Economics

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EconTalk: Russ Roberts, Library of Economics and Liberty

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EconTalk is an award-winning weekly talk show about economics in daily life. Featured guests include renowned economics professors, Nobel Prize winners, and exciting speakers on all kinds of topical matters related to economic thought. Topics includ...Show More

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Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Rationality, Risk, and Skin in the Game

1:14:27 | Mar 5th, 2018

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Skin in the Game, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in the book. This is the third episode of EconTalk with Taleb related to the general topic of skin in the game and how it affects decision-making...Show More

John Gray on the Seven Kinds of Atheism

1:36:03 | Oct 15th, 2018

Philosopher and author John Gray talks about his latest book, Seven Types of Atheism, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Gray argues that progress is an illusion and that most atheisms inherit, unknowingly, a religious belief in progress that is not ju...Show More

Frank Dikotter on Mao's Great Famine

1:12:47 | Aug 6th, 2018

Historian Frank Dikotter of the University of Hong Kong and author of Mao's Great Famine talks about the book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Dikotter chronicles the strategies Mao and Chinese leadership implemented to increase grain and steel produ...Show More

Andrew Gelman on Social Science, Small Samples, and the Garden of the Forking Paths

1:07:42 | Mar 20th, 2017

Statistician, blogger, and author Andrew Gelman of Columbia University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges facing psychologists and economists when using small samples. On the surface, finding statistically significant results ...Show More

Gabriel Zucman on Inequality, Growth, and Distributional National Accounts

1:12:35 | Sep 18th, 2017

Gabriel Zucman of the University of California, Berkeley talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research on inequality and the distribution of income in the United States over the last 35 years. Zucman finds that there has been no change in ...Show More

Benedict Evans on the Future of Cars

1:07:24 | Aug 28th, 2017

Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about two important trends for the future of personal travel--the increasing number of electric cars and a world of autonomous vehicles. Evans talks about how these two trend...Show More

John McWhorter on the Evolution of Language and Words on the Move

1:04:43 | Aug 21st, 2017

How did bad come to mean good? Why is Shakespeare so hard to understand? Is there anything good about "like" and "you know?" Author and professor John McWhorter of Columbia University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the unplanned ways tha...Show More

Beth Redbird on Licensing

1:02:29 | Mar 19th, 2018

Economists often oppose the expansion of licensing in America in recent years because it makes it harder for people with low skills to get access to opportunity. Sociologist Beth Redbird of Northwestern University talks with EconTalk host Russ Robert...Show More

Bryan Caplan on the Case Against Education

1:11:28 | Feb 12th, 2018

Bryan Caplan of George Mason University and the author of The Case Against Education talks about the book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Caplan argues that very little learning takes place in formal education and that very little of the return to c...Show More

Philip Auerswald on the Rise of Populism

1:19:40 | Sep 25th, 2017

Author and professor Philip Auerswald of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the rise of populism in the United States and throughout the world. Auerswald argues that the rise of cities and the productivity of urban li...Show More

Tamar Haspel on Food Costs, Animal Welfare, and the Honey Bee

1:01:52 | Jul 17th, 2017

Tamar Haspel, who writes "Unearthed," a column on food and agriculture at the Washington Post, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a wide variety of issues related to the cost of food and how it's produced. Topics discussed include why techno...Show More

Thomas Ricks on Churchill and Orwell

1:05:47 | Jun 19th, 2017

Author and historian Thomas Ricks talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, Churchill and Orwell. Ricks makes the case that the odd couple of Winston Churchill and George Orwell played and play an important role in preserving individual l...Show More

Christy Ford Chapin on the Evolution of the American Health Care System

1:05:53 | Jun 5th, 2017

Historian Christy Ford Chapin of University of Maryland Baltimore County and Johns Hopkins and author of Ensuring America's Health talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her book--a history of how America's health care system came to be dominate...Show More

David Boaz, P.J. O'Rourke, and George Will on the State of Liberty

1:04:52 | May 29th, 2017

What is the state of liberty in America? Is liberty increasing or decreasing? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future? This week EconTalk features David Boaz, P.J. O'Rourke, and George Will discussing these questions and more with Eco...Show More

Lant Pritchett on Poverty, Growth, and Experiments

1:03:14 | May 22nd, 2017

How should we think about growth and poverty? How important is the goal of reducing the proportion of the world's population living on less than a dollar a day? Does poverty persist because people lack skills or because they live in economic systems ...Show More

Paul Bloom on Empathy

1:08:25 | Feb 27th, 2017

Psychologist Paul Bloom of Yale University talks about his book Against Empathy with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Bloom argues that empathy--the ability to feel the emotions of others--is a bad guide to charitable giving and public policy. Bloom argue...Show More

Jim Epstein on Bitcoin, the Blockchain, and Freedom in Latin America

59:51 | Feb 13th, 2017

Writer, reporter, and film producer Jim Epstein talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about mining Bitcoins in Venezuela as a way to import food. Venezuela is a tragicomic example of how policy can lead to strange and presumably unexpected outcomes. ...Show More

Cathy O'Neil on Weapons of Math Destruction

1:11:09 | Oct 3rd, 2016

Cathy O'Neil, data scientist and author of Weapons of Math Destruction talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in her book. O'Neil argues that the commercial application of big data often harms individuals in unknown ways. She argues th...Show More

Catherine Semcer on Poaching, Preserves, and African Wildlife

1:07:31 | Feb 18th

Catherine Semcer of the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the role of incentives in preserving wildlife in Africa. The conversation discusses how allowing limited hunting of big game such as e...Show More

Jessica Riskin on Life, Machinery, and the Restless Clock

1:04:51 | Feb 11th

Historian Jessica Riskin of Stanford University talks about her book The Restless Clock with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. What is the difference between human beings and machines? How has science thought about this distinction? When do we have agency ...Show More

Gary Greenberg on the Placebo Effect

1:01:36 | Feb 4th

Author and psychotherapist Gary Greenberg talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the placebo effect. Is it real? How does the placebo effect influence drug testing? If it's real, what is the underlying mechanism of why it works and how might it ...Show More

Patrick Collison on Innovation and Scientific Progress

1:15:48 | Jan 28th

Patrick Collison, co-founder and CEO of Stripe, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the pace of innovation. Collison argues that despite enormous increases in the numbers of scientists and researchers, the pace of progress in scientific and t...Show More

Jennifer Doleac on Crime

1:22:59 | Jan 21st

Economist Jennifer Doleac of Texas A&M University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her research on crime, police, and the unexpected consequences of the criminal justice system. Topics discussed include legislation banning asking job appli...Show More

Stephen Kotkin on Solzhenitsyn

1:00:03 | Jan 14th

Historian and author Stephen Kotkin of Princeton University and Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the historical significance of the life and work of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn on the occasion of the 100...Show More

