Allison Schrager

Innovations and Limitations

​October 3, 2011

National Review

I​nnovation propels economies forward. It is why most Americans live long lives in relative comfort instead of toiling on a subsistence farm. Innovation usually refers to the creation of a new product or a new method of production. But it comes at a price; it is, by nature, unpredictable. When a new good comes to market, there is typically uncertainty regarding its true value. This may initially cause economic instability and dislocation. 

The Money Talks

December 5, 2008

The Economist

​​I SUPPOSE I could be described as financially literate. I have a doctorate in economics; my dissertation focused on financial decision-making. I write about economics and finance, and I've worked in the financial industry, designing investment strategies. But, when I look at the balance of my brokerage account (those low-fee global-equity index funds do not seem like such a good idea at the moment) or my credit card statement (peppered with frivolous impulse purchases), I question my financial savvy.

Forum: A Path for Blue-Collar Workers in the 21st Century  

June 29, 2015


Over the past 35 years each recession has seen the loss of factory jobs that haven’t reappeared. During the 2008 recession, 70 percent of positions lost belonged to men; only 59 percent were regained. Their disappearance is just one reason the average male income has not experienced a sustained increase since 1968.

How to cheat at everything

​August 16, 2008

Intelligent Life Magazine

​Over lunch with Simon Lovell, a fascinating former card shark, Allison Schrager learns all sorts of things about how swindlers operate. "I can spot someone's weakness a mile away. In any room I can pick out the best target," says Simon Lovell, reformed con artist and famed magician, when asked over lunch about the root of his talents.

The US needs to retire daylight savings and just have two times zones - one hour apart

November 1, 2013


Daylight saving time in the US ends Nov. 3, part of the an annual ritual where Americans (who don’t live in Arizona or Hawaii) and residents of 78 other countries including Canada (but not Saskatchewan), most of Europe, Australia and New Zealand turn their clocks back one hour. It’s a controversial practice that became the official standard in America in 1966 and adjusted throughout the 1970s with the intent of conserving energy..

Raising Saving

December 16, 2013

National Review

​Americans don’t save enough. In 1960, the personal-saving rate — the share of people’s after-tax income that they save — was 11 percent. By 2007, it was under 3 percent. Saving rebounded following the recession, but not by much: In August 2013, the saving rate was just 4.6 percent. A 2009 survey conducted by market-research firm TNS found that nearly half of Americans don’t believe they could come up with $2,000 in 30 days if they had to.

In defense of the NCAA

​March 25, 2014


​​As the annual March Madness basketball tournament returns, so does our collective ambivalence toward college sports operated by the NCAA. Many find it outrageous that with so much money at stake, the players aren’t paid.

The Inequality Illusion - Why a Wealthy Tax Won't Work

May 15, 2015

​Foreign Affairs

Wringing one’s hands about inequality seems like the new national pastime. According to emerging conventional wisdom, those born-rich will hoard all the wealth and leave everyone else behind. It's a new gilded age, the economist Paul Krugman recently declared, “But we've known it for a while.” 

How do we measure weather Americans are better off than in the past?

​January 16, 2014


​Are you better off than you were twenty years ago? Probably not relative to very rich people today, but what about relative to you, or to someone your age and position twenty years ago? Income inequality has been called the defining issue of our time.