Monday, September 15, 2008

The Economics of Bukber

One of the things that come with ramadhan is the bukber (buka puasa bersama) invitation.

From the casual meal with office friends to gatherings of highschool/uni/sport club, from circle of family to high power meeting (and yes, romantically inclined randezvous) can come under the label of bukber.

So what's with the rush of eating together?

Two economics concepts thought up by two Nobel Prize winner are involved: transaction cost and focal point.

Assuming eat together is preferable than alone (not too restrictive and realistic assumption), then people would not dine together if the cost and coordination is manageble.

People eat all the time but to coordinate time and dine together is rather complicated. In big & busy city with tight schedule it is very difficult to have many people together in the same time.

But during Ramadhan all of people that fast will eat at the same time, so the around sunset time is a focal point of time to meet. Coordination effort (transaction cost) can be focused on finding a place and getting people to come.

There are also demonstration effect, where the more people you know come the more you want to come.

After all, having decent meal
with great companions is indeed a step closer to heaven on earth.

Have a great bukber!


Anonymous said...

"bukber" or "bubar" (buka bareng) ?

Berly said...

I like the term "bukber" (buka puasa bersama)... but any other acronym would work as well.

As Shakespeare might say, "bukber" by any other name would be as blessed (or utility enhancement in economic lingo) :-D

fajar said...

salam kenal