We all know what it is like to sit in traffic, but ever wondering how much money is wasted through lost time? An article from The Economist gives a good picture. Some research conducted by the Centre for Economics and Business Research and INRIX looked at costs of traffic jams in three ways – 1) reduced productivity, 2) higher transport costs and 3) carbon costs of fumes. Their cost estimates across four countries comes to some $200 billion. Quite a sum I think you will agree. I wonder how much of this cost relates to lost labour time – or in other words what is the opportunity cost to firms of having staff delayed in traffic. Of course, you could think of this from the view of the worker too – the opportunity cost might be at least some extra time in bed instead of the morning rush hour.
You have probably heard of Gangnam Style, – if not click here. Anyway, it broke Youtube’s counter in December and now has over 2.1 billion views. The video runs at just over 4 mins, which is 140 million man hours. Some writers at the Economist took a nice angle on Gangnam Style – the opportunity cost of us all watching it. You can read their post here, but can you believe we could have built 20 Empire State buildings, built 3 aircraft carriers or written the entire contents of wikipedia 1.5 times. It’s certainly an interesting take on the time we could have used to do better things.