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Steven Levitt

 
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Does College Still Matter? And Other Freaky Questions Answered…

In our second round of FREAK-quently Asked Questions, Steve Levitt answers some queries from listeners and readers.

4/15/11
16:53

Please Steal My Car

Levitt and Dubner answer your FREAK-quently Asked Questions about junk food, insurance, and how to make an economist happy.

7/5/12
26:12

Fear Thy Nature

What “Sleep No More” and the Stanford Prison Experiment tell us about who we really are.

9/14/12
42:25

Why Online Poker Should Be Legal

The data show that poker is indeed a game of skill, not chance, and a Federal judge agrees. So why are players still being treated like criminals?

9/19/12
5:25

The Tale of the $15 Tomato

Trying to go rustic by baking, brewing, and knitting at home can be terribly inefficient. And that’s a wonderful thing.

9/23/12
9:24

The Cobra Effect

When you want to get rid of a nasty pest, one obvious solution comes to mind: just offer a cash reward. But be careful — because nothing backfires quite like a bounty.

10/11/12
37:46

Who Owns the Words That Come Out of Your Mouth?

The very long reach of Winston Churchill — and how the British government is remaking copyright law.

1/17/13
35:57

How to Think About Guns

No one wants mass shootings. Unfortunately, no one has a workable plan to stop them either.

2/14/13
34:26

Whatever Happened to the Carpal Tunnel Epidemic?

Once upon a time, office workers across America lived in fear of a dreaded infirmity. Was the computer keyboard really the villain — and did carpal tunnel syndrome really go away?

9/12/13
20:35

How to Think About Money, Choose Your Hometown, and Buy an Electric Toothbrush

Dubner and Levitt field your queries in this latest installment of our FREAK-quently Asked Questions.

10/3/13
30:05

How to Raise Money Without Killing a Kitten

The science of what works — and doesn’t work — in fundraising.

10/10/13
37:32

The Most Dangerous Machine

More than 1 million people die worldwide each year from traffic accidents. But there’s never been a safer time to drive.

12/5/13
34:52

Are Gay Men Really Rich?

It’s easy to get that idea. But is the stereotype true?

12/12/13
24:25

How to Make People Quit Smoking

The war on cigarettes has been fairly successful in some places. But 1 billion humans still smoke — so what comes next?

4/3/14
37:30

Which Came First, the Chicken or the Avocado?

When it comes to exercising outrage, people tend to be very selective. Could it be that humans are our least favorite animal?

4/24/14
34:57

Think Like a Child

When it comes to generating ideas and asking questions it can be really fruitful to have the mentality of an eight year old.

5/22/14
29:41

Failure Is Your Friend

In which we argue that failure should not only be tolerated but celebrated.

6/5/14
32:29

What Can Vampires Teach Us About Economics?

A lot! “The Economics of the Undead” is a book about dating strategy, job creation, and whether there should be a legal market for blood.

10/30/14
29:51

What’s More Dangerous: Marijuana or Alcohol? (Replay)

Imagine that both substances were undiscovered until today. How would we think about their relative risks?

12/25/14
28:18

Should Kids Pay Back Their Parents for Raising Them?

When one athlete turned pro, his mom asked him for $1 million. Our modern sensibilities tell us she doesn’t have a case. But should she?

10/8/15
47:22

How To Win A Nobel Prize

The process is famously secretive (and conducted in Swedish!) but we pry the lid off at least a little bit.

10/15/15
45:27

How to Save $1 Billion Without Even Trying (Replay)

Doctors, chefs, and other experts are much more likely than the rest of us to buy store-brand products. What do they know that we don’t?

10/22/15
40:17

Is It Okay for Restaurants to Racially Profile Their Employees? (Replay)

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?

8/3/16
57:20

How to Be More Productive (Replay)

In this busy time of year, we could all use some tips on how to get more done in less time. First, however, a warning: there’s a big difference between being busy and being productive.

12/21/16
42:44

Chuck E. Cheese’s: Where a Kid Can Learn Price Theory

The pizza-and-gaming emporium prides itself on affordability, which means its arcade games are really cheap to play. Does that lead to kids hogging the best games — and parents starting those infamous YouTube brawls?

3/8/17
34:41

The Most Dangerous Machine

Season 6, Episode 35 This week on Freakonomics Radio: Uber is disrupting profitable sectors by using one of the world’s most dangerous machines. Plus, Stephen J. Dubner learns that data from Uber’s users is helping answer one of the most elusive questions in economics. To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Why Uber Is an Economist’s Dream” . . .

5/5/17

Why Is My Life So Hard?

Season 6, Episode 40 This week on Freakonomics Radio: most of us feel we face more obstacles than everyone else — which breeds resentment. We also undervalue the tailwinds that help us — which leaves us ungrateful and unhappy. Stephen J. Dubner asks, “How can we avoid this trap?” To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour . . .

6/8/17

Why Is My Life So Hard? (Replay)

Season 7, Episode 15 This week on Freakonomics Radio: most of us feel we face more obstacles than everyone else — which breeds resentment. We also undervalue the tailwinds that help us — which leaves us ungrateful and unhappy. Stephen J. Dubner asks, “How can we avoid this trap?” To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour . . .

12/14/17

How Much Does Your Name Matter? (Replay)

A kid’s name can tell us something about his parents — their race, social standing, even their politics. But is your name really your destiny?

8/7/19
55:35

Hello, My Name Is Marijuana Pepsi!

Research shows that having a distinctively black name doesn’t affect your economic future. But what is the day-to-day reality of living with such a name? Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck, a newly-minted Ph.D., is well-qualified to answer this question. Her verdict: the data don’t tell the whole story.

8/14/19
40:48

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