Ed Dolan on Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

1:04:26 | Jan 7th

Economist Ed Dolan of the Niskanen Center talks about employer-based health insurance with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Dolan discusses how unusual it is relative to other countries that so many Americans get their health insurance through their emplo...Show More

Sebastian Junger on Tribe

1:16:25 | Dec 31st, 2018

Journalist and author Sebastian Junger talks about his book Tribe with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Junger explores the human need to be needed and the challenges facing many individuals in modern society who struggle to connect with others. His studi...Show More

Mariana Mazzucato on the Value of Everything

1:07:53 | Dec 24th, 2018

Economist and author Mariana Mazzucato talks about her book The Value of Everything with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Mazzucato argues that economists have mismeasured value and have failed to appreciate the role of government as innovator. She argues...Show More

John Horgan on Mind-Body Problems

1:17:11 | Dec 17th, 2018

Science journalist and author John Horgan talks about his book, Mind-Body Problems, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Horgan interviewed an array of scientists, philosophers, and others who have worked on consciousness, free-will, and what it means to...Show More

Peter Berkowitz on Locke, Liberty, and Liberalism

1:20:02 | Dec 9th, 2018

Peter Berkowitz of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the origins of liberalism and the importance of John Locke. Berkowitz defends the liberal project of individual rights and liberty and argues that...Show More

Maeve Cohen on Rethinking Economics

1:02:03 | Dec 3rd, 2018

Maeve Cohen, Co-director of Rethinking Economics, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her organization and its efforts to change economics education. Cohen, who co-founded the Post-Crash Economics Society, argues for a more human-centered app...Show More

Anat Admati on the Financial Crisis of 2008

1:05:58 | Nov 26th, 2018

Anat Admati of Stanford's Graduate School of Business talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the financial crisis of 2008, the lessons she has learned, and how it has changed her view of economics, finance, and her career.

A.J. Jacobs on Thanks a Thousand

1:01:28 | Nov 19th, 2018

Journalist and author A. J. Jacobs talks about his book, Thanks a Thousand, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Jacobs thanked a thousand different people who contributed to his morning cup of coffee. In this conversation, Jacobs talks about the power o...Show More

Julia Belluz on Epidemiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism

1:05:21 | Nov 12th, 2018

Science writer Julia Belluz of Vox.com talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the state of epidemiology, nutrition, and the relationship between obesity and metabolism.

Alan Lightman on Science, Spirituality, and Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine

1:12:00 | Nov 5th, 2018

Author and Physicist Alan Lightman talks about his book Searching for Stars on an Island in Maine with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. This is a wide-ranging conversation on religion, science, transcendence, consciousness, impermanence, and whether matte...Show More

Michael Munger on Sharing, Transaction Costs, and Tomorrow 3.0

1:10:18 | Oct 29th, 2018

Economist and author Michael Munger of Duke University talks about his book, Tomorrow 3.0, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Munger analyzes the rise of companies like Uber and AirBnB as an example of how technology lowers transactions costs. Users an...Show More

Ran Abramitzky on the Mystery of the Kibbutz

1:06:44 | Oct 22nd, 2018

Economist and author Ran Abramitzky of Stanford University talks about his book, The Mystery of the Kibbutz, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Abramitzky traces the evolution of the kibbutz movement in Israel and how the kibbutz structure changed to c...Show More

Kevin McKenna on Characters, Plot, and Themes of In the First Circle

1:16:20 | Oct 18th, 2018

Russian Literature Professor Kevin McKenna of the University of Vermont talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the characters, plot, and themes of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's masterpiece, In the First Circle. This is the second episode of the EconT...Show More

Neil Monnery on Hong Kong and the Architect of Prosperity

1:13:30 | Oct 8th, 2018

Neil Monnery, author of Architect of Prosperity, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book--a biography of John Cowperthwaite, the man often credited with the economic success of Hong Kong. Monnery describes the policies that Cowperthwaite...Show More

Noah Smith on Worker Compensation, Co-determination, and Market Power

1:15:18 | Oct 1st, 2018

Bloomberg Opinion columnist and economist Noah Smith talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about corporate control, wages, and monopoly power. Smith discusses the costs and benefits of co-determination--the idea of putting workers on corporate boards...Show More

Rodney Brooks on Artificial Intelligence

1:05:38 | Sep 24th, 2018

Rodney Brooks, emeritus professor of robotics at MIT, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the future of robots and artificial intelligence. Brooks argues that we both under-appreciate and over-appreciate the impact of innovation. He applies t...Show More

Paul Bloom on Cruelty

1:22:36 | Sep 17th, 2018

Yale University psychologist Paul Bloom talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about cruelty--what motivates cruelty, the cruelty of small acts that accumulate into something monstrous, and the question of whether the abuse of a robot is a form of cru...Show More

Kevin McKenna on Solzhenitsyn, the Soviet Union, and In the First Circle

1:18:38 | Sep 10th, 2018

Russian Literature Professor Kevin McKenna of the University of Vermont talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the life and times of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. This is the opening episode of the EconTalk Book Club for Solzhenitsyn's masterpiece In ...Show More

Yoram Hazony on the Virtue of Nationalism

1:22:34 | Sep 3rd, 2018

Yoram Hazony discusses his book, The Virtue of Nationalism, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Hazony argues that nationalism, for all its flaws, is a better system than a global system of governance. He argues that while the competition between nation...Show More

Charlan Nemeth on In Defense of Troublemakers

1:23:24 | Aug 27th, 2018

Psychologist Charlan Nemeth of the University of California, Berkeley and author of In Defense of Troublemakers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in the book--the power of groupthink, the power of conviction, and the opportunity f...Show More

Lilliana Mason on Uncivil Agreement

1:10:18 | Aug 20th, 2018

Political scientist Lilliana Mason of the University Maryland and author of Uncivil Agreement talks about the book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Mason argues that political partisanship has become stronger in America in recent years because it ali...Show More

David Meltzer on the Doctor-Patient Relationship

1:08:45 | Aug 13th, 2018

Physician David Meltzer of the University of Chicago talks about the power of the doctor-patient relationship with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Meltzer, who also has a Ph.D. in economics, discusses a controlled experiment he has been running to measur...Show More

Alberto Alesina on Immigration and Redistribution

1:06:15 | Jul 30th, 2018

Alberto Alesina of Harvard University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how people in the US and five European countries perceive the population and characteristics of legal immigrants. Reporting on research with Armando Miano and Stefanie ...Show More

Teppo Felin on Blindness, Rationality, and Perception

1:04:31 | Jul 23rd, 2018

Teppo Felin of the University of Oxford talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about perception, cognition, and rationality. Felin argues that some of the standard experimental critiques of human rationality assume an omniscience that misleads us in t...Show More

Russ Roberts on the Information Revolution, Politics, Yeats, and Yelling

1:01:31 | Jul 16th, 2018

EconTalk host Russ Roberts does a monologue on how political discourse seems to have deteriorated in recent years and the growth in outrage, tribalism, and intolerance for those with different views from one's own. Roberts suggests that part of the p...Show More

