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The Economics of Bananas

…have cost at least twice as much per pound as bananas. Americans eat as many bananas as apples and oranges combined, which is especially amazing when you consider that not…



Episode 375

The Most Interesting Fruit in the World

The banana used to be a luxury good. Now it’s the most popular fruit in the U.S. and elsewhere. But the production efficiencies that made it so cheap have also…


Banana Arbitrage

Photo: jetheriot Bananas are a popular topic on this blog. In February, a reader wrote in with this odd banana stand pricing phenomenon. And in 2008, Dubner explored the potentially…



Inside the Banana Market

…has to be harvested and transported while completely unripe. Bananas are cut while green, hard, and immature, washed in cool water (both to begin removing field heat and to stop…



Episode 63

How Contagious Is Behavior? With Laurie Santos of “The Happiness Lab.”

Also: life is good — so why aren’t you happy?


Press Release of the Day

…the story: Hi Stephen, I think you and your New York Times readers will go bananas for this one: Mikey the chimp has been training to play in the 2006…



How to Make School Lunches Healthier

…have also been aided by the inclusion of a wider variety of fruits, plums and peaches, in addition to the standard trio of apples, bananas, and oranges. (HT: The Monkey…



The Economics of Gym-Going, Part 2

Photo: BananaStock From a reader named Laura Brown: I recently joined a gym in a low-income part of Baltimore. For $10 a month, a person has unlimited access to the…





Cracking the F&#%ing Humor Code

(BananaStock) For some reason, most of the vignettes that researchers present to lab participants in these studies are sexual and probably can’t be published here. Either that’s a domain where…



The Case for Biofortification

…The fact that one is able to eat a cornucopia of “superfoods”–blueberries, bananas, kale, lentils, quinoa, and avocados–on a daily basis is an under-appreciated wonder of globalization and world trade….





SuperFreakonomics Paperback Drops Next Week

…more than 1 million sold worldwide), and the Illustrated Edition has gone bananas too. The paperback cover, as you can see here, is not much of a departure from the…



Why Are Kiwis So Cheap?

…may be dear, For reasons that will soon be clear: Picking them’s below our station, To lower costs we need migration. Bananas have a different story, Seedless magic, breeder’s glory,…




Episode 39

The Economist’s Guide to Parenting

Think you know how much parents matter? Think again. Economists crunch the numbers to learn the ROI on child-rearing.

Episode 120

100 Ways to Fight Obesity

Freakonomics asks a dozen smart people for their best ideas. Get ready for a fat tax, a sugar ban, and a calorie-chomping tapeworm.

Episode 226

Food + Science = Victory!

On the menu: A kitchen wizard and a nutrition detective talk about the perfect hamburger, getting the most out of garlic, and why you should use vodka in just about…

Episode 368

Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

Whether you’re mapping the universe, hosting a late-night talk show, or running a meeting, there are a lot of ways to up your idea game. Plus: the truth about brainstorming….

Episode 393

Can Britain Get Its “Great” Back?

It used to be a global capital of innovation, invention, and exploration. Now it’s best known for its messy European divorce. We visit London to see if the British spirit…

Episode 226

Food + Science = Victory! (Replay)

A kitchen wizard and a nutrition detective talk about the perfect hamburger, getting the most out of garlic, and why you should use vodka in just about everything.

Episode 490

What Do Broken-Hearted Knitters, Urinating Goalkeepers, and the C.I.A. Have in Common?

Curses and other superstitions may have no basis in reality, but that doesn’t stop us from believing.

Episode 39

The Economist’s Guide to Parenting (Replay)

Think you know how much parents matter? Think again. Economists crunch the numbers to learn the ROI on child-rearing.