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.

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

Season 7, Episode 5 This week on Freakonomics Radio: 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? Stephen J. Dubner investigates. […]

Time to Take Back the Toilet (Rebroadcast)

Public bathrooms are noisy, poorly designed, and often nonexistent. What to do?

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

Season 7, Episode 4 The bad news: roughly 70 percent of Americans are financially illiterate. The good news: all the important stuff can fit on one index card. This week on Freakonomics Radio: how to become your own financial superhero. Plus: Stephen J. Dubner brings you the tale of the $15 tomato. To find out more, […]

Why Larry Summers Is the Economist Everyone Hates to Love

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 about everything.

Why Learn Esperanto? (Special Feature)

A language invented in the 19th century, and meant to be universal, it never really caught on. So why does a group of Esperantists from around the world gather once a year to celebrate their bond?

The Stupidest Thing You Can Do With Your Money

Season 7, Episode 3 This week on Freakonomics Radio: it’s hard enough to save for a house, tuition, or retirement. Stephen J. Dubner asks, “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. To find out more, check out the podcast […]

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

We explore 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?

“How Much Brain Damage Do I Have?”

Season 7, Episode 2 This week on Freakonomics Radio: John Urschel was the only player in the N.F.L. also getting a math Ph.D. at M.I.T. But after a new study came out linking football to brain damage, he abruptly retired. Stephen J. Dubner brings you the inside story — and a look at how we make decisions […]

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

There are 7,000 languages spoken on Earth. What are the costs — and benefits — of our modern-day Tower of Babel?