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Planet Money

Author: NPR

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Wanna see a trick? Give us any topic and we can tie it back to the economy. At Planet Money, we explore the forces that shape our lives and bring you along for the ride. Don't just understand the economy – understand the world.

Wanna go deeper? Subscribe to Planet Money+ and get sponsor-free episodes of Planet Money, The Indicator, and Planet Money Summer School. Plus access to bonus content. It's a new way to support the show you love. Learn more at
662 Episodes
Anyone who has tried shopping for day care knows that it is tough out there.For one, it is hard even to get your hands on information about costs, either online or over the phone – day cares will often only share their prices after you have taken a tour of their facilities. Even once you find a place you like, many day cares have waitlists stretching 6 months, 9 months, a year.Waitlists are a classic economic sign that something isn't right, that prices are too low. But ask any parent and they will tell you that prices for day cares are actually too high. According to a recent report from the U.S. Treasury, more than 60% of families can't afford the full cost of high quality day care. Meanwhile, day care owners can barely afford to stay open. No one is happy.On today's show, we get into the very weird, very broken market for day care. We will try to understand how this market can simultaneously strain parents' budgets and underpay its workers. And we will look at a few possible solutions.This show was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. Emma Peaslee helped book the show. It was mastered by Gilly Moon. Keith Romer edited this episode. Jess Jiang is our acting Executive Producer. Help support Planet Money and get bonus episodes by subscribing to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
Groundhog Day 2023

Groundhog Day 2023


It's Groundhog Day, and once again, the eyes of the nation have turned to a small town in Western Pennsylvania. Every February 2nd, the only story anyone can talk about is whether or not Punxsutawney Phil will see his own shadow. If he does: six more weeks of winter. If he doesn't: spring is on its way.This year, in a cruel twist of fate reminiscent of the 1993 movie Groundhog Day, two Planet Money hosts have found themselves facing a curse. They'll be trapped in this never-ending groundhog news cycle until they can find a new February 2nd story to tell...something that has nothing to do with one furry prognosticator... something that changed the economy forever.So rise and shine campers, and don't forget your booties as we journey through a series of Groundhog Days past to try to find a historical scoop.This show was produced by Dave Blanchard and edited by Sally Helm. It was engineered by Robert Rodriguez and Gilly Moon and fact-checked by Sierra Juarez. Planet Money's acting executive producer is Jess Jiang.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
A great economics paper does two things. It takes on a big question, and it finds a smart way to answer that question.But some papers go even further. The very best papers have the power to change lives.That was the case for three economists we spoke to: Nancy Qian, Belinda Archibong, and Kyle Greenberg.They all stumbled on important economics papers at crucial moments in their careers, and those papers gave them a new way to see the world. On today's show - how economics papers on the Pentecostal church in Ghana, the Vietnam war draft, and the price of butter in Sweden shaped the courses of three lives.This episode was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Keith Romer. Sierra Juarez checked the facts, and it was mastered by Natasha Branch with help from Gilly Moon. Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
Monopoly is one of the best-selling board games in history. The game's staying power may in part be because of strong American lore — the idea that anyone, with just a little bit of cash, can rise from rags to riches. Mary Pilon, author of The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game.But there's another origin story – a very different one that promotes a very different image of capitalism. (And with two sets of starkly different rules.) That story shows how a critique of capitalism grew from a seed of an idea in a rebellious young woman's mind into a game legendary for its celebration of wealth at all costs. This episode was made in collaboration with NPR's Throughline. For more about the origin story of Monopoly, listen to their original episode Do Not Pass Go. This episode was produced by Emma Peaslee, mastered by Natasha Branch, and edited by Jess Jiang. The Throughline episode was produced by Rund Abdelfatah, Ramtin Arablouei, Lawrence Wu, Laine Kaplan-Levenson, Julie Caine, Victor Yvellez, Anya Steinberg, Yolanda Sangweni, Casey Miner, Cristina Kim, Devin Katayama, and Amiri Tulloch. It was fact-checked by Kevin Volkl and mixed by Josh Newell.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
Charles Ponzi's scheme

Charles Ponzi's scheme


Some of history's biggest financial scams owe their name to Charles Ponzi. Here's the story of the man behind the eponymous scheme.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
Big Rigged (Classic)

Big Rigged (Classic)


Driving a truck used to mean freedom. Now it means a mountain of debt.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
If the Fed had a mantra to go along with its mandate, it might well be "two percent." We look into how that became the target inflation rate, why some economists are calling for a change and how the inflation rate becomes unanchored.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
Welcome to the Planet Money Movie Club, a regular series from Planet Money+ in which we watch an economics-related movie and discuss! On today's episode, Kenny Malone, Wailin Wong, and Willa Rubin talk about Frank Capra's 1946 classic 'It's A Wonderful Life.' They discuss CPI adjustments, how a copyright lapse helped make the film more popular, and what exactly a 'Building and Loan' is.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
All sorts of lessons (even about economics) can be learned from kids' books. On today's show, we visit an elementary school to try to teach third graders econ using some beloved childrens' classics. And, along the way, we learn a few things ourselves.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
It's that time of year again! Our annual year-end tradition of checking in on previous stories to hear what happened after the microphones stopped running.We'll hear from a CEO who was trying to get her company out of Russia amidst the war in Ukraine, check in with an organizer who was trying to turn his community into a city, follow-up on our experiment in polling, and get the latest from our record label — Planet Money Records. Plus, we learn of a romance sparked by a podcast episode!Check out the original stories:Eagles vs. ChickensEscape from RussiaA tale of two cityhoodsPlanet Money tries election pollingThe $100 million deliPlanet Money Records Vol. 1: Earnest JacksonPlanet Money Records Vol. 2: The NegotiationSubscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
2022 was a year of big economic changes. But what economic story most defined the year? Our hosts from Planet Money and The Indicator battle it out over what should be crowned the indicator of the year. Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
Cold economic reasoning says, supposedly, that gifts are inefficient transfers of wealth. But Planet Money host Jeff Guo believes in the economic virtues of gift giving. On today's show, Jeff tries to win over Planet Money's resident Scrooge, Kenny Malone, by going on a quest to find him the perfect gift. Along the way, they're visited by the spirits of three Nobel prize-winning economic theories that can explain why gift-giving is actually good. And by the end, Kenny's heart may just grow three sizes larger. Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
"ESG" investing – Environmental, Social, Governance – has attracted a lot of attention from investors, and from Republican politicians who call it "woke investing." On today's show, what the fight over ESG reveals about the potential and limitations of sustainable investing.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
Inflation is making prices go up, except not for...sports tickets? So, we set out on a daylong sporting event marathon to learn why.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
Spam call bounty hunter

