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Freakonomics Radio

Author: Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher

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Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers. The entire archive, going back to 2010, is available on the Stitcher podcast app and at freakonomics.com.
21 Episodes
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The dean of Yale’s School of Management grew up in a small village in Guyana. During his unlikely journey, he has researched video-gaming habits, communicable disease, and why so many African-Americans haven’t had the kind of success he’s had. Steve Levitt talks to Charles about his parents’ encouragement, his love of Sports Illustrated, and how he talks to his American-born kids about the complicated history of Blackness in America.  See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
Trump says it would destroy us. Biden needs the voters who support it (especially the Bernie voters). The majority of millennials would like it to replace capitalism. But what is “it”? We bring in the economists to sort things out and tell us what the U.S. can learn from the good (and bad) experiences of other (supposedly) socialist countries. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings came to believe that corporate rules can kill creativity and innovation. In this latest edition of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, guest host Maria Konnikova talks to Hastings about his new book, No Rules Rules, and why for some companies the greatest risk is taking no risks at all. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
Thanks to daily Covid testing and regimented protocols, the new football season is underway. Meanwhile, most teachers, students, and parents are essentially waiting for the storm to pass. And school isn’t even a contact sport (usually). See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
She’s best known for playing neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, but the award-winning actress has a rich life outside of her acting career, as a teacher, mother — and a real-life neuroscientist.  Steve Levitt tries to learn more about this one-time academic and Hollywood non-conformist, who is both very similar to him and also quite his opposite. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
We all know our political system is “broken” — but what if that’s not true? Some say the Republicans and Democrats constitute a wildly successful industry that has colluded to kill off competition, stifle reform, and drive the country apart. So what are you going to do about it? See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
We explore the science, scalability, and (of course) economics surrounding the global vaccine race. Guests include the chief medical officer of the first U.S. firm to go to Phase 3 trials with a vaccine candidate; a former F.D.A. commissioner who’s been warning of a pandemic for years; and an economist who thinks Covid-19 may finally change how diseases are cured. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
A new interview show with host Steve Levitt. Today he speaks with the Harvard psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker. By cataloging the steady march of human progress, the self-declared “polite Canadian” has managed to enrage people on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Levitt tries to understand why.  See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
What happens when tens of millions of fantasy-sports players are suddenly able to bet real money on real games? We’re about to find out. A recent Supreme Court decision has cleared the way to bring an estimated $300 billion in black-market sports betting into the light. We sort out the winners and losers. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
The endless pursuit of G.D.P., argues the economist Kate Raworth, shortchanges too many people and also trashes the planet. Economic theory, she says, “needs to be rewritten” — and Raworth has tried, in a book called Doughnut Economics. It has found an audience among reformers, and now the city of Amsterdam is going whole doughnut. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
Aisle upon aisle of fresh produce, cheap meat, and sugary cereal — a delicious embodiment of free-market capitalism, right? Not quite. The supermarket was in fact the endpoint of the U.S. government’s battle for agricultural abundance against the U.S.S.R. Our farm policies were built to dominate, not necessarily to nourish — and we are still living with the consequences. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
Everyone agrees that massive deforestation is an environmental disaster. But most of the standard solutions — scolding the Brazilians, invoking universal morality — ignore the one solution that might actually work See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
Most Americans agree that racial discrimination has been, and remains, a big problem. But that is where the agreement ends. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
The racial wealth gap in the U.S. is massive. We explore the causes, consequences, and potential solutions. Also: another story of discrimination and economic disparity, this one perpetrated by an international sporting authority. The first of a two-part series. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
Christina Romer was a top White House economist during the Great Recession. As a researcher, she specializes in the Great Depression. She tells us what those disasters can (and can’t) teach us about the Covid crash. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
424. How to Make Your Own Luck

