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The Hosts

Stephen J. Dubner

Stephen is the host of Freakonomics Radio, co-host of No Stupid Questions, and co-author of the Freakonomics books, which have won many awards and sold millions of copies around the world.

The eighth and last child of an upstate New York newspaperman, Stephen has been writing since he was a child. (His first published work appeared in Highlights magazine.) As an undergraduate at Appalachian State University, he started a rock band that was signed to Arista Records, which landed him in New York City. He ultimately quit playing music to earn an M.F.A. in writing at Columbia University, where he also taught in the English Department. He was an editor and writer at New York magazine and The New York Times before quitting to write books. He is happy he did so. In addition to the Freakonomics series, he is the author of Turbulent Souls (Choosing My Religion), Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper, and the children’s book The Boy With Two Belly Buttons. He lives in New York City.

Steven D. Levitt

Steve is the host of People I (Mostly) Admire and co-author of the Freakonomics books, which have won many awards and sold millions of copies around the world.

He is also the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, where he directs the RISC Center (Radical Innovation for Social Change). He has been named one of Time magazine’s “100 People Who Shape Our World,” and is a recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal winner, which recognizes the most outstanding U.S. economist under age 40. Steve received his B.A. from Harvard in 1989 and his Ph.D. from M.I.T. in 1994 (both in economics), and has taught at the University of Chicago since 1997.

Angela Duckworth

Angela is co-host of No Stupid Questions and co-founder, chief scientist, and a board member of Character Lab, a nonprofit whose mission is to advance scientific insights that help children thrive. She is also the Rosa Lee and Egbert Chang Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, faculty co-director of the Penn-Wharton Behavior Change for Good Initiative, and faculty co-director of Wharton People Analytics. Her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance is a No. 1 New York Times best seller. With over 23.6 million views, Angela’s TED talk of the same name is among the most-viewed of all time. 

A 2013 MacArthur Fellow, Angela has advised the World Bank, N.B.A. and N.F.L. teams, and Fortune 500 C.E.O.s. In 1993, prior to her career in research, Angela founded a summer school for underserved children that was profiled as a Harvard Kennedy School case study. She has also been a McKinsey management consultant and a math and science teacher at public schools in New York City, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Angela completed her undergraduate degree in Advanced Studies Neurobiology at Harvard University and an M.Sc. with Distinction in Neuroscience from Oxford University. She completed her Ph.D. in Psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Bapu Jena

Bapu is the host of Freakonomics, M.D., a professor at Harvard Medical School, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Bapu’s research involves several areas of health economics and policy, including the economics of physician behavior and the physician workforce, medical malpractice, the economics of health care productivity, and the economics of medical innovation. Bapu graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with majors in biology and economics and has an M.D. and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago, where he studied under Steve Levitt.

Alexandra Horowitz

Alexandra is the host of Off Leash. She heads the Dog Cognition Lab at Barnard College, Columbia University, where she also teaches seminars in canine cognition, creative nonfiction writing, and audio storytelling. She has long been interested in understanding the umwelt of another animal, and her research and writing is aimed to answer the question of what it is like to be a dog. She has written five books, including Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know, a New York Times bestseller, Being a Dog: Following the Dog into a World of Smell, Our Dogs, Ourselves: The Story of a Singular Bond, and, most recently The Year of the Puppy, which will be published in September. She earned her Master’s and Doctoral degrees in Cognitive Science from the University of California, San Diego, and her Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania.

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The Books

Freakonomics SuperFreakonomics Think Like a Freak When to Rob a Bank