Patrick Deneen on Why Liberalism Failed

1:14:58 | Jul 9th, 2018

Political Scientist and author Patrick Deneen of the University of Notre Dame talks about his book Why Liberalism Failed with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. By liberalism, Deneen means the modern enterprise--the push for self-actualization free of the c...Show More

Arnold Kling on Morality, Culture, and Tribalism

1:06:52 | Jul 2nd, 2018

Economist and author Arnold Kling talks about the economic impact of culture and morality with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Drawing on a recent essay on the importance of social interactions, Kling explores the role of culture and norms and their broa...Show More

Michael Pollan on Psychedelic Drugs and How to Change Your Mind

1:12:28 | Jun 25th, 2018

Journalist and author Michael Pollan talks about his book, How to Change Your Mind, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Pollan chronicles the history of the use of psychedelic drugs, particularly LSD and psilocybin, to treat addiction, depression and an...Show More

Richard Reinsch on the Enlightenment, Tradition, and Populism

1:06:42 | Jun 18th, 2018

Richard Reinsch, editor of Law and Liberty and the host of the podcast Liberty Law Talk, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the Enlightenment. Topics discussed include the search for meaning, the stability of liberalism, the rise of populism...Show More

Moises Velasquez-Manoff on Cows, Carbon Farming, and Climate Change

1:14:20 | Jun 11th, 2018

Journalist and author Moises Velasquez-Manoff talks about the role of dirt in fighting climate change with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Velasquez-Manoff explains how changes in farming can allow dirt and plants to absorb carbon and potentially reduce ...Show More

Janet Golden on Babies Made Us Modern

1:03:04 | Jun 4th, 2018

Historian and author Janet Golden talks about her book, Babies Made Us Modern, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Golden chronicles the transformation of parenting in first half of the 20th century. It's a fascinating story of how our knowledge of infa...Show More

Iain McGilchrist on the Divided Brain and the Master and His Emissary

1:26:09 | May 28th, 2018

Psychiatrist and author Iain McGilchrist talks about his book, The Master and His Emissary, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. McGilchrist argues we have misunderstand the purpose and effect of the divided brain. The left side is focused, concrete, and...Show More

Glen Weyl on Radical Markets

1:03:28 | May 21st, 2018

Economist Glen Weyl of Microsoft Research New England and Visiting Senior Research Scholar at Yale University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book (co-authored with Eric Posner) Radical Markets. Weyl urges a radical transformation of ...Show More

Peter Boettke on Public Administration, Liberty, and the Proper Role of Government

1:12:46 | May 20th, 2018

Peter Boettke of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the proper role of the state in the economy. This is a wide-ranging conversation on political economy. Topics include Adam Smith's view of the state, the tension bet...Show More

Joel Peterson on Leadership, Betrayal, and the 10 Laws of Trust

1:13:17 | May 7th, 2018

How did the CEO of a real estate development company become chairman of an airline? How can a competent manager learn to trust his subordinates? Joel Peterson, chairman of the Board at JetBlue Airways and author of The 10 Laws of Trust, talks with Ec...Show More

Ryan Holiday on Conspiracy, Gawker, and the Hulk Hogan Trial

1:17:50 | Apr 30th, 2018

Author Ryan Holiday discusses his book, Conspiracy, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. This is a crazy episode about a crazy book about a crazy set of events--the Hulk Hogan lawsuit against the website Gawker, a lawsuit that was secretly funded by Pete...Show More

Jonah Goldberg on The Suicide of the West

1:27:24 | Apr 23rd, 2018

Jonah Goldberg of National Review talks about his latest book, Suicide of the West, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Goldberg argues that both capitalism and democracy are at risk in the current contentious political environment. He argues that we ta...Show More

Jerry Muller on the Tyranny of Metrics

1:04:45 | Apr 16th, 2018

Historian and author Jerry Muller of Catholic University talks about his latest book, The Tyranny of Metrics, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Muller argues that public policy and management are overly focused on measurable outcomes as a measure of s...Show More

Vincent Rajkumar on the High Price of Cancer Drugs

1:12:38 | Apr 9th, 2018

Can a life-saving drug be too expensive? What explains the high price of cancer drugs? Dr. Vincent Rajkumar of the Mayo Clinic talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the high price of cancer drugs--drugs that can cost an American with cancer $30...Show More

Michael Munger on Traffic

1:14:08 | Apr 2nd, 2018

Does rush-hour traffic drive you crazy? Is a congestion tax on car travel a good idea? Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the economics of traffic and congestion taxes. It takes a while to get there (how app...Show More

Edward Glaeser on Joblessness and the War on Work

1:06:05 | Mar 26th, 2018

Why are fewer men working over the last few decades? Is a universal basic income a good policy for coping with the loss of employment? Economist Edward Glaeser of Harvard University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about what Glaeser calls the w...Show More

Arnold Kling on Economics for the 21st Century

1:04:50 | Mar 12th, 2018

Economist, blogger, and author Arnold Kling talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the state of economics in the 21st century. Kling argues that economics would be more useful if it took account of intangibles like culture, incorporated the role...Show More

Elizabeth Anderson on Worker Rights and Private Government

1:07:05 | Feb 26th, 2018

Philosopher Elizabeth Anderson of the University of Michigan and author of Private Government talks about her book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Anderson argues that employers have excessive power over employees that we would never accept from gov...Show More

Jordan Peterson on 12 Rules for Life

1:18:22 | Feb 19th, 2018

Jordan Peterson, author of 12 Rules for Life, talks about the book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Topics covered include parenting, conversation, the role of literature in everyday life, and the relationship between sacrificial rites and trade.

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay on the Enemies of Modernity

1:09:27 | Feb 5th, 2018

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about their essay on the enemies of modernity. Pluckrose and Lindsay argue that modernity--by which they mean democracy, reason, and individual liberty--is under attack from pre-m...Show More

Marian Goodell on Burning Man

1:12:35 | Jan 29th, 2018

Marian Goodell, CEO of the Burning Man Project, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Burning Man, the 8-day art and music festival in the Nevada Desert. Goodell explains how Burning Man has evolved over the years, the principles and rules that...Show More

John Ioannidis on Statistical Significance, Economics, and Replication

1:05:12 | Jan 22nd, 2018

John Ioannidis of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research on the reliability of published research findings. They discuss Ioannidis's recent study on bias in economics research, meta-analysis, the challenge of sma...Show More

Bill James on Baseball, Facts, and the Rules of the Game

1:02:20 | Jan 14th, 2018

Baseball stats guru and author Bill James talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of understanding complexity in baseball and elsewhere. James reflects on the lessons he has learned as a long-time student of data and the role it pl...Show More

Dick Carpenter on Bottleneckers

1:14:58 | Jan 8th, 2018

Dick Carpenter of the Institute for Justice and author of Bottleneckers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book--a look at how occupational licensing and other regulations protect existing job holders from competition.

