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 […]

Bad Medicine, Part 2: Death By Diagnosis

Season 6, Episode 27 This week on Freakonomics Radio: by some estimates, medical error is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. How can that be? And what’s to be done? Plus: Stephen J. Dubner investigates how so many ineffective and even dangerous drugs make it to the market. To find out more, check out […]

The Taboo Trifecta

Serial entrepreneur Miki Agrawal loves to talk about the bodily functions that make most people flinch. That’s why she’s building a business around the three P’s: periods, pee, and poop.

No Hollywood Ending for the Visual-Effects Industry

Season 6, Episode 25 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: In a world where Hollywood movies are visually extravagant…why has the visual effects industry in Hollywood vanished? Stephen J. Dubner looks at where America’s CGI jobs have gone and who’s to blame. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: […]

No Hollywood Ending for the Visual-Effects Industry

In their chase for a global audience, American movie studios spend billions to make their films look amazing. But almost none of those dollars stay in America. What would it take to bring those jobs back — and would it be worth it?

What You Don’t Know About Online Dating

Season 6, Episode 23 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: an economist’s guide to dating online. PJ Vogt bravely lets us evaluate his OkCupid account, and we teach him how to game the algorithms. Plus: Stephen J. Dubner on the state of the marriage union. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: […]

Trevor Noah Has a Lot to Say

Season 6, Episode 21 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: Stephen J. Dubner sits down with The Daily Show host Trevor Noah to discuss being born a crime in apartheid South Africa, the subject of Noah’s new memoir. The comedian has a sui generis view of American politics, customs, and obsessions. Plus: who are the most successful […]

In Praise of Maintenance

Season 6, Episode 19 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: Our society is obsessed with innovation, which has a pretty high cost. Stephen J. Dubner got obsessed with the notion of maintenance, and talks about why it isn’t the enemy of innovation, but rather the saving grace of American infrastructure. Speaking of things that need taking care of, […]

The Men Who Started a Thinking Revolution

Starting in the late 1960s, the Israeli psychologists Amos Tversky and Danny Kahneman began to redefine how the human mind actually works. Michael Lewis’s new book The Undoing Project explains how the movement they started — now known as behavioral economics — has had such a profound effect on academia, governments, and society at large.

How to Make a Bad Decision

Some of our most important decisions are shaped by something as random as the order in which we make them. The gambler’s fallacy, as it's known, affects loan officers, federal judges — and probably you too. How to avoid it? The first step is to admit just how fallible we all are.