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Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Market for Body Odor

I read this comic strip the other day. I found it to be humorous, and could relate to the experience. Walking out of Subway today, I noticed the polite man holding the door for me smelled like tacos. Interesting, you might say, considering Subway doesn't sell tacos.

Then it hit me... that taco smell was plain, ol' funky body odor. The classic BO.

Which got me to thinking, maybe deodorant is an under-provided good. You know, there's a positive externality in using the stuff, everyone benefits from your refreshing floral smell. Don't get me started on the enormous cultural differences that make it difficult to sit next to an international student in the movie theater...

Maybe the government should subsidize its production, tax "polluters" and make them pay to stink, or just sign it into law as mandatory to wear. Heck, this is one situation I could stand for a little statism!

Maybe similar effects exist for halitosis. Who knows?

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