Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Underappreciated benefits of economic growth - back to the bog

What's economic growth ever done for me? Consider this Twitter thread from last night.
I was sceptical. Who would wax toilet paper? Why? Wax paper at the store is more expensive than regular paper, and waxing sure wouldn't make it more effective. But a lot of others chimed in confirming things. And I don't think it was a standard Kiwi wind-up either.

 And Google Books found me this. Looks like it's a UK import.

So, better paper existed. But it wasn't purchased for use at public facilities because the UK, and NZ, were a lot poorer than they are now. Somehow, waxed paper was cheaper even if almost useless, and it was purchased because of the cost.

These kinds of quality improvements don't make it into the productivity statistics but they matter.

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