Make Me a Match

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(Photo, cropped: Newtown Grafitti)

(Photo, cropped: Newtown Grafitti)

Season 5, Episode 15

On this week’s episode of Freakonomics Radio: sure, markets generally work well. But for some transactions — like school admissions and organ transplants — money alone can’t solve the problem. That’s when you need a market-design wizard like Nobel Prize winner Al Roth. You’ll hear how Roth and others have revolutionized the organ-donor market. Plus, the amazing story of how one particularly selfless woman became the first link in a donor chain that gave life to many others.

And then:  the comedian Aziz Ansari is the creator and star of the Netflix series Master of None, and is perhaps best known for playing Tom Haverford on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. But he recently teamed up with NYU sociologist Eric Klinenberg to write Modern Romance, a book full of fascinating research about how people meet, and mate, in the modern world. Stephen Dubner speaks with Ansari about the shift from “companionate” marriage to “soul-mate” marriage — and many other topics.

To find out more, check out the podcasts from which this hour was drawn: “Make Me a Match” and “Aziz Ansari Needs Another Toothbrush.”

You can subscribe to the Freakonomics Radio podcast at iTunes or elsewhere, or get the RSS feed.


Jan Doggen

Somebody recommended me your podcast. Hurrah, it has an RSS feed. But then the disappointment: that feed does not contain mp3s. Am I missing something? It's (for me) not much use if I can't download mp3s to take with me.


Katie S

I loved hearing this episode. In 2009 we move to Rhode Island, and my husband Bryan, who had been sick with an inherited kidney disease, entered the NEPKE paired kidney program based on Dr. Roth's work. In summer 2010, he received a kidney through a 6-way swap, in which his brother donated to a stranger so Bryan could receive a kidney from another stranger. Three pairs of donors and recipients -- in NH, RI and MD -- underwent surgery on the same day. All 6 came out healthy.

At the time of my husband's transplant, we had a newborn baby and a 3-yr-old. Today, our 5- and 9-year-old boys have a healthy Daddy, and I am certain that Dr. Roth's work is to thank.