424. How to Make Your Own Luck

2020-07-0201:03:1888

Before she decided to become a poker pro, Maria Konnikova didn’t know how many cards are in a deck. But she did have a Ph.D. in psychology, a brilliant coach, and a burning desire to know whether life is driven more by skill or chance. She found some answers in poker — and in her new book The Biggest Bluff, she’s willing to tell us everything she learned. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
Thanks to the pandemic, the telehealth revolution we’ve been promised for decades has finally arrived. Will it stick? Will it cut costs — and improve outcomes? We ring up two doctors and, of course, an economist to find out. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
In this new addition to the Freakonomics Radio Network, co-hosts Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth discuss the relationship between age and happiness. Also: does all creativity come from pain? New episodes of "No Stupid Questions" are released every Sunday evening — please subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
Millions and millions are out of work, with some jobs never coming back. We speak with four economists — and one former presidential candidate — about the best policy options and the lessons (good and bad) from the past. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
Covid-19 is the biggest job killer in a century. As the lockdown eases, what does re-employment look like? Who will be first and who last? Which sectors will surge and which will disappear? Welcome to the Great Labor Reallocation of 2020. See omnystudio.com/policies/listener for privacy information.
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Comments (471)

Stuart Morgan

For a program that cares about facts it's not very accurate to describe Floyd as being murdered. Maybe he was, maybe he died of the drug overdose, maybe it was manslaughter but we still don't know this.

Sep 22nd
Reply

Stuart Morgan

60% of nfl players are black but the nfl is also racist? So if you don't agree 100% with blm or colin you are racist?

Sep 17th
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Erin Nelson

Zzzzz

Sep 15th
Reply (1)

Michelle McCurdy

Thank you for this! Explained so much that I had been wondering about. I would argue, however, that it's progressives that are lost, not the middle. The Democratic party (and I say this as a lifelong faithful Democratic voter) is perpetually courting moderates and Republican voters and ignoring - even showing distain for - the left wing. I would argue that we actually have a political monopoly as both parties essentially have their ultimate goal as appeasing the interests of big business. While they give poetic lip service to it, my Democratic party has failed to prioritize the interests of the poor and working class with the start of Clinton and his "third way". I've come to the tragic realization that I don't have a party 😥

Sep 11th
Reply

Vanessa Kirby

She is so interesting

Sep 6th
Reply (1)

Stuart Morgan

Why not cut the last 2 minutes of political rhetoric? Globalism doesn't work when China subverts the system. You're allowed an option on politics when you're a scientist but perhaps give it some thought before promulgating it to millions of people.

Sep 2nd
Reply

davide peruzzetto

beautiful!

Sep 1st
Reply

zq

Hope this ends soon. They all seem optimistic.

Aug 31st
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zq

What a tough situation we're in.

Aug 23rd
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samantha chong

sadly, some black people don't become middle class because of discriminations. if we gave them reparations most of them would become middle class or above. that means that we could tax them more so we would actually be getting the money back and then some. I think that's a big pro

Aug 22nd
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Hiro Park

l .. . . . . . . .

Aug 19th
Reply

Hiro Park

l .. . . . . . . .

Aug 19th
Reply

war is peace slavery is freedom

I certainly do agree with the idea of moving taxation from labor to primary goods. taxing someone's labor is an odious practice IMO.

Aug 18th
Reply

war is peace slavery is freedom

Very little evidence presented here for some outrageous claims. Degrowth is fun to talk about in ivory towers, but has yet to demonstrate any success, this podcast included. Saying "they're doing some great things in New Zealand" without actual, concrete examples is utterly useless.

Aug 18th
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Stuart Morgan

why no mention of nuclear?

Aug 14th
Reply (1)

war is peace slavery is freedom

excellent episode. I especially appreciated the anecdote about the world's second largest supercomputer being at the headquarters of Walmart. it's not often we think about the United States winning the Cold War via the supermarket or even the farm, but the point made in your program was absolutely correct: the supermarket did then and does today represent the end product of an entire industrial system. you are also correct to point out the relevance of the kitchen debate between Nixon and Khrushchev. that moment could be seen as the turn of the tide. I do hope in the future that could be remembered of Richard Nixon rather than his very unfortunate actions in Scandal. also, I was able to convince my wife to sit down and listen to this episode with me. Thank you, for bringing us both together yesterday evening. #freakonomicsdatenight

Aug 7th
Reply

war is peace slavery is freedom

Should the millions of white victims of racist black criminals over the decades get reparations? Furthermore, should codified bigotry also known as affirmative action be taken away since equality is supposedly what we're looking for in America?

Aug 1st
Reply (4)

Stuart Morgan

They never mentioned skill when comparing men and women's soccer. If we are talking about quality and output then what better way to test it via a men's vs women's match.

Jul 20th
Reply

war is peace slavery is freedom

Should the millions of white victims of racist black criminals over the decades get reparations?

Jul 17th
Reply (49)

Emily

great episode!

Jul 8th
Reply
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