Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

Do Economists Make Better Decisions?

I love this advice by economist Justin Wolfers on the Freakonomics blog about why it helps to be an economist when you’re making decisions:

By sticking to economics, I make time for running. Rather than spend hundreds of dollars worth of time cleaning my house each Sunday, I hire a cleaner who does a better job at a better price. When a friend asks me to help them move, I write them a check to pay professional movers instead. It’s just more efficient. And while it can be hard to forgo extra income for a long run, it is even harder to justify wasting that time on Facebook. And with the time that saves, I’m pulling on my shoes to head out for another run.

This is something I’ve been thinking about quite a bit lately, especially in relation to health: How does awareness of economics change your behavior? Personally I’ve been pretty focused on how people tend to be irrational about their health decisions and so every time I need to make my own health decision I question whether I’m making that same mistake. Obviously I have no long term data, but I seem to be flossing more as a result.

August 27, 2009