Overt discrimination in the labor markets may be on the wane, but women are still subtly penalized by all sorts of societal conventions. How can those penalties be removed without burning down the house?
We Americans may love our democracy — at least in theory — but at the moment our feelings toward the Federal government lie somewhere between disdain and hatred. Which electoral and political ideas should be killed off to make way for a saner system?
We seem to have decided that ethnic food tastes better when it’s served by people of that ethnicity (or at least something close). Does this make sense — and is it legal?
The gist: we spend billions on end-of-life healthcare that doesn’t do much good. So what if a patient could forego the standard treatment and get a cash rebate instead?
Internet pioneer Kevin Kelly tries to predict the future by identifying what’s truly inevitable. How worried should we be? Yes, robots will probably take your job — but the future will still be pretty great.
Sure, we all pay lip service to the Madisonian system of checks and balances. But as one legal scholar argues, presidents have been running roughshod over the system for decades. The result? An accumulation of power that’s turned the presidency into a position the founders wouldn’t have recognized.
It facilitates crime, bribery, and tax evasion – and yet some governments (including ours) are printing more cash than ever. Other countries, meanwhile, are ditching cash entirely. And if Star Trek is right, we won’t have money of any sort in the 24th century.
The gist: the Nobel selection process is famously secretive (and conducted in Swedish!) but we pry the lid off, at least a little bit.
Season 6, Episode 9 You have perhaps come across the phrase homo economicus, which describes a model for human behavior as seen through the lens of economics. In this hour, you’ll hear Freakonomics Radio producer Greg Rosalsky embark on a long and tortuous process to live his life like homo economicus. Is this even possible? If so, is it desirable? . . .
Societies where people trust one another are healthier and wealthier. In the U.S. (and the U.K. and elsewhere), social trust has been falling for decades — in part because our populations are more diverse. What can we do to fix it?
What if the thing we call “talent” is grotesquely overrated? And what if deliberate practice is the secret to excellence? Those are the claims of the research psychologist Anders Ericsson, who has been studying the science of expertise for decades. He tells us everything he’s learned.
Starting in the late 1960s, the Israeli psychologists Amos Tversky and Danny Kahneman began to redefine how the human mind actually works. Michael Lewis’s new book The Undoing Project explains how the movement they started — now known as behavioral economics — has had such a profound effect on academia, governments, and society at large.
Just a few decades ago, more than 90 percent of 30-year-olds earned more than their parents had earned at the same age. Now it’s only about 50 percent. What happened — and what can be done about it?
For years, economists promised that global free trade would be mostly win-win. Now they admit the pace of change has been “traumatic.” This has already led to a political insurrection — so what’s next?
The psychologist Angela Duckworth argues that a person’s level of stick-to-itiveness is directly related to their level of success. No big surprise there. But grit, she says, isn’t something you’re born with — it can be learned. Here’s how.
What happens when a public-health researcher deep in coal country argues that mountaintop mining endangers the entire community? Hint: it doesn’t go very well.
In their chase for a global audience, American movie studios spend billions to make their films look amazing. But almost none of those dollars stay in America. What would it take to bring those jobs back — and would it be worth it?
Season 6, Episode 32 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Stephen J. Dubner talks to an airline pilot about what really happens up in the air. Just don’t get him started on pilot-less planes — or whether the autopilot is actually doing the flying. Plus: why parking is hell. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: . . .
Season 6, Episode 34 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Stephen J. Dubner returns to his alma mater to ask his three favorite professors if colleges make people more productive and happier. Among the discoveries in this episode, here’s a big one: there’s a significant difference between being busy and being productive. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour . . .
Season 6, Episode 36 This week on Freakonomics Radio: what is truly inevitable? Stephen J. Dubner speaks with Internet pioneer Kevin Kelly about why we shouldn’t be afraid of the future and the folly of prediction. Plus: why can’t we predict earthquakes? To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “The Future (Probably) Isn’t as Scary . . .
Season 6, Episode 39 This week on Freakonomics Radio: could it be that cities are humanity’s greatest invention? Is it possible that, despite their reputation as soot-spewing engines of doom, they make us richer, smarter, happier and (gulp) greener? Plus: Stephen Dubner speaks with Eric Garcetti, the mayor of Los Angeles. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which . . .
A breakthrough in genetic technology has given humans more power than ever to change nature. It could help eliminate hunger and disease; it could also lead to the sort of dystopia we used to only read about in sci-fi novels. So what happens next?
Season 6, Episode 43 This week on Freakonomics Radio: a full menu of goodies. First up: a nutrition detective. And then, Stephen J. Dubner explores the war on sugar. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Food + Science = Victory!” and “There’s A War On Sugar. Is It Justified?” You can subscribe to the . . .
Season 6, Episode 45 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Stephen J. Dubner explores a breakthrough in genetic technology that has given humans more power than ever to change nature. So what happens next? Plus: some of the hoops we jump through to get ahead are poorly designed for girls and women. Behavioral economics could help change that. To find out more, check . . .
It’s hard enough to save for a house, tuition, or retirement. So why are we willing to pay big fees for subpar investment returns? Enter the low-cost index fund. The revolution will not be monetized.
The bad news: roughly 70 percent of Americans are financially illiterate. The good news: all the important stuff can fit on one index card. Here’s how to become your own financial superhero.
Season 7, Episode 3 This week on Freakonomics Radio: it’s hard enough to save for a house, tuition, or retirement. Stephen J. Dubner asks, “So why are we willing to pay big fees for subpar investment returns?” Enter the low-cost index fund. The revolution will not be monetized. To find out more, check out the podcast from which this hour was . . .
He’s been U.S. Treasury Secretary, a chief economist for the Obama White House and the World Bank, and president of Harvard. He’s one of the most brilliant economists of his generation (and perhaps the most irascible). And he thinks the Trump Administration is wrong on just about everything.
Season 7, Episode 4 The bad news: roughly 70 percent of Americans are financially illiterate. The good news: all the important stuff can fit on one index card. This week on Freakonomics Radio: how to become your own financial superhero. Plus: Stephen J. Dubner brings you the tale of the $15 tomato. To find out more, check out the podcasts from . . .
Smart government policies, good industrial relations, and high-end products have helped German manufacturing beat back the threats of globalization.
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