Who Needs Handwriting? (Rebroadcast)

Season 6, Episode 49 This week on Freakonomics Radio: the digital age is making pen and paper seem obsolete. But what are we giving up if we give up on handwriting? A famous economics essay features a pencil (yes, a pencil) arguing that “not a single person on the face of this earth knows how to make […]

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Money (But Were Afraid to Ask)

The bad news: roughly 70 percent of Americans are financially illiterate. The good news: all the important stuff can fit on one index card. Here’s how to become your own financial superhero.

When Helping Hurts

Season 6, Episode 47 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Stephen J. Dubner investigates one of the most fascinating and troubling research findings in the history of social science. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was drawn: “When Helping Hurts.” You can subscribe to the Freakonomics Radio podcast at Apple […]

The Stupidest Thing You Can Do With Your Money

It’s hard enough to save for a house, tuition, or retirement. So why are we willing to pay big fees for subpar investment returns? Enter the low-cost index fund. The revolution will not be monetized.

Are the Rich Really Less Generous Than the Poor?

Season 6, Episode 46 This week on Freakonomics Radio: a series of academic studies suggest that the wealthy are, to put it bluntly, selfish jerks. It’s an easy narrative to swallow. But, Stephen J. Dubner asks, is it true? Plus: a lot of ideas about how to successfully raise money — using good old-fashioned guilt, for instance. […]

These Shoes Are Killing Me!

The human foot is an evolutionary masterpiece, far more functional than we give it credit for. So why do we encase it in “a coffin” (as one foot scholar calls it) that stymies so much of its ability — and may create more problems than it solves?

When Helping Hurts

Good intentions are nice, but with so many resources poured into social programs, wouldn’t it be even nicer to know what actually works?

Medicine: TMSIDK Episode 22

Bapu Jena, Christine Hurley and Evan Allen are panelists. The physician-professor-economist, the comedian and the New England Revolution head athletic trainer join us in Boston for a show on Medicine. Side effects include extra kidneys, Lyme disease, hairlessness, cardiac arrest and magical mucus. WBUR's Carey Goldberg is fact-checker.

How Stupid Is Our Obsession With Lawns?

Season 6, Episode 44 This week on Freakonomics Radio: why are we so obsessed with lawns? Plus: Stephen J. Dubner talks to the British political operative trying to launch the United States’s next political revolution. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “How Stupid Is Our Obsession With Lawns?” and […]

The Fracking Boom, a Baby Boom, and the Retreat From Marriage

Over 40 percent of U.S. births are to unmarried mothers, and the numbers are especially high among the less-educated. Why? One argument is that the decline in good manufacturing jobs led to a decline in “marriageable” men. Surely the fracking boom reversed that trend, right?