By Eduardo Porter.
Just setting the printer default to “draft” quality would save consumers hundreds of dollars a year. Yet few consumers do. Though many companies still sell cheaper ink refills, refills account for only 10 to 15 percent of the market. That means that 90 percent of printing is still done using ink that, according to the PC World analysis, costs $4,731 per gallon. You might as well fill your ink cartridges with 1985 vintage Krug champagne.
Wine without a price tag doesn’t have this effect. In 2008, American food and wine critics teamed up with a statistician from Yale and a couple of Swedish economists to study the results of thousands of blind tastings of wines ranging from $1.65 to $150 a bottle. They found that when they can’t see the price tag, people prefer cheaper wine to pricier bottles. Experts’ tastes did move in the proper direction. they favored finer, more expensive wines. But the bias was almost imperceptible. A wine that cost ten times more than another was ranked by experts only seven points higher on a scale of one to one hundred.