If the United States were to adopt the metric system of units, as commonly used in all other advanced industrial economies, there would clearly be switching costs for the economy as a whole, and there would likely be cost savings due to greater standardisation with other economies. Over a 20-year timeframe, what would the net cost savings likely be?
I am not asking the questions of whether the USA should adopt the metric system, or is likely to do so even if it's a good idea. I'm interested in the net cost.
I'm open to other timeframes than 20 years. If someone has done a study with a 5-year or 30-year horizon, that is also interesting. I picked 20 years to allow for several years of switching costs, and then a good long time for benefits to become apparent.
Clearly it's possible that the benefits might never outweigh the costs. In that case the "net cost savings" would be negative.
I imagine studies have been done on this. Canada is a similar economy and culture, which went metric (mostly and officially) during the 1980s, so that might be a good comparison.