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Freakonomics Radio: Things Our Fathers Gave Us

Father’s Day has a shamelessly commercial history. Some people think it was invented by the Associated Men’s Wear Retailers to push ties and socks. (It seems to have done a great job!) But we have a better idea: this year, send Dad a podcast. Our new Freakonomics Radio podcast, called “Things Our Fathers Gave Us,” (you can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, listen live via the media player at the top, or read the transcript here) contains a Father’s Day trifecta. First, Steve Levitt talks about what he learned from his dad, good and bad:

LEVITT: Not everyone will agree that all the lessons my father taught me were the right ones. For instance, I learned from him that men don’t cry, ever. That’s a lesson I’ve tried to unlearn as an adult, but without much success. I can say this, however. Everything that is interesting about me today I owe to the mischief that my father and I engaged in when I was young.

Next, I share one of the best lessons I ever learned, over a diner meal with my dad, who taught me to play a game called Powers of Observation. Read More »





The Economist’s Guide to Parenting: Full Transcript

DUBNER: So you’re having a baby! Congratulations! That’s great. Welcome to the wonderful world of parenthood! It’s exhilarating, challenging — and probably more than anything, perplexing. Why? One word: experts. So many experts and so much advice. [SOUND EFFECT: All new Dr. Oz reports]   [SOUND EFFECT: Do you ever wonder how to raise children […] Read More »





Parents Are Less Happy. So What?

Bryan Caplan’s new book, Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids, (which he blogged about for us here and here) has people talking about happiness and kids, again. Over at Cato Unbound, my better half Betsey Stevenson takes Bryan to task on some of his claims. It’s worth reading the full essay. Jeff Ely at Cheap Talk says you should take note of her views on the distinction between happiness and utility. Instead, I want to highlight an insight that comes from thinking through a formal framework: Read More »





Kids and Costs: A Guest Post on Twins by Bryan Caplan

Economists usually assume that doubling output more than doubles costs; or as textbooks say, there are increasing marginal costs. So economists naturally expect twins to be more than double the effort, stress, and out-of-pocket cost of a singleton. Read More »





‘Tis the Season Puzzler

Which markets exhibit this kind of trend in Google searches? Read More »





Betsey Stevenson Answers Your Questions

We recently solicited your questions for Betsey Stevenson, a sometimes Freakonomics contributor and newly minted Chief Economist of the Department of Labor. Your questions were excellent and varied, and Betsey’s responses cover everything from persistent unemployment to parental leave. Thanks to Betsey and everyone who participated. Read More »





Dilbert on Diversification

Scott Adams’s investing advice. Read More »





Find My Phone

Corporations like Amazon and Sirius won’t help owners recover their lost gadgets, like cell phones or Kindles or the Sirius receiver. The article points out that “iPhone owners have a number of options to search for their handsets, including features that use GPS technology to send out virtual semaphores.” Read More »