AUTHOR ARCHIVES

Derek Thompson

Results 21-30 of 73

The Gender-Wage Gap Is Shrinking—or Is It?

November 20, 2014 The wage gap between young male and female workers is historically low. The wage gap between young male and female workers is growing. Yes, both things can be true at the same time. Intergenerational economic inequality is declining: The gap between male and female wages among Millennials is lower than...

Why It's So Hard for Millennials to Find a Place to Live and Work

November 19, 2014 So what'll it be: Dayton or San Francisco? Alright, so that's not the most common choice for young people getting ready to start their lives. But it's an instructive question. Dayton is the most affordable housing market in the United States, according to Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko, while San...

Quit Your Job

November 7, 2014 My friends sometimes approach me with career anxieties, under the false impression that writing about economics makes somebody a good career advisor. My counsel is typically something like optimistic incrementalism. Don’t quit your job, mastery comes with time, job satisfaction comes with mastery...that sort of stuff. When the same friends...

One Simple Trick to Make People Approve of Government Spending

November 3, 2014 What's the largest category of government spending? If you ask a normal person, she might tell you it's Medicare (close), Defense (closer), or even foreign aid (c'mon). But there's another category of the budget that's even larger. The trick is, it's not a form of spending at all. It's called...

Why Americans Can't Afford to Live in Liberal Cities

October 29, 2014 On April 2, 2014, a protester in Oakland, Ca., mounted a Yahoo bus, climbed to the front of the roof, and vomited onto the top the windshield. If not the year's most persuasive act of dissent, it was certainly one of the most memorable demonstrations in the Bay Area, where...

Presidential Speeches Were Once College-Level Rhetoric—Now They're for Sixth-Graders

October 14, 2014 Is political rhetoric becoming less sophisticated over time? One interesting way to answer the question is to study the complexity of presidential speeches, from George Washington's first inaugural to the recent addresses of Barack Obama. To do that, the site Vocativ used the Flesch-Kincaid readability test, which was developed by...

Why New Ideas Fail

October 10, 2014 In 2007, Steve Ballmer, then-CEO of Microsoft, emphatically predicted that Apple's new phone would fail. "There's no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share," he said. "No chance." The volume of Ballmer's voice makes him a popular target in technology, but he wasn't an outlier,...

A Formula for Perfect Productivity: Work for 52 Minutes, Break for 17

September 18, 2014 Sometimes, productivity science seems like an organized conspiracy to justify laziness. Clicking through photos of cute small animals at work? That's not silly procrastination, Hiroshima University researchers said. Looking at adorable pictures of kittens rolling helplessly in balls of yarn heightens our focus, and the "tenderness elicited by cute images"...

The Procrastination Doom Loop—and How to Break It

August 27, 2014 When I woke up this morning, I had one goal: Finish this article by 11 a.m. So, predictably, by the time it was 10 a.m., I had made and consumed two cups of coffee, taken out the trash, cleaned my room while taking a deliberately slow approach to folding my...

Study: Nobody Is Paying Attention on Your Conference Call

August 22, 2014 It's 3:15 p.m. on a Wednesday, and I am deep, deep inside the guts of BaseballReference.com, the statistical mecca for MLB fanatics, conducting an exhaustive investigation on an issue of national importance: What was the greatest pitching season of all time? Was it Bob Gibson in '68? Pedro Martinez in...

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