Our podcast this week is all about driving. Last spring, we had a podcast on driverless vehicles that heavily focused on its likely positive safety impacts. Over at Economix, economist Casey Mulligan explores another likely effect of both driverless cars and the drone delivery services that Amazon is experimenting with: property values increase in urban centers. Here’s Mulligan’s theory:
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As technology helps with moving goods and people more cheaply, it might seem that urban real estate would give up some of its price premium because distance becomes less of an obstacle to economic transactions. Wouldn’t a driverless car cause some workers to sell their Manhattan apartments and commute to their jobs from more spacious homes in the suburbs or even rural New York State?
This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “The Most Dangerous Machine.“ [MUSIC: Beau Blues Band, “Nice and Easy”] Stephen J. DUBNER: Steve Levitt is my Freakonomics friend and co-author. He teaches economics at the University of Chicago. DUBNER: So Levitt, how good or bad a driver are you, scale of […] Read More »
A few weeks ago, we released a podcast called “Who Runs the Internet,” which included Levitt’s thoughts on whether online mayhem, including violent video games, may actually reduce real-world violence. Here’s what Levitt had to say on the matter:
Maybe the biggest effect of all of having these violent video games is that they’re super fun for people to play, especially adolescent boys, maybe even adolescent boys who are prone to real violence. And so if you can make video games fun enough, then kids will stop doing everything else. They’ll stop watching TV, they’ll stop doing homework, and they’ll stop going out and creating mayhem on the street.
The Times of Israel recently reported on a new study confirming Levitt’s theory:
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The research, done by The Center for Educational Technology, asserts that video games — even violent ones — are beneficial for children on a scale much bigger than originally thought. The claims are in contradiction to other studies that found that extended gaming led to depression, anxiety and stunted social development, not to mention the physical effects brought on by long hours of sitting. Some studies have also linked between video games and increased violent behavior in children, arguing that simulated violence leads to real-life violence.
One of our first Freakonomics Radio podcasts was about an innovative New York City Department of Education pilot program called School of One. You can listen to the podcast here, but here’s the gist: “The School of One tries to take advantage of technology to essentially customize education for every kid in every classroom and help teachers do their job more effectively. “
• Teach to One students started the 2012-13 academic year significantly below national averages
• The average gains of Teach to One students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades surpassed those made by students nationally by ~20%. The researchers said this is particularly noteworthy since participating schools would likely not have scored at the national average without Teach to One.
• The average gains of Teach to One students in most demographic sub-groups outperformed national norms
• Teach to One students who started with the weakest mathematics skills made the greatest gains—50 percent higher than the national average.
This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Fighting Poverty With Actual Evidence.” [MUSIC: D. James Goodwin, “A New Team”] Stephen J. DUBNER: On a recent podcast, we asked this question: “Would a big bucket of cash really change your life?” The episode was about a 19th century land lottery in Georgia. For […] Read More »
There’s a new political party in town: it’s primarily focused on creating more political parties. Jared Hardy recently wrote to us about Startup Party USA, the “first 3+ political party in the United States. From the website:
Tired of only voting for a party duopoly? Join the Startup Party USA to change our elections away from duopolist rule. Startups aren’t just for monetary profit.
The Startup Party USA intends to be the first 3+ political party in the United States. A 3+ political party is one with the primary mission of reforming voting rules so that even more parties have an equal and fair chance at winning elections. To accomplish this, we must first eliminate winner-take-all or “first past the post” voting everywhere in the USA.
This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “What Do Skating Rinks, Ultimate Frisbee, and the World Have in Common?” [MUSIC: Glenn Crytzer and His Syncopators, “Century Stomps” (from Harlem Mad)] Dan KLEIN: Hi, I’m Dan Klein. I’m a professor of economics at George Mason University. I got into economics very much from a […] Read More »