Season 8, Episode 52

An all-star team of behavioral scientists discovers that humans are stubborn (and lazy, and sometimes dumber than dogs). We also hear about binge drinking, humblebragging, and regrets. Recorded live in Philadelphia with guests including Richard Thaler, Angela Duckworth, Katy Milkman, and Tom Gilovich. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour […]

Season 8, Episode 51

The International Monetary Fund has long been the “lender of last resort” for economies in crisis. Christine Lagarde, who has led the institution since 2011 and will step down to head the European Central Bank later this year, has tried to prevent those crises from ever happening. To find out more, check out the podcasts from […]

Season 8, Episode 50

The gig economy offers the ultimate flexibility to set your own hours. That’s why economists thought it would help eliminate the gender pay gap. A new study, using data from over a million Uber drivers, finds the story isn’t so simple. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “What […]

Season 8, Episode 49

Conventional programs tend to be expensive, onerous, and ineffective. Could something as simple (and cheap) as cognitive behavioral therapy do the trick? Also, can a Queen song, played backwards, improve your mind-reading skills? To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “‘It’s Fun to Smoke Marijuana’” and “Preventing Crime for Pennies […]

Season 8, Episode 48

There are a lot of barriers to changing your mind: ego, overconfidence, inertia — and cost. Politicians who flip-flop get mocked; family and friends who cross tribal borders are shunned. But shouldn’t we be encouraging people to change their minds? And how can we get better at it ourselves? Also: a psychology professor argues that the brain’s greatest […]

Season 8, Episode 47

The controversial theory linking Roe v. Wade to a massive crime drop is back in the spotlight as several states introduce abortion restrictions. Steve Levitt and John Donohue discuss their original research, the challenges to its legitimacy, and their updated analysis. Also: what this means for abortion policy, crime policy, and having intelligent conversations about […]

Season 8, Episode 46

The revolution in home DNA testing is giving consumers important, possibly life-changing information. It’s also building a gigantic database that could lead to medical breakthroughs. But how will you deal with upsetting news? What if your privacy is compromised? And are you prepared to have your DNA monetized? We speak with Anne Wojcicki, founder and […]

Season 8, Episode 45

As cities become ever-more expensive, politicians and housing advocates keep calling for rent control. Economists think that’s a terrible idea. They say it helps a small (albeit noisy) group of renters, but keeps overall rents artificially high by disincentivizing new construction. So what happens next? To find out more, check out the podcast from which […]

Season 8, Episode 44

Games are as old as civilization itself, and some people think they have huge social value regardless of whether you win or lose. Tom Whipple is not one of those people. That’s why he consulted an army of preposterously overqualified experts to find the secret to winning any game. To find out more, check out […]

Season 8, Episode 43

The banana used to be a luxury good. Now it’s the most popular fruit in the U.S. and elsewhere. But the production efficiencies that made it so cheap have also made it vulnerable to a deadly fungus that may wipe out the one variety most of us eat. Scientists do have a way to save […]