Our latest Freakonomics Radio podcast is called “Riding the Herd Mentality.” The gist: How peer pressure – and good, old-fashioned shame – can push people to do the right thing.
(You can download/subscribe at iTunes, get the RSS feed, listen via the media player above, or read the transcript below.)
Our story begins in Bogota, Colombia, where a new mayor, Antanas Mockus, used some unconventional methods to bring order to a disorderly and unsafe city. Mockus, trained as a mathematician and philosopher, had been president of Colombia's national university but things went south when he mooned a group of dissenters. As mayor, he dressed up as a superhero and enacted all sorts of rules and programs that tried to change the way a government gets its citizens to do the right thing.