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Freakonomics Radio

 
Date
Length

Is America’s Obesity Epidemic For Real?

Americans keep putting on pounds. So is it time for a cheeseburger tax? Or would a chill pill be the best medicine? In this episode, we explore the underbelly of fat through the eyes of a 280-pound woman, a top White House doctor, and a couple of overweight academics.

2/26/10
21:05

Faking It

Do you “fake it?” If so, you’re hardly alone. In this episode, you’ll hear how everyone from the President of the United States to a kosher-keeping bacon-lover lives in a state of fallen grace. All the time. And gets by.

4/13/10
19:22

How Is a Bad Radio Station Like the Public School System?

In this episode of Freakonomics Radio, we explore a way to make 1.1 million schoolkids feel like they have 1.1 million teachers.

5/12/10
28:33

Why the World Cup Is an Economist’s Dream

Steve Levitt talks about why the center cannot hold in penalty kicks, why a running track hurts home-field advantage, and why the World Cup is an economist’s dream.

6/10/10
8:44

Two Book Authors and a Microphone

The next chapter in the adventures of Dubner and Levitt has begun. Listen to a preview of what’s to come for the fall season of Freakonomics Radio.

9/30/10
11:32

The N.F.L.’s Best Real Estate Isn’t for Sale. Yet.

The N.F.L. is very good at making money. So why on earth doesn’t it sell ad space on the one piece of real estate that football fans can’t help but see: the players themselves? The explanation is trickier than you might think. It has to do with Peyton Manning, with Eli Manning, and with…wait for it…Tevye.

10/29/10
22:04

How Much Does the President Really Matter?

The U.S. president is often called the “leader of the free world.” But if you ask an economist or a Constitutional scholar how much the occupant of the Oval Office matters, they won’t say much. We look at what the data have to say about measuring leadership, and its impact on the economy and the country.

11/4/10
32:54

Is America Ready for a “No-Lose Lottery”?

For the most part, Americans don’t like the simple, boring act of putting money in a savings account. We do, however, love to play the lottery. So what if you combined the two, creating a new kind of savings account with a lottery payout?

11/18/10
25:41

The “No-Lose Lottery,” Part 2

It’s the banking tool that got millions of people around the world to stop wasting money on the lottery. So why won’t state and federal officials in the U.S. give it a chance?

12/2/10
21:44

You Say Repugnant, I Say … Let’s Do It!

What happens when the most disturbing ideas are also the best?

12/30/10
26:33

Trashed

How economics — and emotion — have turned our garbage into such a mess.

1/13/11
21:53

Freakonomics FAQ, No. 1

Levitt and Dubner field questions from the public and hold forth on everything from dating strategies and rock-and-roll accordion music to whether different nations have different economic identities. Oh, and also: is it worthwhile to vote?

1/20/11
16:44

Bring on the Pain!

Bring on the Pain! It’s not about how much something hurts — it’s how you remember the pain. This week, lessons on pain from the New York City subway, the professional hockey rink, and a landmark study of colonoscopy patients. So have a listen. We promise, it won’t hurt a bit.

2/10/11
25:40

The Power of Poop

Since the beginning of civilization, we’ve thought that human waste was worthless at best, and often dangerous. What if we were wrong?

3/4/11
19:51

The Health of Nations

For decades, G.D.P. has been the yardstick for measuring living standards around the world. Martha Nussbaum would rather use something that actually works.

3/18/11
23:03

Death by Fire? Probably Not

Fire deaths in the U.S. have fallen 90 percent over the past 100 years, a great and greatly underappreciated gain. How did it happen — and could we ever get to zero?

3/24/11
20:12

Smarter Kids at 10 Bucks a Pop

It won’t work for everyone, but there’s a cheap, quick, and simple way to lift some students’ grades.

4/8/11
20:32

Gambling With Your Life

Does Las Vegas increase your risk of suicide? A researcher embeds himself in the city where Americans are most likely to kill themselves.

5/2/11
19:10

To Catch a Fugitive

Who is likelier to get to the fugitive first? When a fugitive is on the run, it’s not only the police he has to worry about. A bounty hunter could be coming after him, too.

5/26/11
19:12

Live From St. Paul!

Freakonomics Radio hits the road, and plays some Quiz Bowl!

6/23/11
28:36

Hey Baby, Is That a Prius You’re Driving?

Conspicuous conservation is about showing off your environmental bona fides. In other words, if you lean green, there’s extra value in being seen leaning green.

7/7/11
27:16

Mouse in the Salad

In restaurants and in life, bad things happen. But what happens next is just as important.

7/21/11
28:41

The Church of “Scionology”

We worship the tradition of handing off a family business to the next generation. But is that really such a good idea?

8/3/11
57:28

The Suicide Paradox

There are more than twice as many suicides as murders in the U.S., but suicide attracts far less scrutiny. Freakonomics Radio digs through the numbers and finds all kinds of surprises

8/31/11
57:21

Where Have All the Hitchhikers Gone?

Did we needlessly scare ourselves into ditching a good thing? And, with millions of cars driving around with no passengers, should we be rooting for a renaissance?

10/10/11
30:00

Boo…Who?

Is booing an act of verbal vandalism—or the last true expression of democracy?

11/10/11
33:58

The Truth Is Out There…Isn’t It?

There’s a nasty secret about hot-button topics like global warming: knowledge is not always power.

11/23/11
34:36

Weird Recycling

Clever ways to not waste our waste.

12/3/11
25:32

The Hidden Side of the Super Bowl

A football cheat sheet to help you sound like the smartest person at the party.

1/26/12
5:02

Does This Recession Make Me Look Fat?

A look at some non-obvious ways to lose weight.

2/9/12
5:02

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