Watch TV in the Bathroom?
In the long run, the increasing opportunity cost of people’s time, as wages rise, is one of the most important driving forces in economic behavior.
Much of our racing around is due to adjustments to the increasing relative scarcity of time compared to income, as are efforts to introduce time-saving technology.
A neat example of such an innovation is the combined urinal and television in the luxury hotel where I’m participating in a conference.
As the photos show, men can now perform a simple bodily function while catching up on the latest news, and women can now apply makeup while watching news or features.
I don’t expect to see this expensive innovation everywhere; but for the higher-wage people who frequent this hotel, it’s sensible for the hotel’s owners to make this investment. As incomes rise, are these screens the wave of the future?