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Tyler Cowen

The Little Things Matter: A Microeconomic Travel Guide

Hotel ratings are easy to find. But how are the sidewalks?

Watch out for that pothole.

Watch out for that pothole.

Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

I sometimes wish the market supplied “travel guides as if microeconomics really mattered.” Most guides outline the major sights and the best hotels, but what about the little things that make up so much of the value of a trip? Here’s my handy introduction to the micro side of travel, based on my recent 10-day stay in Ethiopia. You should consider investigating these same factors before choosing a destination:

How are the sidewalks?