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Stephen J. Dubner

Season 13, Episode 17

Michael Lewis got incredible access to Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire behind the spectacular FTX fraud. His book is a bestseller, but some critics say he went too easy on S.B.F. Lewis tells us why the critics are wrong — and what it’s like to watch your book get turned into a courtroom drama.

12/21/23
50:30

Do You Need Closure?

In a special episode of No Stupid Questions, Angela Duckworth and Mike Maughan talk about unfinished tasks, recurring arguments, and Irish goodbyes.

12/20/23
47:47

Failing in Front of a Crowd

After our four-part series on failure, we took the show on the road. Hear Stephen Dubner talk to failure experts Amy Edmondson and Gary Klein, live in Boston.

Unlock access to this episode, and other exclusive content, by joining the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program. To sign up, visit the Freakonomics Radio show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus.

12/15/23
59:43

Season 13, Episode 16

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 gun violence.

12/14/23
50:30

Why Are People So Mad at Michael Lewis?

Lewis got incredible access to Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire behind the spectacular FTX fraud. His book is a bestseller, but some critics say he went too easy on S.B.F. Lewis tells us why the critics are wrong — and what it’s like to watch your book get turned into a courtroom drama.

12/13/23
68:04

Why Are People So Mad at Michael Lewis?

Lewis got incredible access to Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire behind the spectacular FTX fraud. His book is a bestseller, but some critics say he went too easy on S.B.F. Lewis tells us why the critics are wrong — and what it’s like to watch your book get turned into a courtroom drama.

12/13/23
68:04

The Crime Nerd Behind UChicago’s Crime Lab

The economist Jens Ludwig on the culture of police departments, the politics of gun control, and why there’s no social progress without truth.

Unlock access to this episode, and other exclusive content, by joining the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program. To sign up, visit the Freakonomics Radio show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus.

12/8/23
31:11

Season 13, Episode 15

Public transit boosts economic opportunity and social mobility. It’s good for the environment. So why do we charge people to use it? The short answer: it’s complicated. Also: We talk to the man who gets half the nation’s mass-transit riders where they want to go (most of the time).

12/7/23
50:30

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 gun violence.

12/6/23
55:03

The Man Who Runs the Subway

New York City transit chief Janno Lieber thinks it’s more important to make trains and buses fast, safe, and reliable than to make them free.

Unlock access to this episode, and other exclusive content, by joining the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program. To sign up, visit the Freakonomics Radio show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus.

12/1/23

Season 13, Episode 14

Most industries have become more productive over time. But not construction! We identify the causes — and possible solutions. (Can you say … “prefab”?)

11/30/23
50:30

Should Public Transit Be Free? (Update)

It boosts economic opportunity and social mobility. It’s good for the environment. So why do we charge people to use it? The short answer: it’s complicated. Also: We talk to the man who gets half the nation’s mass-transit riders where they want to go (most of the time).

11/29/23
59:51

Ed Glaeser Thinks We Should Build More

The Harvard economist on what’s joyous about cities, what to do with vacant office space, and what his profession got wrong about China.

Unlock access to this episode, and other exclusive content, by joining the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program. To sign up, visit the Freakonomics Radio show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus.

11/24/23
56:40

Season 13, Episode 13

Private equity firms say they make companies more efficient through savvy management. Critics say they bend the rules to enrich themselves at the expense of consumers and employees. Can they both be right? (Probably not.)

11/23/23
50:30

Why Is It So Hard (and Expensive) to Build Anything in America?

Most industries have become more productive over time. But not construction! We identify the causes — and possible solutions. (Can you say … “prefab”?)

11/22/23
58:46

Jason Kelce Hates to Lose

Pro footballer and star podcaster Jason Kelce is ubiquitous right now (almost as ubiquitous as his brother and co-host Travis, who’s been in the limelight for his relationship with Taylor Swift). After you hear this wide-ranging interview, you might want even more Kelce in your life.

11/19/23
62:05

You Asked, We Answer

Freakonomics Radio host Stephen Dubner answers your questions about how the show is made, what he’s looking forward to, and what he talks about at parties.

Unlock access to this episode, and other exclusive content, by joining the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program. To sign up, visit the Freakonomics Radio show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus.

11/17/23
28:20

Season 13, Episode 12

Everyone makes mistakes. How do you learn from them? Lessons from the classroom, the Air Force, and the world’s deadliest infectious disease. Part of the series “How to Succeed at Failing.”

11/16/23
50:30

Are Private Equity Firms Plundering the U.S. Economy?

They say they make companies more efficient through savvy management. Critics say they bend the rules to enrich themselves at the expense of consumers and employees. Can they both be right? (Probably not.)

11/15/23
58:32

Detroit’s Failed Olympic Dream

Why did the Motor City never get to host the Olympic Games — and is it time for the International Olympic Committee to reconsider? A special postscript to the series “How to Succeed at Failing.”

Unlock access to this episode, and other exclusive content, by joining the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program. To sign up, visit the Freakonomics Radio show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus.

11/10/23
27:28

Season 13, Episode 11

Giving up can be painful. That’s why we need to talk about it. Today: stories about glitchy apps, leaky paint cans, broken sculptures — and a quest for the perfect bowl of ramen. Part of the series “How to Succeed at Failing.”

11/9/23
50:30

How Much Does Discrimination Hurt the Economy? (Replay)

Evidence from Nazi Germany and 1940’s 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.

11/8/23
62:47

The Museum of Failure

The psychologist Samuel West was sick of stories about success, so he founded a museum dedicated to failure. We discuss how he did it, what he hopes visitors will learn, and his favorite pieces from the collection.

Unlock access to this episode, and other exclusive content, by joining the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program. To sign up, visit the Freakonomics Radio show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus.

11/3/23
44:37

Season 13, Episode 10

In medicine, failure can be catastrophic. It can also produce discoveries that save millions of lives. Tales from the front line, the lab, and the I.T. department. Part of the series “How to Succeed at Failing.”

11/2/23
50:30

How to Succeed at Failing, Part 4: Extreme Resiliency

Everyone makes mistakes. How do you learn from them? Lessons from the classroom, the Air Force, and the world’s deadliest infectious disease. Part of the series “How to Succeed at Failing.

11/1/23
51:41

A Quest for the Perfect Bowl of Ramen

Travis Thul invented a so-called Keurig for ramen, but he failed to bring it to store shelves. We talk to him about innovation, risk, the thrill of starting a business, and the heartbreak of pulling the plug.

Unlock access to this episode, and other exclusive content, by joining the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program. To sign up, visit the Freakonomics Radio show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus.

10/27/23
53:58

Season 13, Episode 9

We tend to think of tragedies as a single terrible moment, rather than the result of multiple bad decisions. Can this pattern be reversed? We try — with stories about wildfires, school shootings, and love.

10/26/23
50:30

How to Succeed at Failing, Part 3: Grit vs. Quit

Giving up can be painful. That’s why we need to talk about it. Today: stories about glitchy apps, leaky paint cans, broken sculptures — and a quest for the perfect bowl of ramen. Part of the series “How to Succeed at Failing.”

10/25/23
69:31

The Edison of Medicine

Bob Langer is one of the world’s most prominent biotech researchers. He helped make mRNA vaccines a reality. How much failure did he have to go through first?

Unlock access to this episode, and other exclusive content, by joining the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program. To sign up, visit the Freakonomics Radio show page on Apple Podcasts or go to freakonomics.com/plus.

10/20/23
54:02

Season 13, Episode 8

Claudia Goldin is the newest winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. We spoke with her in 2016 about why women earn so much less than men — and how it’s not all explained by discrimination.

10/19/23
50:30

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