Joe Pinsker

I'm a staff writer at The Atlantic, where I cover the intersection of money, families, and culture—how economics affects our relationships and our daily lives. I also often write about inequality, food, psychology, time use, and, of course, Jeopardy.

During the pandemic, I've written about young people moving back in with their parents, the COVID-19 baby bust, the economic and racial disparities that would go on to define 2020, the "super-savers" of the pandemic, and the peculiar way time passed in 2020.

In less trying times, I've written about "metacookbooks," the lines for men's and women's bathrooms, the psychology of Inbox Zero, long-distance relationships, the "Sunday Scaries" and the nature of modern work, and human-like pet food.

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, went to college in Philadelphia, am based in Davidson, NC, and eat the same thing for lunch every (work)day.


You can find my most recent articles on my author page at The Atlantic.

Here are some of my favorites, broken down by category:

Families and Parenting
The Best Parenting Advice Is to Go Live in Europe (2019)
What Number of Kids Makes Parents Happiest? (2019)
The Slackification of the American Home (2019)
The Way American Parents Think About Chores Is Bizarre (2018)

Amazon, My Face Wash, and Me (2019)
What Do Early KonMari Adopters’ Homes Look Like Now? (2019)
Frugality Isn’t What It Used to Be (2016)
The Psychology Behind Costco's Free Samples (2014)

Here Comes the COVID-19 Baby Bust (2020)
'We’re Talking About More Than Half a Million People Missing From the U.S. Population' (2020)
What Happens When the World’s Population Stops Growing? (2019)

The Psychology of Money
Why So Many Americans Don’t Talk About Money (2020)
Who Actually Feels Satisfied About Money? (2019)
I Made One Simple Financial Change and It Lowered My Spending (2018)
The Reason Many Ultrarich People Aren’t Satisfied With Their Wealth (2018)


I've discussed my articles in interviews with CNN, On the Media, and several other TV and radio outlets.

You can get in touch with me at and follow me on Twitter @jpinsk.

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