Ten Ideas to Make Politics Less Rotten

We Americans may love our democracy — at least in theory — but at the moment our feelings toward the Federal government lie somewhere between disdain and hatred. Which electoral and political ideas should be killed off to make way for a saner system?

Open Call for a New Freakonomics Game-Show Podcast!

A while back, we made a Freakonomics Radio episode called Tell Me Something I Don’t Know. It was a live game show with audience contestants, celebrity panelists, and me as the host. People seemed to like listening to it (and I loved making it) so now we’re turning Tell Me Something I Don’t Know into […]

What Are Gender Barriers Made Of?

Overt discrimination in the labor markets may be on the wane, but women are still subtly penalized by all sorts of societal conventions. How can those penalties be removed without burning down the house?

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10 16 2013

Is There a Glass Ceiling in Corporate Crime?

Our podcast "Women Are Not Men" looked at a variety of gender gaps, including the fact that the vast majority of violent crime is committed by men. A new paper by Darrell J. Steffensmeier, Jennifer Schwartz, and Michael Roche in the American Sociological Review finds...

Is the Internet Being Ruined?

It’s a remarkable ecosystem that allows each of us to exercise control over our lives. But how much control do we truly have? How many of our decisions are really being made by Google and Facebook and Apple? And, perhaps most importantly: is the Internet’s true potential being squandered?

Confessions of a Pothole Politician

Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles, has big ambitions but knows he must first master the small stuff. He’s also a polymath who relies heavily on data and new technologies. Could this be what modern politics is supposed to look like?

The Suicide Paradox (Rebroadcast)

There are more than twice as many suicides as murders in the U.S., but suicide attracts far less scrutiny. Freakonomics Radio digs through the numbers and finds all kinds of surprises.

How Much Does the President Really Matter? (Rebroadcast)

The U.S. president is often called the "leader of free world." But if you ask an economist or a Constitutional scholar how much the occupant of the Oval Office matters, they won’t say much. We look at what the data have to say about measuring leadership, and its impact on the economy and the country.

Why Do We Really Follow the News? (Rebroadcast)

There are all kinds of civics-class answers to that question. But how true are they? Could it be that we like to read about war, politics, and miscellaneous heartbreak simply because it's (gasp) entertaining?

Are We in a Mattress-Store Bubble?

You’ve seen them -- everywhere! -- and often clustered together, as if central planners across America decided that what every city really needs is a Mattress District. There are now dozens of online rivals too. Why are there so many stores selling something we buy so rarely?

Why Does Everyone Hate Flying? And Other Questions Only a Pilot Can Answer

Patrick Smith, the author of Cockpit Confidential, answers every question we can throw at him about what really happens up in the air. Just don’t get him started on pilotless planes — or whether the autopilot is actually doing the flying.

The Longest Long Shot

When the uncelebrated Leicester City Football Club won the English Premier League, it wasn’t just the biggest underdog story in recent history. It was a sign of changing economics — and that other impossible, wonderful events might be lurking just around the corner.