Dick Carpenter on Bottleneckers

1:14:58 | Jan 8th, 2018

Dick Carpenter of the Institute for Justice and author of Bottleneckers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book--a look at how occupational licensing and other regulations protect existing job holders from competition.

Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith on Soonish

1:10:28 | Jan 1st, 2018

Ecologist Kelly Weinersmith and cartoonist Zach Weinersmith--creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal--talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about their new book, Soonish--a look at cutting-edge and not-quite cutting edge technologies. The Weiners...Show More

Kelly Weinersmith and Zach Weinersmith on Soonish

1:10:28 | Jan 1st, 2018

Ecologist Kelly Weinersmith and cartoonist Zach Weinersmith--creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal--talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about their new book, Soonish--a look at cutting-edge and not-quite cutting edge technologies. The Weiners...Show More

Matt Stoller on Modern Monopolies

1:10:11 | Dec 25th, 2017

Matt Stoller of the Open Market Institute talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the growing influence of Google, Facebook, and Amazon on commercial and political life. Stoller argues that these large firms have too much power over our options a...Show More

Brink Lindsey and Steven Teles on the Captured Economy

1:09:34 | Dec 18th, 2017

Brink Lindsey of the Niskanen Center and Steven Teles of the Niskanen Center and Johns Hopkins University talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about their book, The Captured Economy. Lindsey and Teles argue that inequality has been worsened by specia...Show More

John Cogan on Entitlements and the High Cost of Good Intentions

1:06:08 | Dec 12th, 2017

John Cogan of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Cogan's book, The High Cost of Good Intentions, a history of U.S. entitlement policy. Cogan traces the evolution of government pensions beginning with ...Show More

Rachel Laudan on Food Waste

1:01:50 | Dec 4th, 2017

Historian Rachel Laudan talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about food waste. Laudan argues that much of the alleged wasting of food serves a purpose and reducing waste would have costs that exceed the benefits. She also discusses the role of food ...Show More

Simeon Djankov and Matt Warner on the Doing Business Report and Development Aid

1:15:27 | Nov 27th, 2017

Simeon Djankov, creator of the World Bank's Doing Business Report, and Matt Warner, Chief Operating Officer of Atlas Network talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the role regulation plays in economic development and the challenges of measuring ...Show More

Tim Harford on Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy

1:08:50 | Nov 20th, 2017

Financial Times columnist and author Tim Harford talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Harford's latest book, Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy. Highlights include how elevators are an important form of mass transit, why washing m...Show More

Anthony Gill on Tipping

1:05:43 | Nov 13th, 2017

Why does tipping persist? Despite the efforts of some restaurants to stop tipping, it remains a healthy institution and has recently spread to Uber. Political scientist Anthony Gill of the University of Washington talks with EconTalk host Russ Robert...Show More

Dennis Rasmussen on Hume and Smith and The Infidel and the Professor

1:11:37 | Nov 6th, 2017

How did the friendship between David Hume and Adam Smith influence their ideas? Why do their ideas still matter today? Political Scientist Dennis Rasmussen of Tufts University and author of The Infidel and the Professor talks with EconTalk host Russ ...Show More

Michael Munger on Permissionless Innovation

1:07:51 | Oct 30th, 2017

Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about permissionless innovation. Munger argues that the ability to innovate without permission is the most important concept of political economy. Munger defends this claim and e...Show More

Jennifer Burns on Ayn Rand and the Goddess of the Market

1:04:38 | Oct 23rd, 2017

Jennifer Burns of Stanford University and the Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her biography of Ayn Rand, Goddess of the Market. They discuss Rand's philosophy, her influence, her relationship with the conservative movem...Show More

Megan McArdle on Internet Shaming and Online Mobs

1:14:32 | Oct 16th, 2017

Author and journalist Megan McArdle of Bloomberg View talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how the internet has allowed a new kind of shaming via social media and how episodes of bad behavior live on because Google's memory is very, very good....Show More

Tim O'Reilly on What's the Future

1:02:47 | Oct 9th, 2017

Author Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media and long-time observer and commenter on the internet and technology, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us. O'Reilly surveys the evolution...Show More

Robert Wright on Meditation, Mindfulness, and Why Buddhism is True

1:06:58 | Oct 2nd, 2017

Robert Wright, author of Why Buddhism Is True, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the psychotherapeutic insights of Buddhism and the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Wright argues our evolutionary past has endowed us with a mind that ...Show More

Gillian Hadfield on Law and Rules For a Flat World

1:07:17 | Sep 11th, 2017

Law professor Gillian Hadfield of the University of Southern California and author of Rules for a Flat World talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in her book for regulating the digital future. Hadfield suggests the competitive provis...Show More

Rob Reich on Foundations and Philanthropy

1:03:34 | Sep 3rd, 2017

Is private charity always a good thing? Do large foundations have too much power? Political Scientist Rob Reich of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the power and effectiveness of foundations--large collections of wealth...Show More

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Work, Slavery, the Minority Rule, and Skin in the Game

1:24:40 | Aug 14th, 2017

Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the manuscript version of his forthcoming book, Skin in the Game. Topics discussed include the role of skin in the game in labor markets, the power of minorities, the Lindy effect, Tal...Show More

Tyler Cowen on Stubborn Attachments, Prosperity, and the Good Society

1:00:45 | Aug 7th, 2017

Tyler Cowen of George Mason University and the co-host of the blog Marginal Revolution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Stubborn Attachments, his book-length treatment of how to think about public policy. Cowen argues that economic growth-...Show More

Alex Guarnaschelli on Food

1:03:55 | Jul 31st, 2017

Alex Guarnaschelli, Food Channel star and chef at Butter in midtown Manhattan, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about what it's like to run a restaurant, the challenges of a career in cooking, her favorite dishes, her least favorite dishes, and ...Show More

Sally Satel on Organ Donation

1:00:12 | Jul 24th, 2017

Sally Satel, psychiatrist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of increasing the supply of donated organs for transplantation and ways that public policy might increase ...Show More

Martha Nussbaum on Alexander Hamilton

1:01:59 | Jul 10th, 2017

Martha Nussbaum, professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Alexander Hamilton. Nussbaum talks about the tension between acquiring power and living a life of virtue. The topics discussed include H...Show More

Chris Blattman on Chickens, Cash, and Development Economics

1:03:40 | Jul 3rd, 2017

Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about whether it's better to give poor Africans cash or chickens and the role of experiments in helping us figure out the answer. Along the way he discusses the importa...Show More

Robin Feldman on Drug Patents, Generics, and Drug Wars

1:05:22 | Jun 26th, 2017

Robin Feldman of the University of California Hastings College of Law and author of Drug Wars talks about her book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Feldman explores the various ways that pharmaceutical companies try to reduce competition from generic...Show More

