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Captain Steve Answers Your Airline Questions

A while back, we began soliciting reader questions for Captain Steve, a captain with a major U.S. airline. He answered his first batch of questions here, and now is back…




Captain Steve Answers Your Airline Questions

A while back, we began soliciting reader questions for Captain Steve, a captain with a major U.S. airline. He made his debut here, with his rather spirited take on the…







Episode 535

Why Is Flying Safer Than Driving?

Thanks to decades of work by airlines and regulators, plane crashes are nearly a thing of the past. Can we do the same for cars? (Part 2 of “Freakonomics Radio…

Episode 35

Live From St. Paul!

Freakonomics Radio hits the road, and plays some Quiz Bowl!…

Episode 94

What to Do When Everything Looks Like a Catastrophe?

What is the relationship between “catastrophizing” and anxiety? How did Angela react when her mother came close to drowning? And how can you gain perspective when the worst-case scenario is…

Episode 17

Trashed

How economics — and emotion — have turned our garbage into such a mess.

Episode 549

The First Great American Industry

Whaling was, in the words of one scholar, “early capitalism unleashed on the high seas.” How did the U.S. come to dominate the whale market? Why did whale hunting die…

Episode 31

Peter Leeson on Why Trial-by-Fire Wasn’t Barbaric and Why Pirates Were Democratic

He’s an economist who studies even weirder things than Steve. They discuss whether economics is the best of the social sciences, and why it’s a good idea to get a…

Episode 100

Chicago’s Renegade Sheriff Wants to Fix Law Enforcement

Tom Dart is transforming Cook County’s jail, reforming evictions, and, with Steve Levitt, trying a new approach to electronic monitoring….

Episode 107

Bringing Data to Life

Talithia Williams thinks you should rigorously track your body’s data. She and Steve Levitt trade birth stories and bemoan the state of STEM education….

Episode 12

Where Do All the Bad Ideas Go?

Ideas are currency. This couldn’t be more true in academia, where it’s the job of researchers to think of questions and, hopefully, find answers. Bapu talks with economists Steve Levitt…

Episode 567

Do the Police Have a Management Problem?

In policing, as in most vocations, the best employees are often promoted into leadership without much training. One economist thinks he can address this problem — and, with it, America’s…

Episode 551

What Can Whales Teach Us About Clean Energy, Workplace Harmony, and Living the Good Life?

In the final episode of our whale series, we learn about fecal plumes, shipping noise, and why Moby-Dick is still worth reading. (Part 3 of “Everything You Never Knew About…

Confessions of a Steve Jobs Fanboy

…rest. That’s how Steve Jobs did it. So, 10 Unusual Things You May Not Know About Steve Jobs. 1) Nature vs. Nurture. Jobs’ sister is the novelist Mona Simpson, but…



Episode 102

Adding Ten Healthy Years to Your Life

…but on maintaining good health into old age. He explains the possibilities and limits of current medicine and gives Steve his best advice on how to defeat the aging process….

Episode 84

Legacy of a Jerk

What happens to your reputation when you’re no longer around to defend it?

Episode 84

Legacy of a Jerk (Replay)

What happens to your reputation when you’re no longer around to defend it?

Episode 43

Arne Duncan Says All Kids Deserve a Chance — and Criminals Deserve a Second One

Steve’s neighbor. The two talk about teachers caught cheating in Chicago public schools and Steve shares a story he’s never told Arne, about a defining moment in the educator’s life….

Episode 13

When Bapu Met Levitt

…of a conversation between Steve and Bapu from Steve’s podcast, People I (Mostly) Admire, where they cover everything from the ethics of human-challenge trials to why Bapu decided to start…

Episode 441

Does Advertising Actually Work? (Part 2: Digital)

Google and Facebook are worth a combined $2 trillion, with the vast majority of their revenue coming from advertising. In our previous episode, we learned that TV advertising is much…

Episode 287

Hoopers! Hoopers! Hoopers!

As C.E.O. of Microsoft, Steve Ballmer was famous for over-the-top enthusiasm. Now he’s brought that same passion to the N.B.A. — and to a pet project called USAFacts, which performs…

Episode 54

Andrew Yang Is Not Giving Up on Politics — or the U.S. — Yet

…third try be the charm? Andrew talks with Steve about what it’s like to lose an election and why a third political party might be the best chance for avoiding…

Episode 21

Pete Docter: “What If Monsters Really Do Exist?”

…and Monsters, Inc. Pete Docter and Steve talk about Pixar’s scrappy beginnings, why it costs $200 million to make an animated film, and the movie moment that changed Steve’s life….

Episode 196

What’s Wrong With Being a Little Neurotic?

Is there any upside to negative emotions? What can comedians teach us about dealing with pain? And why did Angela eat off of a stranger’s plate at a sushi bar?…