The Most Interesting Fruit in the World

The banana used to be a luxury good. Now it’s the most popular fruit in the U.S. and elsewhere. But the production efficiencies that made it so cheap have also made it vulnerable to a deadly fungus that may wipe out the one variety most of us eat. Scientists do have a way to save it — but will Big Banana let them?

How Spotify Saved the Music Industry (But Not Necessarily Musicians) (Ep. 374)

Daniel Ek, a 23-year-old Swede who grew up on pirated music, made the record labels an offer they couldn’t refuse: a legal platform to stream all the world’s music. Spotify reversed the labels’ fortunes, made Ek rich, and thrilled millions of music fans. But what has it done for all those musicians stuck in the long tail?

Why Rent Control Doesn’t Work (Ep. 373)

As cities become ever-more expensive, politicians and housing advocates keep calling for rent control. Economists think that’s a terrible idea. They say it helps a small (albeit noisy) group of renters, but keeps overall rents artificially high by disincentivizing new construction. So what happens next?

See a random post from our archives:
06 29 2010

Marijuananomics in California

NPR had a story about the rising average cost of growing marijuana in Humboldt County, Calif., a center of the industry. Costs are rising for two reasons: 1) Much pot-growing has shifted indoors to 24-hour-a-day growing periods, necessitating the use of lots of electricity; and 2) Electricity prices,...

Freakonomics Radio Live: “Would You Eat a Piece of Chocolate Shaped Like Dog Poop?” (Ep. 372)

What your disgust level says about your politics, how Napoleon influenced opera, why New York City’s subways may finally run on time, and more. Five compelling guests tell Stephen Dubner, co-host Angela Duckworth, and fact-checker Jody Avirgan lots of things they didn’t know.

Why You Shouldn’t Open a Restaurant (Ep. 347 Update)

Kenji López-Alt became a rock star of the food world by bringing science into the kitchen in a way that everyday cooks can appreciate. Then he dared to start his own restaurant — and discovered problems that even science can’t solve.

A Free-Trade Democrat in the Trump White House (Ep. 371)

For years, Gary Cohn thought he’d be the next C.E.O. of Goldman Sachs. Instead, he became the “adult in the room” in a chaotic administration. Cohn talks about the fights he won, the fights he lost, and the fights he was no longer willing to have. Also: why he and Trump are still on speaking terms even after he reportedly called the president “a professional liar.”

Season 8, Episode 27

Great athletes aren’t just great at the physical stuff. They’ve also learned how to handle pressure, overcome fear, and stay focused. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be an athlete to use what they know. (Part of “The Hidden Side of Sports” series.) To find out more, check out the podcast from which […]

How to Fail Like a Pro (Ep. 370)

The road to success is paved with failure, so you might as well learn to do it right. (Ep. 5 of the “How to Be Creative” series.)

Another Kidney-Donation Story to Make You Smile

A few years ago, we made a podcast episode with Al Roth, the Stanford economist whose work on market design and matchmaking won him a Nobel Prize. His most eye-catching work involves a system to increase the supply of kidney donors (and, more important, kidney recipients). We followed up that episode with another one, the […]

A Good Idea Is Not Good Enough (Ep. 369)

Whether you’re building a business or a cathedral, execution is everything. We ask artists, scientists, and inventors how they turned ideas into reality. And we find out why it’s so hard for a group to get things done — and what you can do about it. (Ep. 4 of the “How to Be Creative” series.)

Where Do Good Ideas Come From? (Ep. 368)

Whether you’re mapping the universe, hosting a late-night talk show, or running a meeting, there are a lot of ways to up your idea game. Plus: the truth about brainstorming. (Ep. 3 of the “How to Be Creative” series.)