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How Do We Know What Really Works in Healthcare?

Season 5, Episode 2

In part one (“How Do We Know What Really Works in Healthcare?“), Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt discussed 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 “accidental” RCT she discovered when Oregon expanded Medicaid. Read More »



When Willpower Isn’t Enough

Season 5, Episode 1

In part one (When Willpower Isn’t Enough), the Penn professor Katherine Milkman tells us about “temptation bundling,” which means pairing something you don’t want to do (but need to do) with something you love to do (but perhaps shouldn’t do). For instance: allowing yourself to watch your favorite TV show only while working out at the gym. Or eating a cheeseburger only when you go to visit your least-favorite relative. In part two (The Maddest Men of All), the iconoclastic vice chairman of Ogilvy & Mather in the U.K., Rory Sutherland, tells us how marketers use behavioral economics to get us all to buy now and think later. Read More »



“I Don’t Know What You’ve Done With My Husband But He’s a Changed Man”: A New Freakonomics Radio Episode


Our latest Freakonomics Radio episode is called “I Don’t Know What You’ve Done With My Husband, But He’s a Changed Man.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript, which includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.) The gist: from domestic abusers to former child soldiers, there is increasing evidence that behavioral therapy can turn them around.
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“I Don’t Know What You’ve Done With My Husband But He’s a Changed Man” Full Transcript

This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “I Don’t Know What You’ve Done With My Husband But He’s a Changed Man” [MUSIC: Christopher Norman, “Word of Prey” (from EP3)] Johnson BORH: All of a sudden we heard of the war. Stephen J. DUBNER: The war was a civil war, the first of two in […] Read More »



Preventing Crime for Pennies on the Dollar Full Transcript

This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Preventing Crime for Pennies on the Dollar” Stephen J. DUBNER: We begin today on the South Side of Chicago, in Dawes Park. It’s summertime. A bunch of teenagers are playing basketball. DUBNER: Some younger kids are hanging around nearby. They’re just goofing off and, when they see […] Read More »



The President of Harvard Will See You Now Full Transcript

This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “The President of Harvard Will See You Now” [MUSIC: Travis Geer, “Halcyon Summer” (from Cinema Spectaculaire)] Drew Gilpin FAUST: I’m Drew Faust. I’m the president of Harvard University. Stephen J. DUBNER: That is a nice thing to say, isn’t it? FAUST: It is. DUBNER: We spoke with […] Read More »



Are You Ready for a Glorious Sunset? Full Transcript

This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Are You Ready for a Glorious Sunset?” [MUSIC: Brotherun, “Wishful Thinking” (from Brotherun EP)] Stephen J. DUBNER: In our previous episode, we talked about a set of TV commercials that use behavioral research to sell financial products like life insurance. Daniel GILBERT: It’s great to think optimistically […] Read More »



How to Make a Smart TV Ad Full Transcript

This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “How to Make a Smart TV Ad.” [MUSIC: Dan Sistos, “Caravan Jam” (from The Road to Euphoria)] Stephen J. DUBNER: Hello, my friends. I don’t always watch TV. But when I do, I see a lot of terrible commercials. Sometimes they’re sophomoric. MEDIA CLIP: Hey, Ralph, can […] Read More »