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June 04, 2004

Career Of Riley

Working from home today, or rather from Rock Hill, as we decided to drive down last night and avoid the Friday traffic on 40. It's gotten to the point, especially now that we've installed the Raritan Remote Client, the Avocent not being able to function in the UNC network environment for more than 8 hours at a stretch, that all I need to perform 95% of my job from anywhere in the world is an Internet connection.

Right now, for instance, I'm kickstarting a Linux Server--something that would have required my physical presence in the machine room less than...I don't know how long exactly. Say, less than five years ago, but more than two.

As far as the future goes, the time spent working from home will only increase. My boss is already at the point where he only comes in on days when he has a meeting, and it looks like traffic and gas prices will only get worse. It's not a long drive, but I figure I'm saving $2 in gas every day I spend typing from the guestroom as opposed to the office

One would think that higher gas prices would mean less traffic--Certainly the people in my office are driving less--but the number of cars on the highway doesn't seem to have been affected yet, and I can't find any studies that flat out state that more expensive gas equals less traffic. I wonder if wonder if gas prices would have to be historically high even after they've been adjusted for inflation to have such an effect. If I'm reading this graph right, the price would have to rise to near $4.20 a gallon before it reached such a level.

Posted by Bigwig at June 4, 2004 11:58 AM | TrackBack
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Comments

I recall reading something recently -- maybe on one of the economist's sites, like Angry Bear or Brad deLong -- that U.S. gasoline consumption historically has been pretty inelastic relative to price.

Posted by: Lex at June 4, 2004 12:10 PM

Daytime commute travel is something with highly inelastic demand, I think.

Expect weekend traffic to show more effect; people can decide not to go campin' on the weekend, but most of us can't just decide to not drive to work simply because gas prices went up.

Posted by: Sigivald at June 4, 2004 03:31 PM

So my MBA classes might do me some good. In my Economic Analysis class last session, we learned that the price elasticity of demand for oil was, indeed, rather inelastic in the short term. It's the long-term prospect of high prices that will lead people to curtail travel, sell their SUVs for more efficient vehicles, and lead to alternate fuel sources becoming more popular.

I got an A in that class. :)

Posted by: Kehaar at June 4, 2004 05:02 PM
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