Does “Early Education” Come Way Too Late? (Rebroadcast)

The gist: in our collective zeal to reform schools and close the achievement gap, we may have lost sight of where most learning really happens — at home.

An Egghead’s Guide to the Superbowl (Rebroadcast)

We assembled a panel of smart dudes — a two-time Super Bowl champ; a couple of N.F.L. linemen, including one who’s getting a math Ph.D at M.I.T., and our resident economist — to tell you what to watch for, whether you’re a football fanatic or a total newbie.

Are We Running Out of Ideas?

Economists have a hard time explaining why productivity growth has been shrinking. One theory: true innovation has gotten much harder – and much more expensive. So what should we do next?

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 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 […]

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 […]

Time to Take Back the Toilet (Rebroadcast)

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

These Shoes Are Killing Me!

Season 7, Episode 1 This week on Freakonomics Radio: 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? […]

How to Get More Grit in Your Life (Rebroadcast)

Season 6, Episode 51 This week on Freakonomics Radio: the psychologist Angela Duckworth argues that a person’s level of success is directly related to their level of stick-to-itiveness. No big surprise there. But grit, she says, isn’t something you’re born with — it can be learned. Plus: Tim Ferriss, a man whose entire life and career constitute one […]

How to Become Great at Just About Anything (Rebroadcast)

Season 6, Episode 50 This week on Freakonomics Radio: what if the thing we call “talent” is grotesquely overrated? And what if deliberate practice is the secret to excellence? Those are the claims of the research psychologist Anders Ericsson, who has been studying the science of expertise for decades. For example, you may have heard […]