The True Story of the Gender Pay Gap

Season 5, Episode 18

On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: The first woman to get tenure in the Harvard economics department has tried to uncover the reasons for the pay gap between men and women. Turns out discrimination doesn't explain why women earn so much less. It's much more complicated than that.

Also, what's behind the surprising fact that a marriage that produces a girl is more likely to end in divorce than one that produces a boy? In this episode we delve into the research — and the broader economic implications of so many girls living without their dads.

Is America’s Education Problem Really Just a Teacher Problem?

Season 5, Episode 16

On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: a look at the supply side of the education equation — the teachers — as well the demand side, the students. 

Teacher quality has a huge impact. So how can we best identify, educate, and reward the good ones? And what can be done to take failing students and put them on a track to graduation?

Is America’s Education Problem Really Just a Teacher Problem?

If U.S. schoolteachers are indeed “just a little bit below average,” it’s not really their fault. So what should be done about it?

How to Be Less Terrible at Predicting the Future

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.

The True Story of the Gender Pay Gap

Discrimination can’t explain why women earn so much less than men. If only it were that easy.

Is America’s Education Problem Really Just a Teacher Problem? A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

We’ve all heard the depressing numbers: when compared to kids from other rich countries, U.S. students aren't doing very well, especially in math, even though we spend more money per student than most other countries. So is the problem here as simple as adding two plus two? Is the problem here that our students aren’t getting very bright simply because … our teachers aren’t very bright?

That's the question we ask in our latest Freakonomics Radio episode. It's called "Is America's Education Problem Really Just a Teacher Problem?" (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, 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 cast of characters:

+ Joel Klein, the former New York City schools chancellor (and head of the U.S. Dept. of Justice's Antitrust Division) who now runs Amplify, a News Corp education-technology startup. Klein's new book is Lessons of Hope: How to Fix Our Schools, which was so informative and impressive that I blurbed it. In its review of the book, Newsweek says that Klein "politely rips the status quo," which is exactly right.