Thursday, April 12, 2007

Rosin's expensive, man!

Dave Munger took a different take on the Bell-busker incident, looking at the social phenomenon of paying buskers. He polled his readers on how often they would give at least $1 to a talented street performer. His results show a fairly generous public, even after factoring for a self-selecting population:
I think you can make a good case that these people are so ambivalent about street performers that they probably fall in the "never give money" camp. If you add these responses into the data and recalculate, Bell's theoretical earnings from 1079 passersby drops to $104.28, or an hourly rate of $138.70 -- not bad, but Bell may want to switch to domestic caviar, and he'll almost certainly have to pawn his $3.5 million Stradivarius.

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