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Another Pay-as-You-Wish Success Story

pay-as-you-wish download-able music: Radiohead, Jane Siberry, and SongSlide. Now here’s another baked-goods pay-as-you-wish scheme that’s worth looking at, concerning a bakery in Kitchener, Ontario, called City Cafe Bakery. Below is…



Making a Living Through Pay-as-You-Wish

(Photo: Megan Westerby) A TED talk by musician Amanda Palmer explores the concept of pay-as-you-wish funding for artists and performers: Right at this same time, I’m signing and hugging after…



Pay-as-You-Wish Gaming

Wolfire Games offers a unique pricing model on their Humble Indie Bundle of five computer games. Buyers can pay what they want for the games, and they can direct some…



How to Maximize Pay-What-You-Wish Pricing

Pay-what-you-wish pricing schemes have now been employed by everyone from musicians and restaurateurs to entrepreneurs. But new research suggests that the true path to maximizing profits is to combine pay-what-you-wish



Episode 317

What Can Uber Teach Us About the Gender Pay Gap?

The gig economy offers the ultimate flexibility to set your own hours. That’s why economists thought it would help eliminate the gender pay gap. A new study, using data from…


Episode 232

The True Story of the Gender Pay Gap

Discrimination can’t explain why women earn so much less than men. If only it were that easy.

Tyler Cowen on Pay as You Wish Restaurants

Tyler Cowen, well-known for both his blog and his foodie tendencies, recently told Salon.com that extending pay-as-you-wish pricing to restaurants is a bad idea. “Part of the problem is if…



Episode 208

Making Sex Offenders Pay — and Pay and Pay and Pay

Sure, sex crimes are horrific, and the perpetrators deserve to be punished harshly. But society keeps exacting costs — out-of-pocket and otherwise — long after the prison sentence has been…

Episode 103

Should Toilets Be Free?

Why do Americans tip so much? What happened when Angie eliminated grading in a college course? And why did almost every pay toilet in the U.S.A. vanish between 1970 and…

Episode 258

Why Uber Is an Economist’s Dream

To you, it’s just a ride-sharing app that gets you where you’re going. But to an economist, Uber is a massive repository of moment-by-moment data that is helping answer some…

Pay After You Go?

Photo Credit: bonus1up via Compfight cc We’ve blogged extensively about pay-as-you wish pricing schemes. Springwise reports that a Spanish concert promoter is now experimenting with post-concert pay-as-you-wish pricing: Spanish promoters…



I’m Not Going to Pay a Lot for This Cereal

We’ve written repeatedly about pay-as-you-wish commerce or honor-system payment schemes, ranging from music to bagels to coffee. A reader named Seth sent in an interesting new example, all the more…



Episode 241

Are Payday Loans Really as Evil as People Say?

Critics — including President Obama — say short-term, high-interest loans are predatory, trapping borrowers in a cycle of debt. But some economists see them as a useful financial instrument for…

Episode 456

How to Fix the Hot Mess of U.S. Healthcare

Medicine has evolved from a calling into an industry, adept at dispensing procedures and pills (and gigantic bills), but less good at actual health. Most reformers call for big, bold…

Wouldn't It Be Nice to Really Pay What You Wish?

…This is what Chris Anderson has written about. And then there’s the sexiest, riskiest, funnest model: pay-what-you-wish. Think Radiohead. If you use a PWYW scheme too liberally, you are courting…



Freak Shots: Pay What You Think Is Fair

Blog reader Mary Jones sent us this photo of another “pay-what-you-wish” pricing scheme, this one at the Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, Ariz. It is always interesting to see what happens…



Episode 17

Trashed

How economics — and emotion — have turned our garbage into such a mess.

Episode 426

Should America (and FIFA) Pay Reparations?

The racial wealth gap in the U.S. is massive. We explore the causes, consequences and potential solutions. Also: another story of discrimination and economic disparity, this one perpetrated by an…

Episode 364

Inside the Sports-Industrial Complex

For most of us, the athletes are what make sports interesting. But if you own the team or run the league, your players are essentially very expensive migrant workers who…

Not So Dismal After All

…induce people to pay more or pay less in an economic environment like Radiohead’s website? Luckily, right around this time we started working with Disney Research, and they were just…



Episode 457

Is Dialysis a Test Case of Medicare for All?

Kidney failure is such a catastrophic (and expensive) disease that Medicare covers treatment for anyone, regardless of age. Since Medicare reimbursement rates are fairly low, the dialysis industry had to…

As the Downturn Deepens, the Bagelman Cometh

…in part to its pay-as-you-wish pricing policy, One World has seen its traffic grow by 15 percent this quarter. Prices aren’t the only negotiable thing at One World. There’s no…



More News on the Pay-What-You-Wish Front

We recently posted about a taxi driver who runs his business on a pay-what-you-wish (PWYW) model. In response, a few readers sent along interesting notes. Gregory Taylor tells us about…



Episode 322

Extra: David Rubenstein Full Interview

Stephen Dubner’s conversation with David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, one of the most storied private-equity firms in history. We spoke with Rubenstein for the Freakonomics Radio series “The…

Pay What You Want at Panera

A new non-profit Panera outside of St. Louis has caught the eye of a number of Freakonomics readers. Customers are told to pay what they want for their meals. “The…



Episode 432

When Your Safety Becomes My Danger

The families of U.S. troops killed and wounded in Afghanistan are suing several companies that did reconstruction there. Why? These companies, they say, paid the Taliban protection money, which gave…

Episode 80

Get Your Share of the Pie

Game theorist Barry Nalebuff explains how he used basic economics to build Honest Tea into a multimillion-dollar business, and shares his innovative approach to negotiation.

Episode 207

Should We Really Behave Like Economists Say We Do?

One man’s attempt to remake his life in the mold of homo economicus.