Do Boycotts Work?

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Boycotts can generate a lot of media attention. But do they really work? (photo: Jean-François Gornet, cropped)

(photo: Jean-François Gornet, cropped)

Season 5, Episode 38

This week on Freakonomics Radio: The Montgomery Bus Boycott, the South African divestment campaign, Chick-fil-A! Almost anyone can launch a boycott, and the media loves to cover them. But do boycotts actually produce the change they’re aimed at?

Also, we speak with the editors of a very unusual book called The Encyclopedia of Ethical Failure. It’s an ethics guide for government employees, but instead of being a boring manual of rules and laws, it’s full of true stories about epic screw-ups.

To learn more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Do Boycotts Work?” and “Government Employees Gone Wild.”

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