Archives for David Laibson



100 Ways to Fight Obesity: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

Our latest Freakonomics Radio podcast is called “100 Ways to Fight Obesity.” (You can subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript; it includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.)

Steve Levitt runs a  consulting firm called The Greatest Good. It is occasionally hired by a philanthropist or foundation to look into societal problems. That’s what happened recently, when the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked The Greatest Good to put together a brainstorming session on childhood obesity. Stephen Dubner moderated the event. In this podcast, you get to be a fly on the wall as a dozen participants explore the biological, behavioral, political and economic angles of obesity. Read More »



What Do an Underfunded 401(k) and a Dialysis Patient Have in Common?

Both of them would be better off if the default option were switched to opt-out as opposed to opt-in. This is hardly surprising but, sadly, it is still news. Let me explain. One of the reasons that some people don’t contribute to their 401(k) plans is because they usually have to “opt in” to the […] Read More »



Who Gets Better With Age?

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal asserts that, while various life skills seem to deteriorate as people get older, our skill at making personal-finance decisions doesn’t peak until the ripe age of 53. “Baseball players are said to peak in their late 20′s,” writes David Wessel. “Chess players in their mid-30′s. Theoretical economists in […] Read More »