Did the Rooney Rule Really Work?

Last week, Tobias J. Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim wrote a guest post about black coaches in the NFL and the introduction of the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority applicant when filling head-coaching spots. Moskowitz and Wertheim concluded that the policy change was successful: "The league achieved its aim. By 2005, there were six African-American coaches in the NFL..."

'Tis the Season Puzzler

Which markets exhibit this kind of trend in Google searches?

Communism and the Market

The Economist reports that the city of Shanghai has been auctioning car license plates. The average auction price has recently been $6,900, truly remarkable considering average family income in China, and even in Shanghai. The number of plates given out in 2011 will be reduced further in an attempt to reduce gridlock and pollution (both of which my experience several years ago in Shanghai suggests are world-class).

The Hidden Side of Trash in Taipei

Our recent podcast about the economics of trash featured a story about an American grad student living in Taipei. He discovered that that city had an unusual trash-collection style: instead of putting your trash out at a curb or in a dumpster, you'd have to bring your trash out at a certain hour to deposit it directly in a municipal trash truck, which might be playing Beethoven to announce its arrival.

Need to Turn Off His Sex Drive? Cry

What happens to men when women cry? A new study finds that, as in mice, human tears may serve a "chemosignaling function." Specifically, female tears seem to reduce male sexual arousal.

The Latest in Freakonomics Swag

When we run a contest or quiz on this blog, we generally offer the winner/s some kind of prize. We've recently updated the old offerings. So here's the current assortment. And remember: you can always get a free signed bookplate for either book any time you want. If you're really feeling the spirit, you can even get some SuperFreakonomics pants, but you have to buy them yourself. (Sadly, they do nothing to stop you from walking home drunk.)

What Makes a Donor Donate? (Ep. 51)

In our latest Freakonomics Radio on Marketplace podcast, we look at the economics of charity -- specifically, what works (and what doesn't) when trying to incentivize people to give. (Download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, listen live via the media player above, or read the transcript.)

In Australia, Dick Smith’s electronics empire has afforded him enough success to be able to donate about 20 percent of his annual income to charity. But, he says, this kind of generosity is no longer the norm:

How Women and Men Spend Their Money

Both men and women lie to their partners about their spending, but the money similarities between the genders seem to end there. Viviana A. Zelizer explores the differences in a Wall Street Journal article, writing that women in many different cultures are more likely than men to direct money toward their children's well-being.

Marketing Privacy

Several years ago, Matthew Funk and I proposed a mechanism for moving beyond the all-or-nothing choice of the do-not-call list to a system where you also could choose how much you would like to be paid for telemarketing calls.

Bring Your Hidden-Side-of-Sports Questions to the Scorecasting Authors

Earlier this week, Tobias J. Moskowitz (a University of Chicago finance professor) and L. Jon Wertheim (a Sports Illustrated writer) contributed a guest post on black NFL coaches, which was an adaptation of their new book Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won. You may recall this as the book Levitt described as "[t]he closest thing to Freakonomics I've seen since the original," much to his wife's chagrin.