Why Is My Life So Hard? (Rebroadcast)

Season 7, Episode 15 This week on Freakonomics Radio: most of us feel we face more obstacles than everyone else — which breeds resentment. We also undervalue the tailwinds that help us — which leaves us ungrateful and unhappy. Stephen J. Dubner asks, “How can we avoid this trap?” To find out more, check out the […]

Not Your Grandmother’s I.M.F.

The International Monetary Fund has long been the “lender of last resort” for economies in crisis. Christine Lagarde, who runs the institution, would like to prevent those crises from ever happening. She tells us her plans.

Why Is the Live-Event Ticket Market So Screwed Up?

The public has almost no chance to buy good tickets to the best events. Ticket brokers, meanwhile, make huge profits on the secondary markets. Here’s the story of how this market got so dysfunctional, how it can be fixed – and why it probably won’t be.

Is America Ready for a “No-Lose Lottery”? (Update)

Most people don’t enjoy the simple, boring act of putting money in a savings account. But we do love to play the lottery. So what if you combine the two, creating a new kind of savings account with a lottery payout?

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.