BONUS EPISODE: How Much Does the President Really Matter?

This BONUS Freakonomics Radio episode is an old one we thought you might want to hear in light of our very dramatic and surprising Presidential election. It’s called “How Much Does the President Really Matter?” The U.S. president is often called the “leader of the free world.” But if you ask an economist or a Constitutional scholar how much […]

Strange Danger: TMSIDK Episode 1

Did you know there is one particularly dangerous time of day to vote? If not, you're not alone. Neither did the celebrity panelists on the first episode of Tell Me Something I Don't Know: Debora Spar, president of Barnard College; Anthony Marx, president of the New York Public Library; and Andy Zaltzman, comedian.

The White House Gets Into the Nudge Business

A tiny behavioral-sciences startup is trying to improve the way federal agencies do their work. Considering the size (and habits) of most federal agencies, this isn’t so simple. But after a series of early victories -- and a helpful executive order from President Obama -- they are well on their way.

Announcing the Debut of Tell Me Something I Don’t Know

A while back, we tried out a new idea on a special edition of Freakonomics Radio — a game show we called Tell Me Something I Don’t Know. You might remember it. It was so much fun that we decided to launch a whole new podcast series. It’s been in the works for a while […]

In Praise of Incrementalism

What do Renaissance painting, civil-rights movements, and Olympic cycling have in common? In each case, huge breakthroughs came from taking tiny steps. In a world where everyone is looking for the next moonshot, we shouldn’t ignore the power of incrementalism.

In Praise of Maintenance

Has our culture’s obsession with innovation led us to neglect the fact that things also need to be taken care of?

This Is Your Brain on Podcasts

Neuroscientists still have a great deal to learn about the human brain. One recent MRI study sheds some light, finding that that a certain kind of storytelling stimulates enormous activity across broad swaths of the brain. The takeaway is obvious: you should be listening to even more podcasts.

How To Win A Nobel Prize (Rebroadcast)

The gist: the Nobel selection process is famously secretive (and conducted in Swedish!) but we pry the lid off, at least a little bit.

Why Are We Still Using Cash?

It facilitates crime, bribery, and tax evasion – and yet some governments (including ours) are printing more cash than ever. Other countries, meanwhile, are ditching cash entirely. And if Star Trek is right, we won’t have money of any sort in the 24th century.

Has the U.S. Presidency Become a Dictatorship?

Sure, we all pay lip service to the Madisonian system of checks and balances. But as one legal scholar argues, presidents have been running roughshod over the system for decades. The result? An accumulation of power that’s turned the presidency into a position the founders wouldn’t have recognized.

Ten Signs You Might Be a Libertarian

Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate, likes to say that most Americans are libertarians but don’t know it yet. So why can't Libertarians (and other third parties) gain more political traction?