Here’s Why All Your Projects Are Always Late — and What to Do About It (Ep. 323 Rebroadcast)

Whether it’s a giant infrastructure plan or a humble kitchen renovation, it’ll inevitably take way too long and cost way too much. That’s because you suffer from “the planning fallacy.” (You also have an “optimism bias” and a bad case of overconfidence.) But don’t worry: we’ve got the solution.

23andMe (and You, and Everyone Else) (Ep. 378)

The revolution in home DNA testing is giving consumers important, possibly life-changing information. It’s also building a gigantic database that could lead to medical breakthroughs. But how will you deal with upsetting news? What if your privacy is compromised? And are you prepared to have your DNA monetized? We speak with Anne Wojcicki, founder and C.E.O. of 23andMe.

The $1.5 Trillion Question: How to Fix Student-Loan Debt? (Ep. 377)

As the cost of college skyrocketed, it created a debt burden that’s putting a drag on the economy. One possible solution: shifting the risk of debt away from students and onto investors looking for a cut of the graduates’ earning power.

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04 23 2012

Solar Subsidies

We are installing over 30 solar panels on our roof. The City of Austin currently offers a rebate up to $15,000 for 60 per cent of the cost, and the federal government gives a 30 per cent credit on the remainder. With those subsidies, the rate of return on our own investment is 17 percent -- making...

The Data-Driven Guide to Sane Parenting (Ep. 376)

Humans have been having kids forever, so why are modern parents so bewildered? The economist Emily Oster marshals the evidence on the most contentious topics — breastfeeding and sleep training, vaccines and screen time — and tells her fellow parents to calm the heck down.

The Invisible Paw (Ep. 329 Rebroadcast)

Humans, it has long been thought, are the only animal to engage in economic activity. But what if we've had it exactly backward?

The Most Interesting Fruit in the World (Ep. 375)

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?

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.”