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June 05, 2006

The World Cup and Lost Productivity

This is a little odd.

Based on an average hourly wage of £12.50, the law firm Brabners Chaffe Street calculated that during the tournament, if half of British workers surf the net for an hour a day, it will cost Britain nearly £4 billion in lost time.

Such surfing habits would, I am certain, increase Britain’s productivity dramatically. Anyone who even glances at their site stats will know that people (almost) only surf the net from their offices. Traffic picks up dramatically about 10 am on a Monday and dies again at 5 pm, with the weekends being the slowest time of all.

So, welcome the World Cup for the increase in GDP that will inevitably follow!

June 5, 2006 in Web/Tech | Permalink


Rest assured, my surfing habits will remain unchanged for the duration of the world cup.


Posted by: The Remittance Man | Jun 5, 2006 9:42:16 AM

Can we npt work out the 'cost' of this site to the nation? If we assume you have 200 british readers, who spend 5 mins a day reading it, that's £200 pounds a day! Or £72,000 a year! More than an MP!

Makes me proud my own little site, with its handful of readers, only costs the nation about £500 a year.

Tim adds: Bugger, that’s a hell of a deadweight cost, isn’t it. I actually earn about 5 pounds a day from it. 195 pounds a day simply disapearing into the aether.

Then again, using the theory of revealed preferences, obviously people value the site at more than 12 pounds an hour.

Or maybe I only attract salaried employees?

Posted by: Matthew | Jun 5, 2006 10:47:15 AM

That's very close to the 3% that the innovator makes, with society getting the other 97%.

Posted by: AntiCitizenOne | Jun 5, 2006 11:20:30 AM

Well as we must assume your readers aren't getting sacked, despite spending time out to read this, they must have been being underpaid relative to their productivity. So really you're letting them capture some of that surplus.

Posted by: Matthew | Jun 5, 2006 11:55:12 AM

Well, that's how I view it, Matt.

Depending on the exchange rate I'm seriously underpaid for what I believe I'm worth.

Still, the beer's cheap, so are the smokes and the weather, even in mid-winter ain't too bad, so I guess I shouldn't complain.


Posted by: The Remittance Man | Jun 5, 2006 7:25:16 PM

Tuesday's Financial Times carries the truly horrifying news that there are moves afoot to stage the World Cup every two years, instead of every four, as with present arrangements.

I'm suddenly overwhelmed by a great sense of nostalgia for those times in medieval England:

"Cause public proclamation to be made," declared an Act of 1369, "that everyone of said City of London strong in body, at leisure times and on holydays, use in their recreation bows and arrows." Popular amusements such as handball and football were banned on pain of imprisonment.
[See entry for "Archery" in Weinreb and Hibbert (eds): The London Encyclopaedia (1993)]

Those were the days. The fascinating insight is that there was evidently no concern on the part of the political establishment in those times about the prospect of apparently unlimited numbers of trained and practised archers wandering around London equipped with longbows, a deadly weapon used with great effect to win three famous battles in the Hundred Years War with France. Compare that with present (very proper) public concerns about the emergence of a knife culture among youth today.

Posted by: Bob B | Jun 5, 2006 8:11:26 PM


What a splendid idea it would be to reinforce the 1369 act. Archery requires and teaches skill and discipline, which is good. Not to mention the fact that a 'grey goose flock' or two dropped on Parliament Square in protest might dissuade a few politicians from bunging up the tax every budget day. Hmm.



Posted by: parkingattendant | Jun 6, 2006 7:38:35 AM