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Why You Should Bribe Your Kids: Full Transcript

[MUSIC: Pearl Django, “La Rive Gauche” (from Under Paris Skies)] Stephen J. DUBNER: Hello, John List? John LIST: Stephen Dubner, how are you doing, man? DUBNER: I’m great! How are you doing? LIST: Great! Great! DUBNER: John List is an economist at the University of Chicago. And he’s a family man – five kids. DUBNER: […] Read More »

What Do King Solomon and David Lee Roth Have in Common? Full Transcript

[MUSIC: Margie Butler, “Morag’s Cradle Song/Walter Kilpie” (from Festival De Musiques Irlandaises Vol. 1 (Musiques Celtiques))] Stephen J. DUBNER: Hello. I’d like you to imagine for a moment that you a sheep farmer. Not some fancy, 21st-century sheep farmer with heritage breeds and heated barns – just your standard, hard-working sheep farmer living hundreds of […] Read More »

A Better Way to Eat: Full Transcript

[MUSIC: Vagabond Opera, “Chimeres Be Met” (from The Zeitgeist Beckons)] Stephen J. DUBNER: Kobi, can you just like count to 10 in your microphone? Takeru KOBAYASHI: 1,2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. DUBNER: Maggie, do the same? Or say anything you want, he just needs to get a level. Just keep talking… […] Read More »

How to Screen Job Applicants, Act Your Age, and Get Your Brain Off Autopilot: Full Transcript

[MUSIC: Johnny Sangster, “Fastbook”] Stephen J. DUBNER: Hey podcast listeners. Freakonomics Radio is a public-radio show. Which means that you, the listening public, are a main source of our financial support. So please go to and click on the “Donate” button, which we have temporarily made so gigantic as to be unavoidable. We’ll send […] Read More »

There’s No Such Thing as a Free Appetizer: Full Transcript

[MUSIC: The Civil Tones, “City Stoopin’” (from City Stoopin’)]   Stephen J. DUBNER: Hey podcast listeners. As you may know, Freakonomics Radio is a public-radio project, which means it is supported by you, our listeners. In other words, we need you to send us some money! Just go to and click on the “donate” […] Read More »

Why America Doesn’t Love Soccer (Yet): Full Transcript

[MUSIC: Jonathan Geer, “Happy Elevator”] Stephen J. DUBNER: Okay, time for a guessing game. I’m thinking of something that only happens every four years and that everyone gets really excited about … MEDIA CLIP: Well, this year’s a leap year! Anyone with a special leap day birthday today can get in on some good deals. […] Read More »

Italy to Include Prostitution and Illegal Drugs in GDP

Bloomberg reports that Italy will now begin including its shadow economy in the country’s GDP, in an effort to reduce the national deficit:

Italy will include prostitution and illegal drug sales in the gross domestic product calculation this year, a boost for its chronically stagnant economy and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s effort to meet deficit targets.

Drugs, prostitution and smuggling will be part of GDP as of 2014 and prior-year figures will be adjusted to reflect the change in methodology, the Istat national statistics office said today. The revision was made to comply with European Union rules, it said.

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Failure Is Your Friend: Full Transcript

[MUSIC: Phil Symonds, “Spring Delight”] Stephen J. DUBNER: Um, so Levitt, you’re a fairly successful fellow. Steve LEVITT: Thank you. DUBNER: I’m just curious — have you succeeded at everything you’ve ever done? LEVITT: No, I’ve mostly failed at everything I’ve ever done. DUBNER: Particulars please? LEVITT: Well, definitely golf. Golf has been a lifelong […] Read More »