Tip here!

image of an apple with an orange insideAs a Brit’ tipping has always felt awkward. Not sure I should tip, how much, and so forth. Since I didn’t grow up in the US, I never had a “tipping role model” and although I think I do OK tipping now, most times I’m just uncomfortable with it. Well, it seems I’m not alone.

The esteemed Steven Levitt it turns out feels the same. In this episode of the Freakanomics podcast they are joined by Cornell professor Michael Lynn, who has written 51 academic papers on tipping. They look at the science, data and social norms’ of tipping, who tips best, worst, and who gets tipped best and how to get better tips.

Most interesting is that they raise the question, should be tipping be made illegal because it is [unintentionally] discriminatory. Should Tipping Be Banned?

Author: Mark Cathcart

Formerly an Executive Director of Systems Engineering and a Senior Distinguished Engineer at Dell. Prior to that, an IBM Distinguished Engineer working for the Systems Group in NY and Austin. I'm currently "retired until further notice".

2 thoughts on “Tip here!”

    1. Here in the US, tipping is used as a justification to NOT pay at least minimum wage, certainly to wait staff. That being the case, and that actual studies show that black and ethnic wait staff are tipped less, irrespective of quality of service, then it is ipso facto, discriminatory. Can’t imagine it actually being outlawed though. Thanks for the comment.

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