How Much Does the President Really Matter? (Rebroadcast)

The U.S. president is often called the "leader of free world." But if you ask an economist or a Constitutional scholar how much the occupant of the Oval Office matters, they won’t say much. We look at what the data have to say about measuring leadership, and its impact on the economy and the country.

How to Fix a Broken High-Schooler, in Four Easy Steps

The four interventions that worked for one Toronto  program: counseling, tutoring, social activities,  and financial incentives. (Photo: U.S. Department of Education) Our take: maybe the steps aren’t so easy, but a program run out of a Toronto housing project has had great success in turning around kids who were headed for trouble.

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?

When Willpower Isn’t Enough (Rebroadcast)

Sure, we all want to make good personal decisions, but it doesn’t always work out. That’s where “temptation bundling” comes in.

Fixing the World, Bang-for-the-Buck Edition (Rebroadcast)

A team of economists have been running the numbers on the U.N.’s development goals. They have a different view of how those billions of dollars should be spent.

Why Do People Keep Having Children? (Rebroadcast)

At issue: Even a brutal natural disaster doesn’t diminish our appetite for procreating. This surely means we’re heading toward massive overpopulation, right? Probably not.

How to Save $1 Billion Without Even Trying: A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

Our latest Freakonomics Radio episode is a rebroadcast called “How to Save $1 Billion Without Even Trying." (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above.)

The gist: Doctors, chefs, and other experts are much more likely than the rest of us to buy store-brand products. What do they know that we don’t? And if we all did like they do, how much fatter might our wallets be?

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know: A Freakonomics Radio Rebroadcast

This week's Freakonomics Radio episode is a rebroadcast of the episode "Tell Me Something I Don’t Know" (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, 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.)

Tell Me Something I Don’t Know: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast

A few years ago, I developed a habit. If the person sitting next to me on an airplane seemed like they wanted to have a conversation, I'd ask them a bit about themselves -- let's say they worked in civil engineering -- and I'd say "Tell me something I don't know about civil engineering." The habit became an addiction. I loved learning stuff I didn't know, and most people loved to talk about their passions, work-related or otherwise.

Soon this addiction fueled a dream: I imagined turning it into some kind of a live game show/talk show. It would be called "Tell Me Something I Don't Know." There'd be a host (me), some smart judges, and we'd invite the audience members to come onstage and tell us something we didn't know. We'd learn a bit, laugh a lot, and take advantage of all the amazing information that's floating around in the world.

It took a while to make this dream happen but finally it did, a few weeks, ago, at WNYC's Greene Space.