Don Boudreaux, Michael Munger, and Russ Roberts on Emergent Order

1:13:39 | Jun 12th, 2017

Why is it that people in large cities like Paris or New York City people sleep peacefully, unworried about whether there will be enough bread or other necessities available for purchase the next morning? No one is in charge--no bread czar. No flour c...Show More

Cass Sunstein on #Republic

1:07:14 | May 15th, 2017

Author and legal scholar Cass Sunstein of Harvard University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, #Republic. Sunstein argues that the internet has encouraged people to frequent informational echo chambers where their views are...Show More

Tyler Cowen on The Complacent Class

1:06:02 | May 8th, 2017

Author and economist Tyler Cowen of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, The Complacent Class. Cowen argues that the United States has become complacent and the result is a loss of dynamism in the economy and ...Show More

Jennifer Pahlka on Code for America

59:37 | May 1st, 2017

Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the organization she started. Code for America works with private sector tech people to bring technology to the provision of government services. Pahlka discuss...Show More

Elizabeth Pape on Manufacturing and Selling Women's Clothing and Elizabeth Suzann

1:15:53 | Apr 24th, 2017

Elizabeth Pape, founder of the women's clothing company Elizabeth Suzann, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about starting and running her company--a manufacturer and seller of high-end women's clothing in Nashville, Tennessee. The conversation c...Show More

Rana Foroohar on the Financial Sector and Makers and Takers

1:03:45 | Apr 17th, 2017

Journalist and author Rana Foroohar of the Financial Times talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her book, Makers and Takers. Foroohar argues that finance has become an increasingly powerful part of the U.S. economy and has handicapped the grow...Show More

Erica Sandberg on Homelessness and Downtown Streets Team

57:40 | Apr 3rd, 2017

Podcaster and writer Erica Sandberg talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about homelessness in San Francisco. Sandberg talks about what the city can do about homelessness and her experience with Downtown Streets Team, which gives homeless people in ...Show More

Vanessa Williamson on Taxes and Read My Lips

1:08:39 | Apr 3rd, 2017

Are Americans overtaxed? How does the average American feel about the tax system and tax reform? Vanessa Williamson of the Brookings Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her book, Read My Lips. Williamson shares the results of her ...Show More

Jason Barr on Building the Skyline and the Economics of Skyscrapers

1:17:37 | Mar 27th, 2017

Why does the Manhattan skyline look like it does with incredible skyscrapers south of City Hall then almost no tall buildings until midtown? Jason Barr of Rutgers University-Newark and author of Building the Skyline talks with EconTalk host Russ Robe...Show More

Crafts, Garicano, and Zingales on the Economic Future of Europe

1:02:43 | Mar 6th, 2017

What is the future of the European economy? What are the challenges facing Europe? What are the implications of Brexit for the United Kingdom and the rest of the Europe? Nicholas Crafts of the University of Warwick, Luis Garicano of the London School...Show More

Robert Whaples on the Economics of Pope Francis

58:18 | Mar 6th, 2017

Is capitalism part of the poverty problem facing the world or part of the solution? Are human beings doing a good job preserving the earth for future generations? To improve the world, should we improve capitalism or ourselves? Robert Whaples of Wake...Show More

Tom Wainwright on Narconomics

1:11:22 | Feb 20th, 2017

When fighting the war on drugs, governments typically devote enormous resources trying to reduce the supply. But is this effective? Journalist and author Tom Wainwright of the Economist and author of Narconomics talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts ...Show More

Gary Taubes on the Case Against Sugar

1:16:57 | Feb 6th, 2017

Sugar appears to have no nutritional value. But is it more than just empty calories? Is it actually bad for us? Author and journalist Gary Taubes talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, The Case Against Sugar. Taubes argues that ...Show More

George Borjas on Immigration and We Wanted Workers

1:05:20 | Jan 30th, 2017

George Borjas of Harvard University and author of We Wanted Workers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about immigration and the challenges of measuring the impact of increased immigration on American workers and consumers. The discussion also loo...Show More

Sam Quinones on Heroin, the Opioid Epidemic, and Dreamland

1:09:57 | Jan 23rd, 2017

How did heroin spread beyond big cities in America? What's the connection between heroin and America's opioid problem? Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the explosion in heroin use and how one small Mexica...Show More

Michael Munger on the Basic Income Guarantee

1:04:17 | Jan 16th, 2017

Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the virtues and negatives of a basic guaranteed income--giving every American adult an annual amount of money to guarantee a subsistence level of well-being. How would such...Show More

Robert Hall on Recession, Stagnation, and Monetary Policy

1:08:24 | Jan 9th, 2017

Economist Robert Hall of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the current state of the U.S. economy and what we know and don't know about the recovery from the Great Recession. Much of the conversation focuses on the choice...Show More

Mark Warshawsky on Compensation, Health Care Costs, and Inequality

1:07:03 | Jan 2nd, 2017

Economist and author Mark Warshawsky of George Mason Univerity's Mercatus Center talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his work on the role health care benefits play in measuring inequality. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Warsh...Show More

Chris Blattman on Sweatshops

1:17:41 | Dec 26th, 2016

If you were a poor person in a poor country, would you prefer steady work in a factory or to be your own boss, buying and selling in the local market? Economist Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about e...Show More

Terry Anderson on Native American Economics

1:07:12 | Dec 19th, 2016

Terry Anderson of PERC talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about economic life for Native Americans. Anderson discusses economic life before the arrival of Europeans and how current policy affects Native Americans living on reservations today.

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita on the Spoils of War

1:15:10 | Dec 12th, 2016

There is a fascinating and depressing positive correlation between the reputation of an American president and the number of people dying in wars while that president is in office. Political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita of NYU and co-author of T...Show More

Thomas Leonard on Race, Eugenics, and Illiberal Reformers

1:08:16 | Dec 5th, 2016

Were the first professional economists racists? Thomas Leonard of Princeton University and author of Illiberal Reformers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book--a portrait of the progressive movement and its early advocates at the end o...Show More

Doug Lemov on Reading

1:02:48 | Nov 28th, 2016

Doug Lemov of Uncommon School and co-author of Reading Reconsidered talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about reading. Lemov makes the case for the educational importance of critical reading of challenging books and texts. Along the way, he gives l...Show More

Erik Hurst on Work, Play, and the Dynamics of U.S. Labor Markets

1:11:05 | Nov 21st, 2016

Erik Hurst of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the state of the labor market in the United States. Hurst notes dramatic changes in employment rates for men and speculates about the causes. Two factors discussed in...Show More

Tim Harford on the Virtues of Disorder and Messy

1:12:32 | Nov 14th, 2016

Tim Harford, journalist and author, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, Messy. Harford argues that we have a weakness for order and neat solutions causing us to miss opportunities to find happiness or success with messier, mo...Show More

