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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.


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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

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

Get the best podcast recommendations in your inbox every week. 😎

08:58 | Dec 3rd, 2016

Surprisingly, Uncle Sam played an essential role in the creation and development of the iPhone - of course, much has been written about the late Steve Jobs and other leading figures at Apple and their...Show More
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epekilis recommended:

Great episode with unexpected focus. It’s easy to see how the iPhone has completely revolutionized modern society. What’s less obvious is ...Show More

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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epekilis recommended:

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

10:01 | Jan 27th

In the 1630s, the Netherlands experienced 'tulip mania' - a surge in demand for tulips from wealthy buyers, with some individual bulbs costing twenty times more than a carpenter's annual salary. Then,...Show More
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