FREAKONOMICS AND M$M’S. I have posted, for example here, about FREAKONOMICS by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. They have a new book, THINK LIKE A FREAK, and an excerpt entitled “Traponomics” was published in the Wall St. Journal (May 12-13). The excerpt is called “Traponomics” because they attempt to answer the question “How can you trick the guilty into revealing themselves?” The section features a discussion of how David Lee Roth, who fronted the rock band Van Halen in the 1980’s, included a clause–in a 53 page rider to the band’s contract with promoters around the country—which provided that there be no brown M&M’s backstage. This clause became famous, especially because Roth was known to destroy his dressing room when brown M&M’s were discovered backstage. Roth’s behavior was considered to be an example of typical rock star excess, but Levitt and Dubner endorse Roth’s explanation of the economics underlying the brown M&M clause.

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