Introducing Freakonomics Radio: A Podcast About the Hidden Side of Everything

Listen now:

I have always loved radio. There’s something magical about the combination of listening intimacy and the technology of widespread transmission. Some of my firmest memories are radio memories: as a kid, listening to WGY in Schenectady, N.Y., on snowy mornings to find out if school was closed; hearing the Clash’s “Train in Vain” for the first time and thinking it must have been a mistake, that no radio station could ever play a song so raw and great; learning to

D.J. in college and sending coded messages to a girl I needed to get with.

It is amazing to me that, as much as media has changed in recent decades, the fundamental appeal of radio remains intact — and, in some ways, is much stronger. Technology has helped the cause; podcasts are a radio lover’s heroin.


So it is with great pleasure that I announce the launch of Freakonomics Radio, a podcast. We’re just finishing up our first episode. It’ll be called “What Do NASCAR Drivers, Glenn Beck, and the Hitmen of the NFL Have in Common?” It features interviews with all the people named in the title, along with a good dose of Levitt; I’m the host.

Here’s a brief preview in which we hatch our evil plan to make the podcast. Levitt talks about what the world would be like if economists ran it. Highlights: “unpleasant,” “demented,” but “efficient.” Feedback welcome — especially suggestions for topics or stories you’d like to hear.

[Update: You can now subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts here; Stitcher here; or get the RSS feed here.]


Looking forward to subscribing on iTunes. Dump the music though - the plinking sound was rather annoying.


What Do NASCAR Drivers, Glenn Beck, and the Hitmen of the NFL Have in Common?

They are all American men.

Says something about your perspective, I think.


"sending coded messages to a girl I needed to get with"

thanks for sharing that, Dubner!


Sounds good - to be honest I'd love to follow what you guys do but the blog/RSS feed is a bit too much (there's like 5+ items per day and most of them by random authors other than the Freaknomomics authors and talking about just about anything).

Perhaps the podcast will be more focused and filter only the best stuff.


Remember to offer a basic rss or xml feed for those of us who own mp3 players that are not manufactured by Apple.


Please set up a way to subscribe via standard RSS, and not just iTunes!


Is there a URL to subscribe to the podcast? THanks.


Et, not all NASCAR drivers are Americans (or men) and there are plenty of Canadian hockey players. I don't think that says anything about your perspective.

Roger McGoodington

unless you fully intend the podcasts as a revenue stream, please skip Itunes, or at least, also place the casts on a website somewhere, so the non-Borg can also enjoy them.


et, all are american men? Pretty sure John Andretti is of Italian descent and Juan Pablo Montoya is from Columbia, among others. (

Maybe most of them are, but I think it says more about your perspective, I think.


I agree with DKG.
That music has got to go!


Danica patrick - female nascar driver


Is there an RSS, RDF, ATOM, XML, or other feed URL for the podcast that we can subscribe too? I listen to podcasts directly through Google Reader and don't even have iTunes installed.

Thanks! It sounds like this is going to be great.

Mark Iliff

I'm not into bondage. If you stick to iTunes you won't reach me.



I'd love to hear you guys debate the NYT's plan to put up a paywall and how you think that might impact the Freak-blog or NYT online readership in general. Hopefully, the podcast won't end up behind the paywall.

I agree the music has to go. It's awful.


"...there are plenty of Canadian hockey players. " - Harry

But very few hockey players in the NFL.

Bobby G

Sounds sweet. Figure out a way for me to listen to it at work without having to plug in my iphone each time (I'm bad about syncing these days)


I support the motion to provide a basic RSS feed for those of us who aren't locked in to the world of Apple yet.

(Though I accept that we may soon become isolated from the rest of the world when Apple releases its own branded internet that does not interoperate with any non-apple devices.)

John D

Another vote for avoiding iTunes please


+1 for RSS feed