Video: The Endowment Effect & Urban Form

My first ever video blog. I am open to feedback!

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Thomas the Think Engine is the blog of a trained economist. It comes to you from Melbourne Australia.

10 thoughts on “Video: The Endowment Effect & Urban Form”

  1. Nice one! Some types of content will be more amenable to video than others. Definitely worth continuing with for certain blog topics.

    How did you attach your (phone/camera?) to your bike?


    1. Cheers. It was a sunny day so I figured better to be out riding than inside typing! I just held the camera in one hand… Not super safe I concede.


  2. NIce video, should do more. Clifton Hill might not be going through a housing boom, but the CBD certainly seems to be with all the apartments going up. The Age has run pretty hard on how heaps of high density developments are supposedly making the city unlivable whilst also sometimes showing concern that housing in Australia is becoming more and more unaffordable. Somehow few inner city types (me included) think the two are ever related.

    Also, you’re pretty damn good looking for an economics writer. Just sayin’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. best comment ever! Thanks a lot!

      I have also noticed the age getting a wee bit hypocritical on that point. And the only reason the CBD is being super-densely developed is that in the inner suburbs it’s so hard to get planning approval!


  3. I thought the endowment effect was about the additional utility of ownership rather than unrealised demand. Different things? Like the video format.


    1. you’re right, it is. I guess you could use either explanation for a pub.
      My point is a bit different – even residents who don’t use the pub see it as a terrific heritage feature of the neighbourhood. But they’d oppose it vociferously if it was new.
      There was even a campaign to oppose a public toilet on a busy street near here!


      1. Thomas, I thought for a moment that you had already said, in your reply to Silvo Jr., what I was going to say, viz. “Even residents who don’t use the pub see it as a terrific heritage feature of the neighbourhood. But they’d oppose it vociferously if it was new.”

        However, I’m not sure if you mean those words in the same way I would have meant them!

        My point was going to be that a NEW establishment of the kind you described would almost certainly not have the charm, the quaintness, the history and the metaphorical “patina” of oldness, that the existing pub has.

        I know it’s not exactly a thatched, Tudor period public house in an ancient English village, but it still has the kind of burnished cool that appeals to the Baby Boomer and younger who is educated or artistic, or, especially, a hipster (what you appear to be now that we can see you!)

        (I expect that bands play there, but even if they don’t, it looks like they should.)

        There’s something that’s technically a bit like it (or more precisely, like what you described early in your vlog) near where I live, but it’s an awful looking thing built in the 21st century, with absolutely no sense of friendly welcome to it at all. In fact it looks downright sinister. And THAT is what the hypothetical new development would appear in the mind’s eyes of your suburb’s denizens, should it be proposed. And they would probably be right to oppose it.

        In short, there’s a big difference between being “NEW, BUT THE SAME”, and being “NEW AND COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.”


      2. I guess I totally disagree on the uniqueness of the merits of that architectural form.

        It’s old, sure, and the construction techniques would be very different if they built it today. But worse? Is that “patina” you describe really relevant to all the activities that the pub represents? (pool, footy on the tv, a pretty fancy restaurant, counter meals, etc. (no bands tho)).

        I can think of new pubs that aren’t bad, like that Little Creatures pub on Brunswick St, or the rebuilt section of the Terminus in North Fitzroy, or ferdydurke in the city. Those are all on main roads, but my point is you never even get a chance to build a great new drinking house in a suburban street, cause it’d be opposed so strongly!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I guess it is just a matter of taste then! Although I wouldn’t put my liking of “that kind of Melbourne pub” down to an appreciation of the actual architecture in a pure artistic sense (although it’s not bad actually!) but it’s all about what its look represents – something old, cozy and “worn-in” looking, with a tradition, something that suits the street.

        A new pub, imagined in the mind of someone wondering whether he should oppose its existence, is probably not going to have that. It will be some kind of flashy thing with funny angles which won’t suit an older, established neighbourhood.

        So I still feel (not strongly – just… perhaps) that people might oppose one, yes, “because it was new”, but not because of the “newness” in itself, but rather because they’re pretty sure they won’t like they way a new one looks or fits into the environment. In other words, I’m mildly disputing that this particular example would be because of the endowment effect.

        If I lived in a neighbourhood like yours, and there was no pub, and I could be sure that the new proposed pub was going to look pretty much as though it had been there for 50 years, I’d probably vote for it – endowment effect be damned!


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