Why Do We Really Follow the News?

On Freakonomics Radio this week, we dare to ask whether civics class answers for why we pay attention to the news are really true. Could it be that we read about war, politics, etc. simply because it’s (gasp) entertaining?

How to Save $1 Billion Without Even Trying

Season 5, Episode 20 

On this week's episode of Freakonomics Radio: 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?

Then, imagine a fantasy world that’s exactly as the world is today except that two things are missing: alcohol and marijuana. And then imagine that tomorrow, both of them are discovered. What happens now? How are each of them used – and, perhaps more importantly, regulated? How would we weigh the relative benefits and costs of alcohol versus marijuana?

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?

Why Do We Really Follow the News? A New Freakonomics Radio Episode

Our latest Freakonomics Radio episode is called "Why Do We Really Follow the News?" (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.) The gist: there are all kinds of civics-class answers for why we pay attention to the news -- but how true are those answers? Could it be that we read about war, politics, and miscellaneous heartbreak simply because it's (gasp) entertaining?

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

When a pharmacist gets a headache, what do you think she’ll buy: Bayer aspirin or the much cheaper store brand?

You'll find out on this week's episode. Hint: the episode is called “How to Save $1 Billion Without Even Trying.” (You can subscribe to the podcast at iTunes, get the RSS feed, or listen via the media player above. You can also read the transcript; it includes credits for the music you’ll hear in the episode.)