David Gelernter on Consciousness, Computers, and the Tides of Mind

1:08:31 | Nov 7th, 2016

David Gelernter, professor of computer science at Yale University and author of The Tides of Mind, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about consciousness and how our minds evolve through the course of the day and as we grow up. Other topics discus...Show More

Judith Donath on Signaling, Design, and the Social Machine

1:08:18 | Oct 31st, 2016

Judith Donath, author of The Social Machine, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in her book--an examination of signaling, online identity, and online community. Donath argues that design elements in technology play a key role in ou...Show More

Casey Mulligan on Cuba

1:01:50 | Oct 24th, 2016

Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about life in Cuba. Mulligan, who recently returned from a trip to Cuba, discusses the economy, the standard of living and some of the peculiarities of communist contro...Show More

Chris Arnade on the Mexican Crisis, TARP, and American Poverty

1:09:07 | Oct 17th, 2016

Chris Arnade, former Wall Street trader turned photographer and social chronicler, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about what he learned from the front lines of the financial industry in the 1990s and 2000s when everything slowly and then very ...Show More

Angus Deaton on Inequality, Trade, and the Robin Hood Principle

1:05:04 | Oct 10th, 2016

Nobel Laureate in Economics Angus Deaton of Princeton University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the economics of trade and aid. Deaton wonders if economists should re-think the widely-held view that redistribution from rich nations to po...Show More

John Cochrane on Economic Growth and Changing the Policy Debate

1:02:26 | Sep 26th, 2016

How are those in favor of bigger government and those who want smaller government like a couple stuck in a bad marriage? Economist John Cochrane of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how to take a dif...Show More

Eric Wakin on Archiving, Preservation, and History

1:03:52 | Sep 19th, 2016

What does an x-ray of Hitler's skull have in common with a jar of Ronald Reagan's jelly beans? They are both part of the Hoover Institution archives. Eric Wakin, Director of the Library and Archives of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University ta...Show More

Susan Athey on Machine Learning, Big Data, and Causation

1:01:34 | Sep 12th, 2016

Can machine learning improve the use of data and evidence for understanding economics and public policy? Susan Athey of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how machine learning can be used in conjunction with traditional e...Show More

Terry Moe on the Constitution, the Presidency, and Relic

1:02:02 | Sep 5th, 2016

Are there many Americans today who wish the President of the United States had more power relative to the other branches of Congress? Terry Moe is one of them. In this week's EconTalk episode, Moe--a professor of political science at Stanford Univers...Show More

Leo Katz on Why the Law is So Perverse

1:14:13 | Aug 29th, 2016

Leo Katz, professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, Why the Law Is So Perverse. Katz argues that certain seemingly inexplicable features of the law are the result of conflicts between mu...Show More

Munger on Slavery and Racism

1:14:28 | Aug 22nd, 2016

Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how attitudes in the American South toward slavery evolved over time and what we can learn from that evolution about the role culture plays in our lives.

Chuck Klosterman on But What If We're Wrong

1:02:24 | Aug 15th, 2016

Chuck Klosterman, author of But What If We're Wrong, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the possibility that things we hold to be undeniably true may turn out to be totally false in the future. This wide-ranging conversation covers music and...Show More

Adam D'Angelo on Knowledge, Experimentation, and Quora

1:06:14 | Aug 8th, 2016

Adam D'Angelo, CEO of the question and answer website, Quora, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the history, evolution, and challenges of Quora. Along the way they discuss the aggregation of knowledge and the power of experiments for improv...Show More

Matthew Futterman on Players and the Business of Sports

1:04:18 | Aug 1st, 2016

Fifty years ago, many of the best players in the National Football League took jobs in the off-season to augment the salaries they earned playing football. Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal and author of Players talks with EconTalk host Ru...Show More

Angela Duckworth on Grit

1:09:28 | Jul 25th, 2016

How important is grit relative to talent? Can grit be taught? Angela Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance talks with with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the nature of success in work,...Show More

Ryan Holiday on Ego is the Enemy

1:05:43 | Jul 18th, 2016

How does our attitude toward ourselves affect our success or failure in the world of business or in friendship? Ryan Holiday, author of Ego Is the Enemy, talks with Econtalk host Russ Roberts about the role of ego in business, our personal lives, and...Show More

Jonathan Skinner on Health Care Costs, Technology, and Rising Mortality

1:03:08 | Jul 11th, 2016

Technology and innovation usually mean higher quality and lower prices. Is health care different? Jonathan Skinner of Dartmouth College talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how technology and innovation affect the cost and efficacy of health c...Show More

Yuval Levin on The Fractured Republic

1:01:29 | Jul 4th, 2016

Yuval Levin, author and editor of National Affairs, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his latest book, The Fractured Republic. Levin argues that both major political parties suffer from a misplaced nostalgia--a yearning for a t...Show More

Richard Epstein on Cruises, First-Class Travel, and Inequality

1:03:41 | Jun 27th, 2016

How should we feel about cruise lines that offer special amenities for top-paying travelers, or first-class sections of airplanes? Do such consumption inequalities harm the social fabric or is there more to the story? Richard Epstein of New York Univ...Show More

Kevin Kelly on the Inevitable

1:02:26 | Jun 20th, 2016

Futurist, author, and visionary Kevin Kelly talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, The Inevitable, Kelly's look at what the future might be like and the role of the human experience in a world increasingly filled with informatio...Show More

Abby Smith Rumsey on Remembering, Forgetting, and When We Are No More

1:03:05 | Jun 13th, 2016

You might think your tweets on Twitter belong to you. But in 2010, the Library of Congress acquired the entire archive of Twitter. Why would such a majestic library acquire such seemingly ephemeral material? Historian Abby Smith Rumsey, author of Whe...Show More

Jason Zweig on Finance and the Devil's Financial Dictionary

1:04:41 | Jun 6th, 2016

Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal and author of The Devil's Financial Dictionary talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about finance, financial journalism and Zweig's new book. Zweig discusses rationality and the investor's challenge of self-res...Show More

David Beckworth on Money, Monetary Policy, and the Great Recession

1:03:52 | May 30th, 2016

Was the Financial Crisis of 2008 caused by a crisis in the housing market? Or did the Federal Reserve turn a garden-variety recession into the Great Recession? David Beckworth of Western Kentucky University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about...Show More

James Bessen on Learning by Doing

1:04:24 | May 23rd, 2016

Are workers being left behind when the economy grows? Is technology making the human workforce obsolete? James Bessen, author of Learning by Doing, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the role of learning on the job in the past and in the pre...Show More

Leif Wenar on Blood Oil

1:04:45 | May 16th, 2016

Should the United States allow its citizens to buy oil from countries run by bad men? Is this a case where morality trumps the usual case for free trade? Leif Wenar, professor of philosophy at King's College, London and author of Blood Oil, talks wit...Show More

Pedro Domingos on Machine Learning and the Master Algorithm

1:05:50 | May 9th, 2016

What is machine learning? How is it transforming our lives and workplaces? What might the future hold? Pedro Domingos of the University of Washington and author of The Master Algorithm talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the present and futur...Show More

