How Can I Do the Most Social Good With $100? And Other FREAK-quently Asked Questions

Dubner and his Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt answer your questions about crime, traffic, real-estate agents, the Ph.D. glut, and how to not get eaten by a bear.

When Helping Hurts

Season 6, Episode 47 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Stephen J. Dubner investigates one of the most fascinating and troubling research findings in the history of social science. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “When Helping Hurts.” You can subscribe to the Freakonomics Radio podcast at Apple […]

When Helping Hurts

Good intentions are nice, but with so many resources poured into social programs, wouldn’t it be even nicer to know what actually works?

Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 2)

Our latest Freakonomics Radio episode is called “Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 2).” (You can find part 1 here, and subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.) Charles Koch, the mega-billionaire CEO of Koch Industries and half of the infamous political […]

Why Hate the Koch Brothers? (Part 1)

Charles Koch, the mega-billionaire CEO of Koch Industries and half of the infamous political machine, sees himself as a classical liberal. So why do most Democrats hate him so much? In a rare series of interviews, he explains his political awakening, his management philosophy and why he supports legislation that goes against his self-interest.

The Health of Nations

Season 6, Episode 41 This week on Freakonomics Radio: for decades, G.D.P. has been a standard way of measuring living standards around the world. Martha Nussbaum tells Stephen J. Dubner that she’d rather use some better data. Plus: Steve Ballmer wants to know how the U.S. government actually using its G.D.P. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which […]

Hoopers! Hoopers! Hoopers!

As CEO of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer was famous for over-the-top enthusiasm. Now he’s brought that same passion to the N.B.A. — and to a pet project called USAFacts, which performs a sort of fiscal colonoscopy on the American government.

Why Are We Still Using Cash?

Season 6, Episode 28 This week on Freakonomics Radio: cash 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. Plus: why thinking of Bitcoin as just a digital currency is like thinking about the Internet as just email. To find […]

“I Don’t Know What You’ve Done With My Husband But He’s A Changed Man”

Season 5, Episode 22 As we learned in last week’s episode, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been effective in reducing criminal behavior among teenagers in Chicago and former child soldiers in Liberia. This week we go to England, where behavioral-therapy workshops for low-level domestic violence offenders have achieved a 40 percent reduction in repeat incidents […]

Preventing Crime for Pennies on the Dollar

Season 5, Episode 21

On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: conventional crime-prevention programs tend to be expensive, onerous, and ineffective. Could something as simple (and cheap) as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) do the trick? First we go to Chicago, where at-risk teenagers who learn to be less impulsive have lower dropout and arrest rates.

Then, we take a look at Liberia, where a former child soldier and a team of researchers pair CBT with a cash incentive to help other former soldiers become productive citizens in peacetime.