Help Wanted: Junior Freakonomist/Editor/Producer

This blog has just turned two years old. We wouldn’t be writing if you weren’t reading, so thanks for reading.

We are thinking about beefing up the blog with more content and features. So we need some hired help — an editor/producer, probably full-time or close to it, ideally located in NYC. This person should have good ideas, excellent copy-editing skills, an entrepreneurial streak, and a good grasp of online practices, idioms, and technologies. If that describes you or someone you know, please write to: levittdubner (at) freakonomics (dot) com.

On a separate note, if you have thoughts for the future direction of this blog, we’d love to hear about them, either by e-mail or in the comments section below.



Would like fewer Dubner-style posts on social commentary, more Levitt-style posts on data-driven findings.

There are tons of blogs out there with social commentary. Dubner's posts are very well done and enjoyable, but not unique.

It is Levitt's research approach that makes this blog unique.

If you want to change the world, and who doesn't, hire someone with a taste for elegant datasets and a knack for conveying the big picture.

Chris Masse

#1. Thanks for asking people's opinions.

#2. Don't pay any attention to what people want you to blog about. You guys should blog whatever crosses your mind.

#3. Hiring someone is a bit tricky. The fact that that person can write does not mean that he/she has charisma.

#4. An other idea would be to register a bunch of Freakonomics-compatible economists as "post authors" in your Word Press system. (You can have them be free to publish, or act as editor and give them the green light for publication after review.) Many people, including economists already blogging elsewhere, would be happy to blog even only once a quarter at a popular blog. Look at my group blog,, and click on "authors". Or look at the group blog

#5. I wonder whether Freakonomics would like to be more proactive with prediction markets, instead of just reporting the odds and/or the accuracy. For ideas, go to and search for "The Economist should set up The Open Institute of Prediction Markets".

Anyway, good luck to Freakonomics. Contact me by e-mail for more information, if I have not been clear enough.



duh- hire pilotless drone guy


As an economics student, I appreciate the data-driven analysis but also the behavioral analysis. I love to hear about other contemporary economists, books, sites, subjects (ex. regressive analysis) and careers in the field. But really, just keep up the quality work.


Guys, your own work says: look at your feedback and see what that tells you. When you solicit requests, you may get some good ideas but the best will come from the less staged and thus more completely real data of your comments and emails.


To the digital paper maelstroms of Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner,

Should you be willing to consider a candidate from outside of the United States, and only a short bus ride from NYC (Toronto, CA) I would like to submit the following package for your consideration:

In my 25 years on the planet, I have run a high school youth environmental group, a private bar tending business, worked as a EA for a real estate company, as a waiter, a designer and a pin-up girl photographer. Currently I am perusing a degree in Marketing and Adverting which will begin December 2007 with any luck.

The road has not all be roses though. An out break of SARS damaging the waiting industry here in Canada, a low ROI on an arts degree from York University, and a short stint being bankrupt widened my net and understanding even farther. You learn a lot from failing, a whole lot.

Blogging for a friends Toronto based podcast show at The ClosetGeekShow(dot)com, my posts generated renewed community interest and brought in over 1000 new listeners in the month of February alone. Though this pales in comparison to your reader base I hope it demonstrates in some small measure the value ad I could bring to your blog.

My net is cast far and wide in looking for the net cognitive leap, from TED and Stanford online, to Michel E. Porter and Harvard Business press, to copy writing blogs and conversations with some of the greatest minds in marketing. I want to understand and share.

After all understanding and seeing connections makes a person great at cocktail parties, which along with spiritual enlightenment is one of humanities highest pursuits.

What follows are a few topics for your consideration, should you feel that I may be what your looking for. Please feel free to select a few of the headings and I will draft blog posts to aid in your decision making process along with a submitted resume.

Please feel free to contact me at:

Possible Articles for your consideration.

The Kid can play:

A comparative analysis between Stanford's “Getting Ahead in School: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed-Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students” and “The Kids are Alright: How the Gamer Generation is Changing the Workplace” . With focus the relationship of good grades and high scores as an incentive for youth to ‘play the game'.

The High Cost of Free:

Thoughts on Seth Godin's “All Marketers Are Liars” and Adage Magazines article “Caught in the Cross Fire: You're Brand” On media saturation and reward.

The High Cost of Free II:

EMI goes DRM free on ITUNES: “The songs will cost 130 percent of the price of the existing crippled songs, and you'll get to choose.” (via BoingBoing). With notes on why this debate matters as a price metric for the open source community, with figures and facts from Wired Magazine Chris Anderson book the long tail.

