First come, last served

In Limbo

8 Sep 2015

Having originated from the UK we at the limbic are naturally interested in the art of queuing.  So a proposal by Danish researchers to speed up queues by serving the last person first piqued our interest.

According to the researchers the main issue with the “curse” of the first in first out queue system is it incentivises people to arrive early, which results in people waiting for the longest period of time.

When this incentive is removed—under a “last-come, first-serve” system—the queues are more efficient, say the authors of the study which is published in Discussion Papers on Business and Economics.

It forces people to change their behaviours and arrive at the queues at a slower rate. When people who arrive last are served first, there is less of a bottleneck and thus less congestion in queues.



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