Why Cities Rock

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 […]

Why is Bad Environmentalism Such an Easy Sell?

Season 6, Episode 33 We already know it’s not easy being green. But Stephen J. Dubner wants to know, “What about selling green?” It turns out that’s pretty easy. Plus: researchers are trying to figure out why we get bored and what it means for the economy. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was […]

Outsiders by Design

Season 6, Episode 30 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: What does it mean to pursue something that everyone else thinks is nuts? And what does it take to succeed? Plus, Stephen J. Dubner asks, “What do medieval nuns and Bo Jackson have in common?” To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this […]

In Praise of Incrementalism

Season 6, Episode 20  On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: what do the Italian Renaissance, Olympic cycling, and civil rights movements have in common? In each case, huge breakthroughs came from taking tiny steps. In a world where everyone is looking for the next moonshot, Stephen J. Dubner argues that we shouldn’t ignore the power of incrementalism. […]

In Praise of Maintenance

Season 6, Episode 19 On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: Our society is obsessed with innovation, which has a pretty high cost. Stephen J. Dubner got obsessed with the notion of maintenance, and talks about why it isn’t the enemy of innovation, but rather the saving grace of American infrastructure. Speaking of things that need taking care of, […]

Trust Me

Season 6, Episode 15 This week on Freakonomics Radio: 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? Plus: Some of our most […]

Trust Me (Ep. 266)

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?

In Praise of Incrementalism (Ep. 264)

What do Renaissance painting, civil-rights movements, and Olympic cycling have in common? In each case, huge breakthroughs came from taking tiny steps. In a world where everyone is looking for the next moonshot, we shouldn’t ignore the power of incrementalism.

In Praise of Maintenance (Ep. 263)

Has our culture’s obsession with innovation led us to neglect the fact that things also need to be taken care of?

“If Mayors Ruled the World”

Season 5, Episode 30 This week, Freakonomics Radio expands on an idea from political theorist Benjamin Barber, who wrote If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities. Barber argues that cities are paragons of good governance — compared, at least, to nation-states — and that is largely due to their mayors. Mayors, Barber argues, are can-do people […]