Arnold Kling on Specialization and Trade

1:06:57 | May 2nd, 2016

Arnold Kling, economist and author, speaks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, Specialization and Trade: A Reintroduction to Economics. Kling argues that macroeconomics ignores the challenges of buyers and sellers working together ...Show More

Alberto Alesina on Fiscal Policy and Austerity

1:03:28 | Apr 25th, 2016

Alberto Alesina of Harvard University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research on fiscal policy and austerity. Alesina's research shows that spending cuts to reduce budget deficits are less harmful than tax increases. Alesina discusse...Show More

Gary Belsky on the Origins of Sports

1:08:12 | Apr 18th, 2016

Gary Belsky, co-author of On the Origins of Sports and former editor-in-chief of ESPN the Magazine, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the origins of sports--how various sports evolved and emerged into their current incarnations. Along the w...Show More

Robert Frank on Success and Luck

1:11:34 | Apr 11th, 2016

Is your success in life your own doing? Robert Frank of Cornell University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, Success and Luck. Frank argues that we underestimate the role that luck plays in our success and makes the case fo...Show More

Richard Jones on Transhumanism

1:11:42 | Apr 4th, 2016

Will our brains ever be uploaded into a computer? Will we live forever? Richard Jones, physicist at the University of Sheffield and author of Against Transhumanism, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about transhumanism--the effort to radically tr...Show More

Jayson Lusk on Food, Technology, and Unnaturally Delicious

1:07:33 | Mar 28th, 2016

How bad is pink slime? Are free-range chickens happier? Can robots cook? Jayson Lusk of Oklahoma State University and the author of Unnaturally Delicious talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about these questions and more from his new book. Lusk exp...Show More

Marina Krakovsky on the Middleman Economy

1:03:08 | Mar 21st, 2016

Why would anyone want to hire a middleman, like a wedding planner, especially if you have time to take care of the planning yourself? Marina Krakovsky, author of The Middleman Economy talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about middlemen in the moder...Show More

David Autor on Trade, China, and U.S. Labor Markets

1:12:59 | Mar 14th, 2016

David Autor of MIT talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the fundamentals of trade and his research on the impact on workers and communities from trade with China. Autor's research finds large and persistent effects on manufacturing jobs and co...Show More

Will Davies on the Economics, Economists, and the Limits of Neoliberalism

1:06:31 | Mar 7th, 2016

Will Davies of Goldsmith's, University of London and author of The Limits of Neoliberalism talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his book. Davies argues that the free-market vision of economists like Milton Friedman and Friedrich H...Show More

Alison Wolf on Women, Inequality and the XX Factor

1:11:24 | Feb 29th, 2016

Alison Wolf author of The XX Factor, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the changing roles of women in the family and the workplace. Wolf argues that highly educated women are increasingly similar to highly educated men in their lifestyles a...Show More

Matt Ridley on the Evolution of Everything

1:09:51 | Feb 22nd, 2016

Matt Ridley talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, The Evolution of Everything. Ridley applies the lens of emergent order to a wide variety of phenomena including culture, morality, religion, commerce, innovation, and consciousn...Show More

Adam Cifu on Ending Medical Reversal

1:04:49 | Feb 15th, 2016

Why do so many medical practices that begin with such promise and confidence turn out to be either ineffective at best or harmful at worst? Adam Cifu of the University of Chicago's School of Medicine and co-author (with Vinayak Prasad) of Ending Medi...Show More

Adam Ozimek on the Power of Econometrics and Data

1:02:27 | Feb 8th, 2016

Adam Ozimek of Moody's Analytics and blogger at Forbes talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about why economists change their minds or don't. Ozimek argues that economists make erratic but steady progress using econometrics and other forms of eviden...Show More

Timothy Taylor on Government vs. Business

1:01:57 | Feb 1st, 2016

Timothy Taylor, blogger at the Conversable Economist and editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the role of government and business in taking care of workers and creating economic growth. Taylor dis...Show More

James Heckman on Facts, Evidence, and the State of Econometrics

1:04:12 | Jan 25th, 2016

Nobel Laureate James Heckman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the state of econometrics and the challenges of measurement in assessing economic theories and public policy. Heckman gives us his take on natural e...Show More

Josh Luber on Sneakers, Sneakerheads, and the Second-hand Market

1:02:54 | Jan 18th, 2016

How many pairs of sneakers do you own? Josh Luber of Campless and StockX talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the world of sneakerheads--people passionate for collecting and trading sneakers. Each week people line up to buy classic sneaker mod...Show More

Greg Ip on Foolproof

1:06:17 | Jan 11th, 2016

When does the pursuit of safety lead us into danger? Greg Ip, of the Wall Street Journal and author of Foolproof talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his book--the way we publicly and privately try to cope with risk and danger and...Show More

Robert Frank on Dinner Table Economics

58:13 | Jan 4th, 2016

How can you learn to think like an economist? One way is to think about what might be called dinner table economics--puzzles or patterns that arise in everyday life that would be good to understand. Robert Frank of Cornell University and author of Th...Show More

Noah Smith on Whether Economics is a Science

1:08:34 | Dec 28th, 2015

Noah Smith of Stony Brook University and writer at Bloomberg View talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about whether economics is a science in some sense of that word. How reliable are experiments in economics? What about the statistical analysis th...Show More

Philip Tetlock on Superforecasting

59:44 | Dec 21st, 2015

Can you predict the future? Or at least gauge the probability of political or economic events in the near future? Philip Tetlock of the University of Pennsylvania and author of Superforecasting talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his work on ...Show More

George Selgin on Monetary Policy and the Great Recession

1:09:01 | Dec 14th, 2015

Did Ben Bernanke and the Fed save the U.S. economy from disaster in 2008 or did the Fed make things worse? Why did the Fed reward banks that kept reserves rather than releasing funds into the economy? George Selgin of the Cato Institute tries to answ...Show More

Canice Prendergast on How Prices Can Improve a Food Fight (and Help the Poor)

1:02:34 | Dec 7th, 2015

If you have 250 million tons of food to give away every year to local food banks how should you do it? Canice Prendergast of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how he and a team of economi...Show More

David Mindell on Our Robots, Ourselves

59:59 | Nov 30th, 2015

Are we on the verge of driverless cars and other forms of autonomous robots and artificial intelligence? David Mindell of MIT and the author of Our Robots, Ourselves talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the robotic revolution. Mindell argues t...Show More

Michael Munger on EconTalk's 500th Episode

1:13:34 | Nov 23rd, 2015

Michael Munger of Duke University makes his 29th appearance on the 500th episode of EconTalk alongside EconTalk host Russ Roberts. He talks about his personal intellectual journey, his interest in public choice, and Unicorn economics. Other topics in...Show More

