Should Kids Pay Back Their Parents for Raising Them?

Season 6, Episode 2 This week on Freakonomics Radio: When one athlete turned pro, his mom asked him for $1 million. Our modern sensibilities tell us she doesn’t have a case. But does she? Plus, Steve Levitt talks about what he learned from his dad, good and bad. Next, Stephen Dubner shares one of the best lessons he ever learned, […]

Ten Ideas to Make Politics Less Rotten

Season 6, Episode 1 We Americans may love our democracy — at least in theory — but at the moment our feelings toward the Federal government lie somewhere between disdain and hatred. Which electoral and political ideas should be killed off to make way for a saner system? This episode features ideas from Olympia Snowe, Howard Dean, Joaquin […]

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know (Rebroadcast)

Season 5, Episode 46 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio, a live game show with host Stephen Dubner, and judges Malcolm Gladwell, Ana Gasteyer, and David Paterson. Audience members are invited onstage to tell us something we didn’t know. We learn a bit, laugh a lot, and as a bonus, each of the judges tell us […]

Is Migration a Basic Human Right? (Rebroadcast)

Season 5, Episode 45 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: The argument for open borders is compelling — and deeply problematic. We hear from economists for and against the argument, as well as immigrants, including former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. To learn more, check out the podcast from which this hour was […]

How To Win A Nobel Prize

Season 5, Episode 44 This week on Freakonomics Radio, how to win a Nobel Prize. Host Stephen Dubner talks with Per Stromberg, one of the people who choose the winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. And we learn as many of his secrets as we can pry out of him. Then, what happens after you win […]

Fixing the World, Bang-for-the-Buck Edition

Season 5, Hour 43 Here’s $2.5 trillion. You have 15 years to spend it. How do you distribute this money in a way that will achieve the most good for the world? This isn’t a hypothetical. In September 2015, the United Nations set its Sustainable Development Goals,  a continuation of the Millennium Development Goals it set in 2000. […]

Does “Early Education” Come Way Too Late?

Season 5, Episode 42 This week on Freakonomics Radio, in our collective zeal to reform schools and close the achievement gap, we may have lost sight of where most learning really happens — at home. Dana Suskind of the Thirty Million Words Initiative works with parents in their homes to teach them the best ways of […]

How Many Doctors Does It Take to Start a Healthcare Revolution? (Rebroadcast)

Season 5, Episode 3 In part one (“How Many Doctors Does It Take to Start a Healthcare Revolution?”), we continue conversations from last week’s episode, (“How Do We Know What Really Works in Healthcare?”). Anupam Jena, a physician, economist, and professor at Harvard Medical School, told us about his study that shows mortality rates improve when cardiologists […]

How Do We Know What Really Works in Healthcare? (Rebroadcast)

 Season 5, Episode 40 This week we look at healthcare. First, Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt discusses the randomized control trial, or RCT, which he calls “the very best way to learn about the world around us.” Then Amy Finkelstein, a professor of economics at MIT, talks about using RCTs to explore healthcare delivery — and the […]

How to Be Less Terrible at Predicting the Future

This week on Freakonomics Radio, experts and pundits are notoriously bad at forecasting, in part because they aren’t punished for bad predictions. Also, they tend to be deeply unscientific. The psychologist Philip Tetlock is finally turning prediction into a science — and now even you could become a superforecaster.