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Second Story - Dietrich Riepen Econ Honors 1st Story...

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Unformatted text preview: Dietrich Riepen Econ Honors: 1st Story Professor Hamermesh The Economics of the Drive to Torchy’ s Tacos Staring into the empty refrigerator in my apartment near 22“" and Leon, I decide that Torchy’s Tacos, located at 28m and Guadalupe, is on the menu this evening. As I get into my car, I remind myself that time is a scarce resource that I must allocate efficiently to obtain the maximum output of homework tonight. Of course, the trip includes fixed costs such as time lost to slow or incompetent drivers and entering, starting, and exiting the car. The decisions begin, however, as several tradeoffs confront me as variable costs. What route is best? To take 22'Id east to Guadalupe and turning north toward 28th minimizes the distance travelled and fuel consumed, but it is least time- et‘ficient due to the high number of traffic lights and jaywalking pedestrians. I could also drive the side streets (22“ west —+ Leon we 26‘“ —+ Rio Grande Ma 2811‘ -—> Guadalupe) to save time and avoid stoplights and the risk of catching one of the daily traffic jams on Guadalupe. The first path provides a more fiieluefficient — and therefore cost~efficient m route, while the second consumes less time. I must weigh my priorities and choose either to limit greenhouse gas emissions and spending at the pump or to save time. I pick the latter. I conclude that the extra time I coold put towards doing homework tonight due to taking the faster route outweighs the monetary losses and environmental impacts. More simply, the opportunity cost of the more direct, yet slower route is too great in this case. IfI did not have so much homework to do, I might have taken this course. For making the trip from my apartment to Torchy’s, there is definitely a Production Possibilities Frontier (PPF). On one axis is the time required using the Guadalupe route and on the other, the time required for that of the side streets. The infinite amount of alternate paths that combine the two comprises the curve connecting the intercepts on the axes. This PPF could be improved (in this case drawn towards the origin) if every driver in the world took an efficient- driving course, making any route faster since one’s time would not be wasted by inefficient or incompetent drivers. After navigating the side streets to Guadalupe, i arrive at Torchy’s and order the special. On my way out, I stop at the door and see an advertisement: “Free Delivery for Students!” Frustrated, I drive home, lamenting the opportunity cost of the journey ~— the unnecessary time and effort that could have been allocated to homework. Nevertheless, I find solace in the fact that no market is perfect, For me, the market for efficient trips to Torchy’s was flawed because of imperfect information about delivery options. ...
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