Wednesday, September 06, 2006

New Social Science Books by University of Chicago Graduates: Can Kahn Outsell Rosenblatt's study of snoring and cold feet in bed?

Like many economists, I'm a fan of competition. As a new book author, I am well aware that my new book faces competition from many other books. Today, when I logged on to the University of Chicago alumni website, I see that I'm in direct competition with Paul Rosenblatt's empirical analysis of how couples share a bed. While I wonder if he has a representative sample here, I must admit that his core question is pretty funny and original. It is a shame that the Clintons are not one of his data points!

If you've written an even wackier book recently, please e-mail me because I want to know who are the true "freaks" out there!

Paul C. Rosenblatt, AB’58
Two in a Bed: The Social System of Couple Bed Sharing
ISBN 0791468305
State University of New York Press
Social Sciences

Based on intensive interview data from 46 couples who share a bed, this book explores how couples learn to sleep together, how they deal with their differences and how couple bed sharing changes as the two partners' bodies and life situations change. The book explores how couples deal with cold feet, temperature preference differences, partners who steal blankets, snoring, sleep apnea, television and reading in bed, nightmares, children wandering into the bedroom, health problems, job tensions that come to bed at night, and much more. For some couples the few minutes they spend talking before falling asleep is most of their time talking each day. Many people talked about valuing the intimacy of their time in bed together and many women said that they felt safer when not alone in bed. And yet many people who were interviewed said that they would get much better sleep when sleeping alone. So for many part of the challenge of sharing a bed is living with the paradox of valuing the time together but knowing that one could sleep better if alone.
Posted 8/11/06

Matthew E. Kahn, AM’93, PhD’93
Green Cities: Urban Growth and the Environment
ISBN 0815748159
Brookings Institution Press
Social Sciences

What is a green city? What does it mean to say that San Francisco or Vancouver is more “green” than Houston or Beijing? When does urban growth lower environmental quality, and when does it yield environmental gains? How can cities deal with the environmental challenges posed by growth? These are the questions Matthew Kahn takes on in this smart and engaging book.

Written in a lively, accessible style, Green Cities takes the reader on a tour of the extensive economic literature on the environmental consequences of urban growth.
Posted 7/7/06