American Empire: Do We Still Live in a Uni-Polar World?

Is America's back-seat role in Libya evidence that the age of its uni-polar power structure is over? And if so, what comes next?

Why All the Stars on a U.S. Flag?

Ever wondered about the origins of the American flag? Why all the stars? A new paper (gated) by Eran Shalev offers some interesting insights.

The Difference Between Americans and Humans?

The academic psychologist Joseph Henrich brought the Ultimatum game to the Amazon jungle, and found that the Maschiguenga people of southeastern Peru make decisions like economists.

Should the U.S. Really Try to Host Another World Cup?

The economic impact of hosting major sporting events.

And the New Six-Word Motto for the U.S. Is …

Last week, we asked for your vote to decide the best of the top five entries to our “6-word motto for the U.S.” contest. As promised, we tallied the votes received in the first 48 hours after posting. There was a clear winner: Our Worst Critics Prefer to Stay (194 votes) Here are the runners-up: […]

Vote Now: A Six-Word Motto for the U.S.

We ran a contest recently asking you to come up with a new six-word motto for the U.S. Your response was quite strong, with more than 1,200 replies to date. Anyone looking for a good snapshot of public sentiment during this most interesting election year would do well to scroll through the comments: they are […]

Hatred and Profits: Getting Under the Hood of the Ku Klux Klan

That is the title of my latest academic working paper, written with Roland Fryer. It details the rise and fall of the Klan in the 1920s. Incredibly, the Klan had millions of members at that time, and most of them were reasonably well-educated. Based on a variety of data sources, we argue that, despite its […]

Guns in America

The U.S. reportedly has the highest concentration of private gun ownership in the world. It is estimated that Americans buy more than half of all the guns that are manufactured worldwide each year. We wrote a good bit about guns in Freakonomics — primarily about the lack of efficacy of gun-control laws and gun buybacks […]