People Aren’t Dumb. The World Is Hard.

You wouldn’t think you could win a Nobel Prize for showing that humans tend to make irrational decisions. But that’s what Richard Thaler has done. The founder of behavioral economics describes his unlikely route to success; his reputation for being lazy; and his efforts to fix the world — one nudge at a time.

The Economist’s Guide to Parenting (Rebroadcast)

Season 7, Episode 44 Think you know how much parents matter? Think again. Economists crunch the numbers to learn the R.O.I. on child-rearing. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “The Economist’s Guide to Parenting.” You can subscribe to the Freakonomics Radio podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or elsewhere, […]

The Future of Freakonomics Radio

After 8 years and more than 300 episodes, it was time to either 1) quit, or 2) make the show bigger and better. We voted for number 2. Here’s a peek behind the curtain and a preview of what you’ll be hearing next.

5 Psychology Terms You’re Probably Misusing

Season 7, Episode 43 We all like to throw around terms that describe human behavior — “bystander apathy” and “steep learning curve” and “hard-wired.” Most of the time, they don’t actually mean what we think they mean. But don’t worry — the experts are getting it wrong, too. To find out more, check out the […]

In Praise of Incrementalism (Rebroadcast)

What do Renaissance painting, civil-rights movements, and Olympic cycling have in common? In each case, huge breakthroughs came from taking tiny steps. In a world where everyone is looking for the next moonshot, we shouldn’t ignore the power of incrementalism.

Does Doing Good Give You License to Be Bad?

Season 7, Episode 42 Corporate Social Responsibility programs can attract better job applicants who’ll work for less money. But they also encourage employees to misbehave. Don’t laugh — you too probably engage in “moral licensing,” even if you don’t know it. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: […]

In Praise of Maintenance (Rebroadcast)

Has our culture’s obsession with innovation led us to neglect the fact that things also need to be taken care of?

How to Catch World Cup Fever

Season 7, Episode 41 For soccer fans, it’s easy. For the rest of us? Not so much, especially since the U.S. team didn’t qualify. So here’s what to watch for even if you have no team to root for. Because the World Cup isn’t just a gargantuan sporting event; it’s a microcosm of human foibles […]

How to Catch World Cup Fever

For soccer fans, it’s easy. For the rest of us? Not so much, especially since the U.S. team didn't qualify. So here's what to watch for even if you have no team to root for. Because the World Cup isn’t just a gargantuan sporting event; it’s a microcosm of human foibles and (yep) economic theory brought to life.

The Invisible Paw

Season 7, Episode 40 Humans, it has long been thought, are the only animal to engage in economic activity. But what if we’ve had it exactly backward? To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “The Invisible Paw” and “There’s No Such Thing as a Free Appetizer.” You can […]