Economics of Toilet Seat Etiquette

Important stuff in new paper. Good to see ace economists aren’t being distracted by all this “economic malaise” and “unemployment” stuff.

UP OR DOWN? A MALE ECONOMIST’S MANIFESTO ON THE TOILET SEAT ETIQUETTE

JAY P. CHOI,†

This paper develops an economic analysis of the toilet seat etiquette. I investigate whether there is any efficiency justification for the presumption that men should leave the toilet seat down after use. I find that the “down rule” is inefficient unless there is a large asymmetry in the inconvenience costs of shifting the position of the toilet seat across genders. I show that the “selfish” or the “status quo” rule that leaves the toilet seat in the position used dominates the down rule in a wide range of parameter spaces including the case where the inconvenience costs are the same.