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Welcome to the official website of author and professor Ian Ayres.

Acadium Scholar

I’ve just help launched a new website, You can go to the site, enter a score, and it will quickly tell you the states where your score would have qualified you as a National Merit semifinalist.
The site also offers to certify qualified students based on a national standard of merit. If you represent and warrant to us that you received a PSAT score meeting the minimum cutoff in at least one state, we’ll give you the right to describe yourself as an “Acadium Scholar.”


Belfort Victims Fund

I‘ve launched the Belfort Victims Fund, which helps viewers of The Wolf of Wall St donate to the restitution fund for Belfort’s victims. Just as some consumers embrace the idea of carbon-neutral consumption by buying carbon credits, some moviegoers might prefer an “exploitation-neutral” way to consume the The Wolf of Wall Street.


Secondhand Holidays

I’ve launched a free iPhone app, called Secondhand Holidays which (as described in this Freakonomics post) will alert you when unusual moments of celebration are about to occur:
If you liked “500 Days of Summer,” you might enjoy telling your boyfriend or girlfriend when you’ve been in a relationship for 100 million seconds (after 3.17 years).If you want, the app will also calculate “secondhand” holidays for Facebook friends that you select. Because of this feature, I now know that next week will be a billion seconds since my friendBetsy’s graduation from Indiana University (about 32 years ago). The app makes it easy to send to a friend an email, text, or Facebook message about an upcoming holiday. Using the app, I was able to text my nephew the exact moment when his twin toddlers will be a million minutes old (when they’re 1.9 years old). The app also lets you easily create calendar events for any of the holidays and, if you want will even warn you 7 days in advance. Here is our Facebook page.


A Seven-Step Diet plan:

The $500 DIET: Weight Loss for People Who Are Committed to Change. Read an Excerpt.

Free iTunes Audio Download.

Would you rather lose a pound next week or $500? Most people given the choice would find it pretty easy to take off a pound. This simple insight is the key to a seven-step plan, The $500 Diet, that can guide you to sustained weight loss. Most diet books obsess about what you should put in your mouth. But information is not the problem. You already know that to lose weight you need to eat a bit less or exercise a bit more.
The $500 Diet is a different kind of diet plan, because it doesn’t tell you how much to eat or exercise. You are smart enough—with the help of the Internet and dozens of dieting books—to figure that out. What’s unique about The $500 Diet is that it works on another dimension. It lets you change your own incentives to lose weight. New York Times best-selling author, Ian Ayres, tells you about his own struggles with weight loss, and lays out advice for how you can use commitment contracts to safely lose 10 percent of your body weight. You’ll learn about his seven-step plan to a happier and lighter you. Most important, Ayres tells you what you should do to keep it off. Most diet books are written by physicians and scientists, but Ayres is a contract lawyer and an economist who uses the tools of his crafts to help you change how much you want to eat. If you are serious about losing weight, The $500 Diet provides a simple tool that can help you commit to a healthier life. Kindle Download. Free iTunes Audio Download.

Ian's Latest Book:

CARROTS and STICKS: Unlock the Power of Incentives to Get Things Done.

Could you lose weight if you put $20,000 at risk? Would you finally set up your billing software if it meant that your favorite charity would earn a new contribution? Carrot and Sticks describes the fascinating new science of rewards and punishments—to help people and organizations meet their personal and professional goals.

Ian Ayres' Carrots & Sticks slideshow presentation from YLSITG on Vimeo.

Ian co-founded a website to help you stickK to your goals:

Also published in 2010:

LIFECYCLE INVESTING: A New, Safe, and Audacious Way to Improve the Performance of Your Retirement Portfolio.

This book shows a new way to invest that can safely improve the size of your retirement portfolio by 60%. The big idea is time diversification. Lifecycle Investing teaches you how to better spread risk over time.


The book that shows that a new thinking by the numbers--analyzing millions of bytes of information--provides people with greater insight into human behavior and allows them to predict the future with staggeringly accurate results.

An Introduction to SUPER CRUNCHERS