February 2011

Friday, February 25th, 2011

An Oscar for our times

The Oscars are upon us! I normally don’t have anything to say about this. But this year I have a candidate for the title of best picture: The King’s Speech. My choice has nothing to do with the quality of … Continue reading

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Thursday, February 24th, 2011

Cheap willpower

Losing weight requires an inordinate amount of willpower. That’s why despite heavy our investments in pills, diets, exercise regimes and even the odd psychic, most of us just keep bulking up. By now, over two thirds of Americans are either … Continue reading

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Thursday, February 24th, 2011

The Price of Everything in college

Joshua Kim from Dartmouth College recommends The Price of Everything for a College introductory economics course, “something to give some life to the textbooks and the supply and demand curves.” He adds, however, “The Price of Everything should be read … Continue reading

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Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

The right price for houses?

Any economist who still claims that financial bubbles do not exist (many tend to roam the Chicago area) should look at these charts. There is no way to tell the “right” price of a home.  But by any measure, home … Continue reading

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Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Building Stonehenge on the cheap

What would Ikea furniture look like in the stone age?

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Thursday, February 17th, 2011

The price of an (American) life

The value of Americans is rising, reporte The New York Times. The Environmental Protection Agency increased the price it puts on a life to $9.1 million, from about $7.5 million in 2009. The Food and Drug Administration bumped up its … Continue reading

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Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

The price of regret

We have always suspected that people will forego material gain in order to avoid regretting their choices. For instance, experiments have repeatedly found that people who are given lottery ticket will be reluctant to change it for another ticket for … Continue reading

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Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

The Harvard Business Review liked it!

Tim Sullivan’s review in the  Harvard Business Review:  “If you want a book on our global connections that’s both entertaining and important, turn to Eduardo Porter’s The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do.”

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Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

What would you pay Travis Broyles?

For $1,000, he’s offered to build a full-size cardboard car and make “vroom-vroom” sounds while the owner drives it. For $100,000, he’ll yell your name every time he wakes up for the rest of his life. He will “tell your … Continue reading

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Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

What people will do for $5

Would you pay $5 for someone to  call your friend and sing any Disney song? How about $5 for a  vector Apple iPod style silhouette of yourself? A full list is here. Thanks to Tim Harford for the pointer.

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