Spam call bounty hunter


Telemarketing calls are not only annoying; in some cases, they are illegal. Congress even gives you the right to sue scofflaw telemarketers for $500 a call. Today, the story of one man who collected a surprising amount of money bringing telemarketers to justice. Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
Jelle Peterse's company ships cheese all over the world, but they don't always get their cheese racks back. In this episode, we try to fix a supply chain problem. Gouda grief!Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
A lot of computing pioneers were women. For decades, the number of women in computer science was growing. But in 1984, something changed.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
My Favorite Tax Loophole

My Favorite Tax Loophole


There's a big difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion. But sometimes even avoiding taxes (legally) can feel like you're getting away with something. Today, we share some of our — and your! — favorite loopholes in the U.S. tax code.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
Messi economics

Messi economics


Soccer star Lionel Messi is currently hoping to lead Argentina to victory in the World Cup. His path to global fame was shaped by a crisis in Argentina's economy.This episode was made in collaboration with NPR and Futuro Studios's The Last Cup podcast.Subscribe to Planet Money+ in Apple Podcasts or at
This episode was first released as a bonus episode for Planet Money+ listeners last month. We're sharing it today for all listeners. To hear more episodes like this one and support NPR in the process, sign up for Planet Money+ at Planet Money+ supporters: we'll have a fresh bonus episode for you next week! "Save aggressively for retirement when you're young." "The stock market is a sure-fire long-term bet." "Fixed-rate mortgages are better than adjustable-rate mortgages." Popular financial advice like this appears in all kinds of books by financial thinkfluencers. But how does that advice stack up against more traditional economic thinking? That's the question Yale economist James Choi set out to answer in a paper called Popular Personal Financial Advice Versus The Professors. In this interview, he tells Greg Rosalsky what he found. Their talk marks another edition of Behind The Newsletter, in which Greg shares conversations with policy makers and economists who appear in the Planet Money newsletter. Subscribe to the newsletter at Read more about James Choi's paper here:
Comments (654)



Feb 3rd

Megan Myers

Horrifying to hear how that ended.

Jan 20th

Rachel Hultz

I hope those kids took away the important unstated lesson of their experience: there's information that the powerful and those in the establishment don't want you to be able to access. There are ideas that are dangerous to the systems of power around you. Think those thoughts. Gain that information. Don't be compliant.

Jan 7th

atbin marzban

not bad

Dec 20th

Don Paine


Dec 13th

Jackson Ito

how do u smooth spending if you don't know how much you will make?! Even a MBA from a Ivy league is no guarantee that you will make "a lot of money", what does that even mean?! it makes total sense for smoothing saving (which you can control) rather than spending smoothing.

Nov 24th

Sveta Mobile

I am super surprised to hear that ebooks have expiration date or number of uses. I think this is lame.

Nov 19th

Ajax Leblanc

is it against the rules to play the song on repeat on 0 volume all night just to get this man some listens?

Nov 1st

Amber Williams

I saved "Inflation" in my Spotify Playlist and shared it with my husband. we both love the song!

Oct 31st

Norm Ellison

Loving this. Absolutely a must listen for anyone in the music biz or thinking about getting into it.

Oct 30th


Argentina, China, Mexico

Oct 22nd


))× m6 600z3 .ekd9 siqis2am 0l

Oct 13th

Farhad Rad

#Mahsa_Amini #Nika_Shakarami #Sarina_Smailzade #Hadis_Najafi #Dictator_Governance #Protest #Iran #مهسا_امینی #نیکا_شاکرمی #حدیث_نجفی #سارینا_اسماعیل_زاده ✌️✌️✌️

Oct 9th

Nate Flippin

Or maybe we are in a recession after two negative quarters of GDP growth, as well as super high inflation hurting everyones wallet. And you guys changed the definition of a recession to save some politicians. We are probably on the edge of something much worse coming. So yeah the "vibes" are not great.

Sep 17th

Chris Horton

So Dickens had it right in Great Expectations!

Sep 10th

Jasmine Bond

As someone who lived in Cobb County for most of my life, this story really helped to shed some more light on the history of Cobb and Atlanta. Thanks!

Sep 2nd

lilin ji


Aug 29th
Reply (2)


its just classic leftist propaganda

Aug 19th
Reply (2)

Maureen E O'Brien

n n no2zA w??*? M. Z. zw ., , ,

Aug 17th

Maureen E O'Brien

n n no2zA w??*? M. Z

Aug 17th
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