I’m Not Cheap Enough for a Six-Hour Laundry Session

One of the most profound ideas in economics is household production: the idea that people can choose how to do things by combining their time and their purchases — and then utilize substitution depending on the prices of each. There is more than one way to take a vacation: it can be short and expensive […]

New Yorkers Can Really Win Something at the Fair This Summer

I used to love going to the fair as a kid. In the boondocks of upstate New York, the fair was a wonderful big mess of commerce, risk, and excitement. The rides were okay, but it was the games that got your blood going: a chance to win a big beer goblet (even though we […]

Your Road Is Ready, Sir

There aren’t many goods and services in this country that you can’t significantly upgrade if you have the money. You don’t like your municipal golf course? Join a private country club. Don’t like sending your kids to the public school? Pay for private school. Don’t like flying coach? Fly first class or, if that’s not […]

Money Can’t Buy Time

The average human being will be substantially richer in 50 years, just as the average American today has a real income three times what it was in 1955. But the average human being will not have much more time in 50 years than today; and life expectancy has increased by only 10 percent in the […]

A Criminal History of the U.S. Dollar: A Q&A on A Nation of Counterfeiters

The dollar has taken serious hits recently, not only continuing to fall against the euro but being caught even by the Canadian loonie. From the long view, however, the dollar’s current woes are simply another step in the long and tumultuous history of paper currency in the U.S. Stephen Mihm, a professor of history at […]

Jim Cramer Will Take Your Questions Now

"Mad Money" host Jim Cramer will submit to a reader Q&A, so bring your questions.

The FREAKest Links: Profits in Drug Dealing and Losses in Violence Edition

This week’s New York Magazine breaks down how money is made by all kinds of New York City individuals and businesses from a yellow-cab driver to sex shops to financial firms. Levitt gets a hat tip in the “Drug Dealer” write-up. A CDC study finds that violence costs the U.S. more than $70 billion per […]

Freakonomics in the Times Magazine: Laid-Back Labor

In their May 6, 2007, column for the New York Times Magazine, Dubner and Levitt wonder: Why do Americans spend so much time and money performing menial tasks when they don't have to? What's with all the knitting, gardening, and - as the Census Bureau dubs it - "cooking for fun"? Why do we fill our hours with leisure activities that look an awful lot like work? Click here to read the article and here to comment. This blog post supplies additional research material.

Freakonomics in the Times Magazine: Monkey Business

Dubner and Levitt are writing a new monthly column in the New York Times Magazine. The column, like their book, is called "Freakonomics." The first installment, "Monkey Business," concerns a young Yale economist who is teaching capuchin monkeys to use money. Read this post for bonus matter.