Nov 012014

Do vampires employ an optimal strategy in choosing their mates? Would a zombie invasion help create jobs? And what would happen if vampires didn’t have to attack humans to get blood?

These are some of the pressing questions we ask in this week’s episode, “What Can Vampires Teach Us About Economics?”



Stephen J. DUBNER: Levitt, you know, I feel like I know you pretty well. And yet there’s one essential fact about you that I have no idea. And I could guess. And I’d have a 50-50 chance, but I’m just going to ask you:


DUBNER: Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?

Steve LEVITT: Team Edward, for sure.


LEVITT: So it was a long time ago that I read Twilight, but I had a reaction to it that was different than any other person I’ve ever met, which is somehow Twilight had a very calming effect on me, almost like, like enlightenment. Somehow when I read the book it just allowed me to be completely at peace with the world. It was completely bizarre, it was very noticeable though. And I think it related to Edward and the life of the vampires. So in the book the vampires live forever and they basically have nothing to do. And they also have decided to make choices about not following their deepest desires of drinking human blood, but instead making do, and being civilized and drinking only animal blood. And there was something about that whole portrayal of the vampires which made me feel a kinship with them.

DUBNER: It inspired you?

LEVITT: It did. No, it made me very calm and kind towards people for about three months. And then you know, things always fade after that.

DUBNER: Would you like to be a vampire if you could?

LEVITT: I think I would want to be a vampire, that wouldn’t be so bad.

DUBNER: And would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf?

LEVITT: I think I would want to be…Well, the werewolf…Yeah, I think I would want to be a vampire. I think that the vampires…I’m much more a vampire in spirit than a werewolf.


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