According to a recent paper published in the Michigan Journal of Behavioral Economics, the presence of a Stucchi’s and a Ben and Jerry’s right next to each other on State Street is the strongest argument yet against rational decision making.
“In the social sciences, we usually assume people are perfectly rational beings with ordered preferences,” said Dr. Derek Jones, the lead author of the paper. “But the coexistence of two similar ice cream stores on the same block flies in the face of that assumption.”
“The only conclusion my colleagues and I can reach,” Jones continued, “is that human beings are fundamentally irrational creatures, perhaps even more so than the higher mammals. The one thing that separated us from animals, and poof! Gone.”
“What a waste of two and a half millennia,” said Dr. Jane Driscoll, a co-author. “Perhaps if Plato had seen two baklava stands in such a configuration we all would have figured it out sooner.”
Shirley Nader, an economics professor, said, “If the citizens of Ann Arbor were true rational agents in a perfectly competitive market, one of these ice cream stores would not exist. But despite the lack of differentiation between two products, both firms remain in the market.”
Based on the predictive models detailed in their first paper, Jones and his colleagues announced that they are working on a follow-up paper concerning the possibility that the M Den will expand into a third storefront.