A Freakonomics Quiz: Where Is All the Garbage?

Photo: wili_hybrid It’s been a while since we did a Freakonomics quiz. Here is an easy one. The first correct comment wins Freakonomics schwag: Today, the park near my house was cleaner than I have ever seen it. Why?

Before the Book, the Pants

We are hard at work on SuperFreakonomics, which will be published as soon as it finishes simmering in our computers. This may well occur before the end of the year. In the meantime, how about some pants? A company named Bonobos makes what it calls “awesome fitting trousers.” New York magazine agrees, as does The […]

Finalists for the New U.S. Six-Word Motto

We recently solicited your suggestions for a new six-word motto for the U.S. (Yes, this is a reprise of last year’s contest.) As always, you came through brilliantly, with more than 300 submissions. Here are our choices for the six finalists: 1. Consumption’s the Cure That Ails Us. (Submitted by Quin.) 2. We Will Get […]

Contest: A New Six-Word Motto for the U.S. (Again)

One year ago, we ran a simple contest on this blog: come up with a new six-word motto for the U.S. There were more than 1,000 submissions, a heated runoff between the finalists, and eventually a winner: “Our worst critics prefer to stay.” The year that followed has been dramatic to say the least: the […]

The Winning Definition of "Madoff," in Limerick Form

We’ve invited a special guest to judge our Bernie Madoff limerick contest: Chris J. Strolin, founder and editor-in-chief of The OEDILF, The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form. The OEDILF is an international online dictionary-writing project, the goal of which is to write at least one limerick for every definition of every word in the […]

Freakonomics Contest Winners: What Economists Really Have in Common With Garbage

Blog readers did not get nearly as worked up about economists and garbage as they did about prostitutes and rice, at least as measured by hate mail. I received not a single piece of hate mail from an economist (although, in fairness, none of the hate mail I got on the prostitutes post was actually […]

There Once Was a Fund Guy Named Bernie …

A reader named Van Brenner wrote to let us know about an online dictionary in which every definition is written in the form of a limerick. One of our favorites is the following one on bear markets by Robert Holland: Gentle Ben this bear market is not, Especially for bulls who are caught Unawares by […]

An Economic Prediction That Actually Came True

Image: cambodia4kidsorg Economists are notorious for making bad predictions. There are endless examples, but the first one that comes to mind is a book written by economist Kevin Hassett and co-authors entitled Dow 36,000. The title was their prediction of where the Dow Jones Industrial Index should be based on fundamentals. The book came out […]

What Do Prostitutes and Rice Have in Common?

If you believe what you read, then the answer to that question is that they are both examples of one of economics' most illusive objects: Giffen goods. But don't always believe what you read.

A Giffen good is a product or service for which demand rises with price. In other words, if you hold everything else constant, but the good gets more expensive, the quantity consumed will increase.

A Pop Quiz

Who will buy the movie rights for this charming article about a 73-year-old college basketball player, and when, and for how much, and what will the eventual movie be titled? A piece of Freakonomics schwag goes to the person whose guess is most entertaining or, failing that, most accurate. Photo: Shawn Poynter for The New […]