Thinking Less Square:

The mall is by no means dead, yet a disconnect exists between our rapidly changing world view and the longevity of real estate. How could one be affecting our access to the other? With more then 50 new open air life style shopping centers currently being planed in America how will our current urban retail taste shape the future of our shopping relationship and environmentalism?

The Forced Benefit:

Reward is quintessential behavior modifier. If you could reduce a cost by 75% and extend longevity of a necessity would you do it? What if the savings where higher the typical interest rates?

All this is true for Compact Fluorescent Lights, yet adoption is struggling. Australia has now placed a ban on traditional light bulbs banning their purchase or use by 2010, a great case in Cost Savings vs. Habit.



I love reading this blog everyday. Please don't change it too much!


if you decide to change blog than have set days EX: mon wed fri one person tues sat another and thursday sun the other , other wise you end up with too much going on ....


More contests that Canadians can win.


how about prizes paid out to Canadians that do win .........


If a post describes an interesting numeric result, could the numbers be put into graphic format?

It would be neat if Freakonomics developed a signature graphic style for each common type of statistical finding.

If done right, an archive of graphic representations of Freakonomics data would also be a very good teaching tool.


Hey guys,

I love your blog as is. As an online presence, you give it an engaging, pleasant personality. More than that, I often ponder the ideas I read here, even to the point of pursuing the papers and other references you link to.

If I were in your shoes, though, looking for something new to do on the site that would certainly generate positive interest, and that might lead to new research and publishing ideas, I would keep it simple. Something modest; something easy for your readers to grasp and get excited about...

Like, hmmmmm... Why not ask your audience for questions from time to time, and answer one or two a month?

Nothing major, nothing different, really, from the way you already blog. Just a shift in focus from commenting on the world at large to commenting in a feature on things people in your audience wonder about.

Well, that's my worth!

Keep up the great work!




Love the site. It's at the top of my blogroll!

One issue (might be out of your control). If a reader hasn't logged in in awhile, forgotten passwords can be an issue. But the only way to retrieve it is to provide one's userid and email. When this happened to me, I couldn't remember my userid, but couldn't create a new id because my email was already used for the original account.

Of course, creating a new email address (which is what I did) gets around this, but it would be nice if you could just submit your email and (since there is only one id per email) the userid and pwd would be sent to you.

Keep up the great posts. I forward them very regularly.



Great Book...Great Ideas...I know you two have more and this blog is a great outlet. But what is the possibility of "FREAKONOMICS Part 2 : The Hidden Side of Everything ELSE". Is that in the works? I know I'd buy it!


things i would like to see posts about... the economies of movie ticket sales (how come independent movies on small budgets still cost me the same as multi-million dollar summer blockbusters), paparazzi photos and news, why cops don't where sneakers, gathering intelligence (torture vs ?), the afl-cio, altria's proxy (they voted for marketing certain types of cigarette's (menthol)in minority communities because minority communities think that they are safer)... marketing techniques in demographically aimed publications (Maxim magazine vs Esquire magazine vs Cigar Afficianado etc...) how PG movies now are aimed at appealing to the Parents (think Shrek and all the innuendos), the war on drugs, college endowments, sin stocks, investment vehicles that have interests in controversial markets vs investments that are ex-controversy, alternative energy costs vs traditional energy exploits, recycling costs, the concentration of wealth geographically, how investment in alternative venues could enhance quality of life in third world nations (infrastructure/highways in Africa gets medicine to communities faster/more economically than just buying medicine and dumping it in one community... and so many others



I think everyone reads this blog for different reasons. The first poster wanted you to tone down the social commentary, but that's the very thing that draws me to this blog and to the book. I've just discovered this blog in the past couple weeks and am greatly enjoying the content so far, please don't change it very much!


You might want to tag stuff, or divide it into sections some other way. Conventional sites would divide (for example) social commentary from market analysis from sporting odds and so on... But because you're special, I'm sure you'll think of something else. For a good way to use tags (and drive people insane), look at


I am actually a big fan of the blog as it is. The unedited raw version. It stimulates more discussion and would probably be completely censor-free. I am reading it to hear Levitt and Dubner's musings.


Princess Leia

agree with at least two previous posters: the blog's appeal is that it's real.

i didn't mean to make a rhyme.


Please do not polish it up to make it more marketable or raise more ad dollars. Also it would be good if you cover things happenning in the field of economics around the world or interesting experiments in social economics. From time to time prominent accomplished people from other fields (not Britney Spears) can also post an item.