Season 8, Episode 26

Sure, medical progress has been astounding. But today the U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country, with so-so outcomes. Atul Gawande — cancer surgeon, public-health researcher, and best-selling author — has some simple ideas for treating a painfully complex system. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was […]

Season 8, Episode 25

In the early 20th century, Max Weber argued that Protestantism created wealth. Finally, there are data to prove if he was right. All it took were some missionary experiments in the Philippines and a clever map-matching trick that goes back to 16th-century Germany. Also: It began as a post-war dream for a more collaborative and […]

Season 8, Episode 24

A quirky little grocery chain with California roots and German ownership has a lot to teach all of us about choice architecture, efficiency, frugality, collaboration, and team spirit. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Should America Be Run by … Trader Joe’s?” and “Is the Protestant Work […]

Why Is This Man Running for President?

Season 8, Episode 23 In the American Dream sweepstakes, Andrew Yang was a pretty big winner. But for every winner, he came to realize, there are thousands upon thousands of losers — a “war on normal people,” he calls it. Here’s what he plans to do about it. To find out more, check out the […]

How Sports Became Us (Rebroadcast)

Season 8, Episode 22 Dollar-wise, the sports industry is surprisingly small, about the same size as the cardboard-box industry. So why does it make so much noise? Because it reflects — and often amplifies — just about every political, economic, and social issue of the day. To find out more, check out the podcast from […]

How Does Creativity Happen?

Season 8, Episode 21 How does creativity happen? What if we don’t “get” ideas? What if we have to “make” them? Also: more of our conversation with Elvis Costello, who’s had one of the most extraordinary careers in modern music and has recently put out a new record, called Look Now. To learn more, check […]

Where Does Creativity Come From (and Why Do Schools Kill It Off)?

Season 8, Episode 20 Family environments and “diversifying experiences” (including the early death of a parent); intrinsic versus extrinsic motivations; schools that value assessments, but don’t assess the things we value. All these elements factor into the long, mysterious march towards a creative life. To learn more, we examine the early years of Ai Weiwei, […]

How to Be Creative

Season 8, Episode 19 There are thousands of books on the subject, but what do we actually know about creativity? In this new series, we talk to the researchers who study it as well as artists, inventors, and pathbreakers who live it every day: Ai Weiwei, James Dyson, Elvis Costello, Jennifer Egan, Rosanne Cash, Wynton […]

Two (Totally Opposite) Ways to Save the Planet

Season 8, Episode 18 This week on Freakonomics Radio: The environmentalists say we’re doomed if we don’t drastically reduce consumption. The technologists say that human ingenuity can solve just about any problem. A debate that’s been around for decades has become a shouting match. Is anyone right? To learn more, check out the podcast from […]

Does “Early Education” Come Way Too Late? (Rebroadcast)

Season 8, Episode 17 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 […]