We talked to Tyler Cowen this week about LeBron James and the the idea of utility — the word economists use to describe how much enjoyment or benefit people experience.
We wanted to know where LeBron should have gone to maximize utility for fans. Cowen is an economist and blogger, and he recently posted on who a utilitarian should root for in the World Cup.
Our interview with Cowen is part of today's podcast, which we'll post later this afternoon. In the meantime, here are a few of Cowen's comments:
LeBron, for added utility, should have gone to the New York Knicks. Because that's a big city with a terrible team, and they would have enjoyed him quite a bit. Number two choice would be Chicago. It's a big city. It's not a terrible team, it's a good team. He would have made it much better, maybe won a championship.
But to send him to Miami is almost the place that brings the least additional utility to the United States, as far as I can see. ...
They were already enjoying Dwayne Wade. Now they have three stars, and they’re not going to get three times the pleasure.
...who were the two players who handled the ball most lsat year? Numbers one and two were LeBron James and Dwayne Wade. So you don’t play the game with two balls. ... You would actually have more total social happiness if they played in two cities.