Note: Running is expensive because the wages he must forgo for each hour running is exceptionally high... i.e., he has a high opportunity cost.
His article at the Freakonomics blog is a summary of an interview in which he says this:
It's only because I'm both slow and an economist that I fret that the world's cheapest sport is actually incredibly expensive.
He goes on to say:
By sticking to economics, I make time for running. [...] When a friend asks me to help them move, I write them a check to pay professional movers instead. It's just more efficient.
He's right. It is more efficient to let muscular mover men do the moving for your friend, rather than volunteering to help out. Certainly, the job gets done more quickly, but I have to wonder how Mr. Wolfers' friends respond when he writes them a check.
That leads me to the poll question of the week:
If a friend asks you to help him move, how do you respond?
(a) Roll up your sleeves, and help him move some boxes.
(b) Make up an excuse for why you can't help.
(c) Cut your friend a check, so he can save both of your time.
(d) Stop being friends with your "friend" because he obviously doesn't understand economics.
(e) Explain the economics of comparative advantage, opportunity cost and gains from trade to your friend. Keep explaining why he should hire movers until he finally breaks down and hires movers himself.
The poll is open for a week. I am eager to hear what you have to say. Vote on the sidebar (---->), and tell your friends and "friends" to vote. As always, if you have any thoughts on the issue, feel free to comment.
A question for speculation: A friend of mine recently asked for help moving. How do you think I responded?