Why Is My Life So Hard? (Rebroadcast)

Season 7, Episode 15 This week on Freakonomics Radio: most of us feel we face more obstacles than everyone else — which breeds resentment. We also undervalue the tailwinds that help us — which leaves us ungrateful and unhappy. Stephen J. Dubner asks, “How can we avoid this trap?” To find out more, check out the […]

The Demonization of Gluten

Celiac disease is thought to affect roughly one percent of the population. The good news: it can be treated by quitting gluten. The bad news: many celiac patients haven’t been diagnosed. The weird news: millions of people without celiac disease have quit gluten – which may be a big mistake.

What Are You Waiting For?

Standing in line represents a particularly sloppy — and frustrating — way for supply and demand to meet. Why haven’t we found a better way to get what we want? Is it possible that we secretly enjoy waiting in line? And might it even be (gulp) good for us?

Should We Really Behave Like Economists Say We Do? (Rebroadcast)

Season 7, Episode 12  You have perhaps come across the phrase homo economicus, which describes a model for human behavior as seen through the lens of economics. In this hour, you’ll hear Freakonomics Radio producer Greg Rosalsky embark on a long and tortuous process to live his life like this strange creature. Is this even […]

Why Doesn’t Everyone Get the Flu Vaccine?

Season 7, Episode 11 This week on Freakonomics Radio: what if there were a small step you could take that would prevent you from getting sick, stop you from missing work, and help ensure you won’t play a part in killing babies, the sick, and the elderly? That actually exists: it’s called the flu shot. But […]

What Would Be the Best Universal Language? (Earth 2.0 Series)

Season 7, Episode 10 This week on Freakonomics Radio: What would be the best universal language? Stephen J. Dubner explores votes for English, Indonesian, and … Esperanto! The search for a common language goes back millennia, but so much still gets lost in translation. Will technology finally solve that? To find out more, check out the […]

Why Don’t We All Speak the Same Language? (Earth 2.0 Series)

Season 7, Episode 9 This week on Freakonomics Radio: there are 7,000 languages spoken on Earth. What are the costs — and benefits — of our modern-day Tower of Babel? Plus: the search for a common language goes back millennia, but so much still gets lost in translation. Stephen J. Dubner asks, “Will technology finally solve […]

What Are the Secrets of the German Economy — and Should We Steal Them?

Season 7, Episode 8 This week on Freakonomics Radio: smart government policies, good industrial relations, and high-end products have helped German manufacturing beat back the threats of globalization. But how did “the sick man of Europe” turn into the economic stud we see today? To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour […]

Why Larry Summers Is the Economist Everyone Hates to Love

Season 7, Episode 7 This week on Freakonomics Radio: he’s been U.S. Treasury Secretary, a chief economist for the Obama White House and the World Bank, and president of Harvard. He’s one of the most brilliant economists of his generation (and perhaps the most irascible). And he thinks the Trump Administration is wrong on just […]

When the White House Got Into the Nudge Business

Season 7, Episode 6 This week on Freakonomics Radio: a tiny behavioral-sciences startup in the Obama White House tried to improve the way federal agencies did their work. Considering the size (and habits) of most federal agencies, it wasn’t so simple. Plus: a terrorism summit. Stephen Dubner reviews what we do and don’t know about terrorism; what’s […]