Will Obama Reduce the Chance That You Are Called for Jury Duty?

Photo: Tom Lemo One of the changes that the “Yes We Can” movement has already wrought is a substantial increase in voter registration — particularly in swing states. In Virginia, for example, the number of registered voters increased by almost 10 percent. Since voter-registration lists are also used to construct juror lists, a possible benefit […]

A Commitment Device for Energy Conservation

There’s lots of evidence that commitment contracts can help people change behavior with regard to all kinds of things (like savings and smoking cessation). But since participation is voluntary, a huge question is whether you can get people to sign up. This is more than an academic question for me, since the answer will help […]

A Hidden Side of Eugene O’Neill’s Hughie?

I just saw a wonderful performance of Eugene O’Neill‘s Hughie at the Long Wharf Theatre. (If you’re within driving distance of New Haven, I recommend that you go see it before it closes on November 16.) The entire play, which runs about an hour, is set in the lobby of a shabby hotel (O’Neill describes […]

A Political “Do Not Call” List

Dean Karlan has just published a cool op-ed in the Financial Times making the case for voting-commitment contracts. (Disclosure and shameless plug: Dean and I are both co-founders of stickK.com, the free commitment service where anyone can make a binding commitment to vote on November 4th.) As Dean describes: Photo: Victor Nunez StickK can verify […]

My Wedding Ring

With great joy, I decided to put my wedding ring back on my finger this past weekend. I had stopped wearing my ring because I was slightly embarrassed to live in a state where people like my sister couldn’t marry the people they love. But I have no reason now to be embarrassed on this […]

Shiller’s Subprime Solution(s)

In my last post, I focused on what we still don’t know about the causes of the subprime crisis. But here I’ll tell you about six solutions proposed by Robert Shiller in his book The Subprime Solution. (He has also recently published an op-ed in The Washington Post and an op-ed in The Wall Street […]

What We Still Don’t Know About the Mortgage Crisis

On Tuesday, September 16, at a rally at the Colorado School of Mines, Barack Obama criticized John McCain, saying: Just today, Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book: you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem. But here’s the thing; this isn’t 9/11. We know how we got […]

Faith-Based Dieting

Photo: davitydave John Dankosky recently interviewed me on Where We Live, his radio show, about using stickK.com as a dieting tool. (You can listen to the interview here.) What was really interesting about the discussion was my pairing with a group of people involved with Sister Talk — a faith-based approach to weight loss particularly […]

Voting With Eyeballs

Barry Nalebuff and I just published a column in Forbes proposing a simple way to fund a substantial chunk of the presidential campaigns. It starts with the simple proposition that lots of people watched the political conventions — and eyeballs have value: Photo: net efekt Shortly after the Olympics pulled in an average of 27.5 […]

LoJack for Laptops (the Free Version)

Photo from the University of Washington.   If you’re reading this post on a laptop computer, rest easy. Your computer may have just become far less appealing to thieves. The University of Washington has released a free program that will track your laptop if it’s stolen. If the program is installed on a computer with […]