Spicing Up the Awkward First Date Conversation

Dan Ariely brings behavioral economics to the awkward, boring first date conversation: "Basically, in an attempt to coordinate on the right dating strategy, we stick to universally shared interests like food or the weather."

What Can Procrastination Teach You?

Seems that nearly everyone - even Nobel prize-winning economists who perhaps should know better - procrastinates. As James Surowiecki writes in The New Yorker, procrastination may well be a basic human impulse.

What I've Been Thinking About

A few weeks back, I sat down with the Richmond Fed's Aaron Steelman for a most enjoyable hour or two talking about my recent research projects and perspectives on economics generally. If you're interested in learning more, click here for the full interview. Regular readers of this blog may even recognize a few themes that I've been hammering away at here on these pages. At the risk of quoting myself, here are a few favorite parts.

The Upside of Irrationality

Another pleasurable summer read for me was Dan Ariely's The Upside of Irrationality. Put simply, the book is an impressive achievement. It interweaves Ariely's compelling personal narrative with what seems like dozens of his own super-interesting academic experiments. Ariely explains how his own struggle with being severely burned as a youth put him on the path to being one of the world's premier behavioral economists.

How Apple Sets Prices

An article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek breaks down Apple's pricing strategy and identifies its key components.

The Limits of Behavioral Economics

The role of behavioral economics in policy.

The "Identity Economists" Answer Your Questions

Akerlof and Kranton respond to readers' questions.

Bring Your Questions for the "Identity Economists"

George Akerlof and Rachel Kranton will respond to readers' questions.

Is There a "Moral Molecule"? A Guest Post From Neuroeconomist Paul Zak

The economics of oxytocin.

Shopping for Gamblers

How can Swoopo, the online auction site, rake in $2,151 selling a laptop for $35.86? Easy: set an opening price of $0.01 (almost free!), then let each new bidder top the last by only a penny, and extend the auction each time someone places a bid in the final seconds. Oh, and collect $0.60 from each player for each bid they place. The winner of the auction might walk away with a good deal, but the losers will have racked up big fees chasing their sunk costs.