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Episode 27

Romance Novels

How did love stories about vampires, cowboys, and wealthy dukes become the highest-grossing fiction genre in the world? Zachary Crockett gets swept away….

Episode 213

Aziz Ansari Needs Another Toothbrush (Replay)

The comedian, actor — and now, author — answers our FREAK-quently Asked Questions.

Recession Reading

| Via Andrew Sullivan: romance novel sales are up — after generating $1.375 billion in revenue in 2007. Expect these numbers to rise, even as other areas of the entertainment…

Episode 213

Aziz Ansari Needs Another Toothbrush

The comedian, actor — and now, author — answers our FREAK-quently Asked Questions.

Episode 82

Please Steal My Car

Levitt and Dubner answer your FREAK-quently Asked Questions about junk food, insurance, and how to make an economist happy.

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The Mom Who Stole the Blueprints for the Atomic Bomb.

To her neighbors in the English countryside, the woman known as Mrs. Burton was a cake-baking mother of three. To the Soviet Union, she was an invaluable Cold War operative….

Episode 136

The Middle of Everywhere

Chicago has given the world more than sausage, crooked politics and Da Bears.

Episode 161

How Effective Are Ultimatums?

How final is a final offer, really? Does anonymity turn nice people into jerks? And should you tell your crush that you dreamed about marrying them?

Dad-or-Daughter Contest: We Have a Winner

…favorite songs. In performing it, she gave the old college try. But I think you can tell she was not that into it when she abashedly sings “make sweet romance.”…

A Not So Romantic Valentine’s Day

…It turned out to be the most productive weekend I have had in years, work-wise, although it was a little low on romance! Jeannette played too well, eventually making it…

A Myth of Grass-Fed Beef

…compelled to draw on the past to support the present, they should start by providing some footnotes. The romance of a pasture-fed past will only take the story so far….

A Bookstore Stimulus Package?

…to the university press books! Get a load of those coffee-table books, fatten up on slim volumes of verse, and take a chance on romance! There will be birthdays in…

Your Spousonomics Questions, Answered

…reason they weren’t? “Too tired.” Waiting for romance-filled nights of lavender oils and scented candles is not the way to go. Quickies in the shower while the kids are watching…

Freakonomics Radio Network’s 2022 Staff Picks

…dating app Raya, aristocratic romance, Bridgerton, and — of course — an economist. Morgan Levey, Senior Producer “A Rockstar Chemist and Her Cancer-Attacking ‘Lawn Mower’” from People I (Mostly) Admire…

Episode 302

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…

Episode 112

Reading Dostoevsky Behind Bars

Reginald Dwayne Betts spent more than eight years in prison. Today he’s a Yale Law graduate, a MacArthur Fellow, and a poet. His nonprofit works to build libraries in prisons…

Episode 15

Home Staging

How do you turn an empty house into a buyer’s dream home? Zachary Crockett pulls back the curtain….

Episode 256

What Are You Waiting For?

Standing in line represents a particularly sloppy — and frustrating — way for supply and demand to meet. Why haven’t we found a better way to get what we want?…

Episode 394

Does Hollywood Still Have a Princess Problem?

For decades, there’s been a huge gender disparity both on-screen and behind the scenes. But it seems like cold, hard data — with an assist from the actor Geena Davis…

Episode 215

Why Do We Really Follow the News? (Replay)

There are all kinds of civics-class answers to that question. But how true are they? Could it be that we like to read about war, politics, and miscellaneous heartbreak simply…

Episode 86

Should We All Be Taking More Long Shots?

What’s the difference between dispositional optimism and agentic hope? Are there benefits to taking a long shot, even if it turns out to be an air ball? And how is…

Episode 150

Why Do People Get Scammed?

What makes a con succeed? Does snake oil actually work? And just how gullible is Angela?…

Episode 172

Is Marriage Worth It?

Can long-term relationships do more harm than good? Where is the line between intimacy and codependence? And should we all try to be more like Mike’s parents?…