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About this Blog

This blog is exactly what the title suggests:

It contains the leftovers and tidbits that are of interest to me but that don't fit other outlets of which I have a few.

As a behavioral economist, I publish academic papers which are serious research (or so I'm told), but do not attract a wide audience (or so I assume).  I look forward to writing more freely here about what drives people to behave in ways that often contradict mainstream economic theory.  As someone with other diverse interests, ranging from Taekwon-Do to food to fashion, I will also be leaving posts on a variety of random topics.

Finally, to clarify the seeming typo in the title of the blog: Evan is my son's name, and he is three at the time of this post.  Many posts here will have a theme of how to navigate and balance family, parenthood, career, and hobbies. There is no such thing as 'having it all', but there is such a thing as compromising to achieve balance.

Popular posts from this blog

The dreaded post

I stand at my kitchen counter and scarf down an egg bite I just microwaved.   This has been lunch since the start of the pandemic. One minute to microwave, one minute to eat, back to work. And, much of my work life has been like this.   If Evan is home, I stand at the kitchen counter, typing at my computer.   If Evan is at school, I sit in my makeshift office which is also my TKD room, zoom-ready at all times. When I’m in there, I almost never get up.   Home "office": View of wall and Taekwon-Do trophies. According to a survey I conducted with Tatyana Deryugina and Jenna Stearns last summer, since the start of the pandemic researchers lost about 50 min of research time per typical workday, and much of the time lost can be attributed to childcare disruptions due to the lockdowns, school closures, and lacking care infrastructure to pick up the slack.   And while fathers worked about 75 minutes less per workday due to Covid-19 disruptions, mothers worked almost two hours less.

Sticking to the plan

Today marks 3 weeks since Mike and I “went off the deep end” – out of the blue, we decided to try “ the keto diet .” In some ways, it’s just one among many fad diets, like paleo or 5:2 . But, it also provides enough science (well, probably pseudo-science) to make sense to the skeptics like us. Neither of us has ever been on a strict diet before, as we truly are food-obsessed bon vivants.    Yet somehow, for some crazy reason, keto got us to stick to the plan.  Maybe it’s the meticulous record-keeping or the competition with oneself to stay within the allotted 20 grams of net carbs a day? These are certainly both features that appeal to our Type A personalities and therefore  got us through the first oh-so-miserable few days.   But I think that in the longer run it was something else.   For me, it has to do with loss aversion – the very human trait that describes an individual’s desire to avoid losing.   Loss aversion is associated with a related behavioral phenomenon known as the su

Facing the challenges of everyday life, Part 2

Fall of 2017: my closet is out of control.  Bursting at the seams with hardly ever-worn party dresses, jackets, and jumpsuits, it still manages to be completely devoid of options.  How is this possible, I muse, digging through the racks, laden with hangers, each carrying two or more items. Among the multitude of impulse buys and total duds, I locate that 15-year-old black jacket, two sizes too big and 20 dry cleans past its prime.  I wear it with a belt, and it looks ok.      Fast-forward one year: I no longer fall for impulse buys, and I almost never dry clean anything! Thank you, unlimited membership at Rent the Runway .   In a nutshell, I rent clothes, keep the four items I pick as long as I want to, and then return (no dry-cleaning required!).  As soon as the returns arrive back at the distribution center, I can pick my next items (conveniently "hearted" in the app).  First, this is a perfect mental replacement for shopping (hello, commitment device!).  I no longer go