The FREAKest Links: Darwin Can’t Lie Edition

Here’s a twist in our discussion of specialized online dating: a 26-year-old Australian ad salesman has created a tongue-in-cheek site meant to “weed out” the “ugly, unattractive, desperate fatsos.” Called Darwin Dating, it has since gained popularity and led to several happy matches. Craigslist posters are selling their time this week by offering to stand […]

More Sex Please, We’re Economists: A Q&A With Steve Landsburg

Steven Landsburg is not known for having temperate opinions. An economics professor at the University of Rochester and a prolific writer, Landsburg regularly raises provocative theories in his Slate column: women choke under pressure, e.g., or miserliness is a form of generosity. He is the author of the books Armchair Economist and Fair Play, which […]

The FREAKest Links: From Arm Touches Straight to Three-Carat Pacifiers Edition

Nicolas Gueguen, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Bretagne-Sud, performed a study in which his male research assistants approached 240 women in the street and asked for their phone numbers. Half of the women were asked the question accompanied by a light touch on the arm; the other half received no physical […]

The FREAKest Links: Gas Hikes and Bridal Blogs Edition

Given that we’re already spending the GNP of a small nation on weddings, why not include a little Internet video to share those Big Days with the world? The Wall Street Journal reports that wedding Web sites are a bigger phenomenon than ever, with couples sharing details of their nuptials in blogs, webcasts and online […]

Why Marry?

Rebecca Mead, whom I am proud to call a longtime friend, is a staff writer for the New Yorker. In addition to being a very good reporter, she’s also a very good stylist; this is a rare and blessed combination. She has just published her first book, One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American […]

Headlines from Pravda

I was searching the internet, researching a blog post I had in mind about the Duke Business School cheating scandal, when I stumbled onto the online version of the Russian newspaper Pravda (in English). For those who may not remember, it used to be the mouthpiece of the Communist Party. Here’s a link to the […]

The Artist Speaks

Many of you have expressed confusion as to what the illustration accompanying the latest Freakonomics column means, so I went ahead and posed the question to illustrator David M. Brinley. He replies: “The couple is a metaphor for sexual desires and how his sexual identity has been influenced by the points made in the article. […]

Andy Francis (Mr. Price of Sexual Desire himself) Responds to the Critics

Our latest Freakonomics column described a recent academic paper by Andy Francis. I asked him to respond to the comments that have been raised on our blog (see here). He was kind enough to oblige. Here is what Andy has to say: Thank you for all your comments. They were insightful, and I enjoyed reading […]

Freakonomics in the Times Magazine: The Economy of Desire

In Freakonomics (the book), Levitt and Dubner often combine disparate subjects to sensible, if startling effect: the commonalities between sumo wrestlers and schoolteachers, for instance, or the KKK and the National Association of Realtors. In their latest Freakonomics column in the New York Times Magazine, they combine another seemingly unlikely pair of ideas: price theory and sexual preference. What does one have to do with the other? And what does it matter?

Changing Teams

Our latest New York Times column asks whether sexuality responds to prices. Not just sexual behavior, but even sexual orientation. What Andy Francis (the author of the study our column is primarily based on) finds may surprise you, unless you are an economist. Read more about our column here.