50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

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Tim Harford tells the fascinating stories of inventions, ideas and innovations which have helped create the economic world.


08:58 | Nov 19th, 2016

The boom in global trade was caused by a simple steel box. Shipping goods around the world was – for many centuries – expensive, risky and time-consuming. But, as Tim Harford explains, 60 years ago th...Show More
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Just found this podcast that tells the story of ordinary objects that punch above their weight in importance. This episode positions the sh...Show More

09:51 | Jan 6th

There are more than 36,000 McDonald's restaurants around the world - but if the McDonald brothers had had their way, that might never have happened. Tim Harford tells the story of how milkshake-mixer ...Show More
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epekilis recommended:

A factoid jumped out at me just around the 6 minute mark in this history of the McDonald’s franchising model. The narrator says that the co...Show More

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09:57 | Sep 16th, 2019

Developed for the military, dodging bureaucracy and fuelled by venture capital: canned food blazed a trail many of today's biggest tech innovations have followed. Tim Harford reveals the surprising le...Show More
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We’ve probably all heard the story about how canned food was invented to service Napoleon’s army. This episode takes it a step further by c...Show More

09:08 | Aug 5th, 2017

Why should we get into a stranger’s car – or buy a stranger’s laser pointer? In 1997, eBay introduced a feature that helped solve the problem: Seller Feedback. Jim Griffith was eBay’s first customer s...Show More

08:58 | Dec 31st, 2016

Transferring money by text message is far safer and more convenient than cash. M-Pesa, as it is known, first took off in Kenya. The idea was to make it easier for small businesses to repay micro-finan...Show More
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Listen to this episode right after the episode on the historical roots of banking. The Crusaders had to find a way to access money across t...Show More

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