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Stephen J. Dubner

Season 12, Episode 23

Big investors are buying up local veterinary practices (and pretty much everything else). What does this mean for scruffy little Max* — and for the U.S. economy? (Part 1 of 2.)

*The most popular dog name in the U.S. in 2022.

2/2/23
50:30

Is Economic Growth the Wrong Goal? (Update)

The economist Kate Raworth says the aggressive pursuit of G.D.P. is trashing the planet and shortchanging too many people. She has proposed an alternative — and the city of Amsterdam is giving it a try. How’s it going?

2/1/23
47:47

Season 12, Episode 22

We tend to look down on artists who can’t match their breakthrough success. Should we be celebrating them instead?

1/26/23
50:30

Do You Know Who Owns Your Vet?

When small businesses get bought by big investors, the name may stay the same — but customers and employees can feel the difference. (Part 2 of 2.)

1/25/23
49:05

Season 12, Episode 21

Economists and politicians have turned Adam Smith into a mascot for free-market ideology. Some on the left say the right has badly misread him. Prepare for a very Smithy tug of war. (Part 3 of “In Search of the Real Adam Smith.”)

1/19/23
50:30

Should You Trust Private Equity to Take Care of Your Dog?

Big investors are buying up local veterinary practices (and pretty much everything else). What does this mean for scruffy little Max* — and for the U.S. economy? (Part 1 of 2.)

*The most popular dog name in the U.S. in 2022.

1/18/23
48:36

Season 12, Episode 20

Economists and politicians have turned Adam Smith into a mascot for free-market ideology. Some on the left say the right has badly misread him. Prepare for a very Smithy tug of war. (Part 2 of “In Search of the Real Adam Smith.”)

1/12/23
50:30

What’s Wrong with Being a One-Hit Wonder?

We tend to look down on artists who can’t match their breakthrough success. Should we be celebrating them instead?

1/11/23
51:53

Season 12, Episode 19

How did an affable 18th-century “moral philosopher” become the patron saint of cutthroat capitalism? Does “the invisible hand” mean what everyone thinks it does? We travel to Adam Smith’s hometown in Scotland to uncover the man behind the myth. (Part 1 of a series.)

1/5/23
50:30

Season 12, Episode 18

Arthur Brooks is an economist who for 10 years ran the American Enterprise Institute, one of the most influential conservative think tanks in the world. He has come to believe there is only one weapon that can defeat our extreme political polarization: love. Is Brooks a fool for thinking this — and are you perhaps his kind of fool?

12/29/22
50:30

Season 12, Episode 17

The public has almost no chance to buy good tickets to the best events. Ticket brokers, meanwhile, make huge profits on the secondary markets. Here’s the story of how this market got so dysfunctional, how it can be fixed – and why it probably won’t be.

12/22/22
50:30

Can Adam Smith Fix Our Economy?

Labor exploitation! Corporate profiteering! Government corruption! The 21st century can look a lot like the 18th. In the final episode of a series, we turn to “the father of economics” for solutions. (Part 3 of “In Search of the Real Adam Smith.”)

12/21/22
53:49

Season 12, Episode 16

Evidence from Nazi Germany and 1940s America (and pretty much everywhere else) shows that discrimination is incredibly costly — to the victims, of course, but also the perpetrators. One modern solution is to invoke a diversity mandate. But new research shows that’s not necessarily the answer.

12/15/22
50:30

Was Adam Smith Really a Right-Winger?

Economists and politicians have turned him into a mascot for free-market ideology. Some on the left say the right has badly misread him. Prepare for a very Smithy tug of war. (Part 2 of “In Search of the Real Adam Smith.”)

12/14/22
76:23

Season 12, Episode 15

Did Michael Lewis just get lucky with “Moneyball”? No — but he does have a knack for stumbling into the perfect moment, including the recent FTX debacle.

12/8/22
50:30

In Search of the Real Adam Smith

How did an affable 18th-century “moral philosopher” become the patron saint of cutthroat capitalism? Does “the invisible hand” mean what everyone thinks it does? We travel to Smith’s hometown in Scotland to uncover the man behind the myth. (Part 1 of a series.)

12/7/22
51:39

Season 12, Episode 14

Is Google getting worse? It used to feel like magic. Now it can feel like a set of cheap tricks. Is the problem with Google — or with us?

12/1/22
50:30

Season 12, Episode 13

The banana, once a luxury good, rose to become America’s favorite fruit. Now a deadly fungus threatens to wipe it out. Can it be saved?

11/24/22
50:30

Did Michael Lewis Just Get Lucky with “Moneyball”?

No — but he does have a knack for stumbling into the perfect moment, including the recent FTX debacle. In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, we revisit the book that launched the analytics revolution.

11/23/22
59:40

Did Michael Lewis Just Get Lucky with “Moneyball”?

No — but he does have a knack for stumbling into the perfect moment, including the recent FTX debacle.

11/23/22
59:40

Season 12, Episode 12

It’s fun to obsess over pop stars and racecar drivers — but is fandom making our politics even more toxic?

11/17/22
50:30

Is Google Getting Worse?

It used to feel like magic. Now it can feel like a set of cheap tricks. Is the problem with Google — or with us?

11/16/22
60:32

Season 12, Episode 11

The last two years have radically changed the way we work — producing winners, losers, and a lot of surprises.

11/10/22
50:30

The Most Interesting Fruit in the World (Update)

The banana, once a luxury good, rose to become America’s favorite fruit. Now a deadly fungus threatens to wipe it out. Can it be saved?

11/9/22
41:07

Season 12, Episode 10

Has globalization failed? It was supposed to boost prosperity and democracy at the same time. What really happened? According to the legal scholar Anthea Roberts, it depends which story you believe.

11/3/22
50:30

I’m Your Biggest Fan!

It’s fun to obsess over pop stars and racecar drivers — but is fandom making our politics even more toxic?

11/2/22
49:18

Season 12, Episode 9

Are personal finance gurus giving you bad advice? One Yale economist certainly thinks so. But even if he’s right, are economists any better?

10/27/22
50:30

The Unintended Consequences of Working from Home

The last two years have radically changed the way we work — producing winners, losers, and a lot of surprises.

10/26/22
45:52

Season 12, Episode 8

New research finds that bosses who went to business school pay their workers less. So what are M.B.A. programs teaching — and should they stop?

10/20/22
50:30

Has Globalization Failed?

It was supposed to boost prosperity and democracy at the same time. What really happened? According to the legal scholar Anthea Roberts, it depends which story you believe.

10/19/22
49:46

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