What Would Be the Best Universal Language? (Earth 2.0 Series)

Season 7, Episode 10 This week on Freakonomics Radio: What would be the best universal language? Stephen J. Dubner explores votes for English, Indonesian, and … Esperanto! The search for a common language goes back millennia, but so much still gets lost in translation. Will technology finally solve that? To find out more, check out the […]

How Can I Do the Most Social Good With $100? And Other FREAK-quently Asked Questions

Dubner and his Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt answer your questions about crime, traffic, real-estate agents, the Ph.D. glut, and how to not get eaten by a bear.

Why Don’t We All Speak the Same Language? (Earth 2.0 Series)

Season 7, Episode 9 This week on Freakonomics Radio: there are 7,000 languages spoken on Earth. What are the costs — and benefits — of our modern-day Tower of Babel? Plus: the search for a common language goes back millennia, but so much still gets lost in translation. Stephen J. Dubner asks, “Will technology finally solve […]

Thinking Is Expensive. Who’s Supposed to Pay for It?

Corporations and rich people donate billions to their favorite think tanks and foundations. Should we be grateful for their generosity — or suspicious of their motives?

What Are the Secrets of the German Economy — and Should We Steal Them?

Season 7, Episode 8 This week on Freakonomics Radio: smart government policies, good industrial relations, and high-end products have helped German manufacturing beat back the threats of globalization. But how did “the sick man of Europe” turn into the economic stud we see today? To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour […]

How to Launch a Behavior-Change Revolution

Academic studies are nice, and so are Nobel Prizes. But to truly prove the value of a new idea, you have to unleash it to the masses. That’s what a dream team of social scientists is doing — and we sat in as they drew up their game plan.

Why Larry Summers Is the Economist Everyone Hates to Love

Season 7, Episode 7 This week on Freakonomics Radio: he’s been U.S. Treasury Secretary, a chief economist for the Obama White House and the World Bank, and president of Harvard. He’s one of the most brilliant economists of his generation (and perhaps the most irascible). And he thinks the Trump Administration is wrong on just […]

The Demonization of Gluten

Celiac disease is thought to affect roughly one percent of the population. The good news: it can be treated by quitting gluten. The bad news: many celiac patients haven’t been diagnosed. The weird news: millions of people without celiac disease have quit gluten – which may be a big mistake.

When the White House Got Into the Nudge Business

Season 7, Episode 6 This week on Freakonomics Radio: a tiny behavioral-sciences startup in the Obama White House tried to improve the way federal agencies did their work. Considering the size (and habits) of most federal agencies, it wasn’t so simple. Plus: a terrorism summit. Stephen Dubner reviews what we do and don’t know about terrorism; what’s […]

What Are the Secrets of the German Economy — and Should We Steal Them?

Smart government policies, good industrial relations, and high-end products have helped German manufacturing beat back the threats of globalization.