Brian Nosek on the Reproducibility Project

1:07:18 | Nov 16th, 2015

Brian Nosek of the University of Virginia and the Center for Open Science talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the Reproducibility Project--an effort to reproduce the findings of 100 articles in three top psychology journals. Nosek talks about...Show More

Robert Aronowitz on Risky Medicine

1:10:32 | Nov 9th, 2015

Should women get routine mammograms? Should men get regular PSA exams? Robert Aronowitz of the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Risky Medicine talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the increasing focus on risk reduction rather than ...Show More

Michael Matheson Miller on Poverty, Inc

1:09:14 | Nov 2nd, 2015

Michael Matheson Miller of the Acton Institute and the Director of the documentary Poverty, Inc., talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his award-winning documentary on the barriers facing the poor around the world. Topics discussed include the...Show More

Cesar Hidalgo on Why Information Grows

1:02:44 | Oct 26th, 2015

Cesar Hidalgo of MIT and the author of Why Information Grows talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the growth of knowledge and know-how in the modern economy. Hidalgo emphasizes the importance of networks among innovators and creators and the r...Show More

Yuval Harari on Sapiens

1:12:08 | Oct 19th, 2015

Yuval Harari of Hebrew University and author of Sapiens talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the history of humanity. Topics discussed include the move from hunting and gathering to agriculture, the role of fiction in sustaining imagination, t...Show More

Pete Boettke on Katrina, Ten Years After

1:18:44 | Oct 12th, 2015

Pete Boettke of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the political and economic lessons he has learned as program director of research in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In this wide-ranging conversation, Boettke di...Show More

Tim O'Reilly on Technology and Work

1:03:18 | Oct 5th, 2015

Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly Media talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his career in technology and media and the challenges facing low-wage workers as technology advances. Topics include the early days of the Internet, the efficacy of regulation...Show More

Pete Geddes on the American Prairie Reserve

1:07:02 | Sep 28th, 2015

When Lewis and Clark crossed through Montana, they encountered an extraordinary cornucopia of wildlife. Most of that ecosystem and the animals that once thrived there are gone. But a non-profit wants to bring it all back. Pete Geddes, Managing Direct...Show More

Tina Rosenberg on the Kidney Market in Iran

1:01:23 | Sep 21st, 2015

There is only one country in the world where a person can sell a kidney to another citizen who buys it. That country is Iran. Tina Rosenberg of The New York Times talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the Iranian kidney market--how it works, it...Show More

Mitch Weiss on the Business of Broadway

1:12:42 | Sep 14th, 2015

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at a Broadway show? This week's EconTalk lifts the curtain on the magical world of Broadway: Mitch Weiss, co-author of The Business of Broadway, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book and what ...Show More

William MacAskill on Effective Altruism and Doing Good Better

1:09:13 | Sep 7th, 2015

How much care do you take when you make a donation to a charity? What careers make the biggest difference when it comes to helping others? William MacAskill of Oxford University and the author of Doing Good Better talks with EconTalk host Russ Robert...Show More

Paul Robinson on Cooperation, Punishment and the Criminal Justice System

1:10:06 | Aug 31st, 2015

Are human beings naturally cooperative or selfish? Can people thrive without government law? Paul Robinson of the University of Pennsylvania and author of Pirates, Prisoners and Lepers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts the ideas in his book. Robi...Show More

Jesse Ausubel on Agriculture, Technology, and the Return of Nature

1:02:52 | Aug 24th, 2015

Thousands of bears in New Jersey. Humpback whales near New York City. Acres devoted to farming stable or declining even as food production soars. Jesse Ausubel of the Rockefeller University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the return of na...Show More

Rachel Laudan on the History of Food and Cuisine

1:06:55 | Aug 17th, 2015

Rachel Laudan, visiting scholar at the University of Texas and author of Cuisine and Empire, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the history of food. Topics covered include the importance of grain, the spread of various styles of cooking, why...Show More

Summer Brennan on Wilderness, Politics and the Oyster War

1:04:33 | Aug 10th, 2015

Summer Brennan, author of The Oyster War, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her book and the fight between the Drakes Bay Oyster Company and the federal government over farming oysters in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Along the way the...Show More

Roger Berkowitz on Fish, Food, and Legal Sea Foods

1:03:59 | Aug 3rd, 2015

Seafood is highly perishable and supply is often uncertain. Roger Berkowitz, CEO of Legal Sea Foods talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of running 34 seafood restaurants up and down the east coast. Berkowitz draws on his 22 yea...Show More

Eric Hanushek on the Education, Skills, and the Millennium Development Goals

1:11:06 | Jul 27th, 2015

How important are basic skills for economic success and growth? Eric Hanushek of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the importance of basic education in math and literacy and their relationship to eco...Show More

Wences Casares on Bitcoin and Xapo

1:00:51 | Jul 20th, 2015

Wences Casares, bitcoin evangelist and founder and CEO of Xapo, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how bitcoin works, the genius of bitcoin's creator, and how Xapo is structured to create security for bitcoin banking.

Lee Ohanian, Arnold Kling, and John Cochrane on the Future of Freedom, Democracy, and Prosperity

56:57 | Jul 13th, 2015

Lee Ohanian, Arnold Kling, and John Cochrane talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the future of freedom, democracy, and prosperity. Recorded in front of a live audience at Stanford University's Hoover Institution as part of a conference on Magn...Show More

Alvin Roth on Matching Markets

1:03:10 | Jul 6th, 2015

Nobel Laureate Alvin Roth of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his work on matching markets. Examples include marriage, matching kidney donors to kidney recipients, and students to schools in cities that allow choice in ...Show More

Matt Ridley on Climate Change

1:07:37 | Jun 29th, 2015

Science writer and author Matt Ridley discusses climate change with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Based on his reading of the scientific evidence, Ridley describes himself as a "lukewarmer." While Ridley agrees that humans have made the climate warmer,...Show More

Morten Jerven on African Economic Growth

1:12:17 | Jun 22nd, 2015

Morten Jerven of Simon Frasier University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong. Jerven, who will be joining Noragric at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences this fall, argues that economis...Show More

Adam Davidson on Hollywood and the Future of Work

1:14:16 | Jun 15th, 2015

What's it like to hang out with Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell for two months? Adam Davidson, who writes for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, was the technical advisor to the upcoming movie, The Big Short. Besides rubbin...Show More

Nathaniel Popper on Bitcoin and Digital Gold

1:07:32 | Jun 8th, 2015

Nathaniel Popper of the New York Times and the author of Digital Gold talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Bitcoin. Can Bitcoin make it? What went wrong with Mt. Gox? Why did Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, just get sentenced to life ...Show More

Martin Weitzman on Climate Change

1:08:29 | Jun 1st, 2015

Is climate change the ultimate Black Swan? Martin Weitzman of Harvard University and co-author of Climate Shock talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the risks of climate change. Weitzman argues that climate change is a fat-tailed phenomenon--t...Show More

Bent Flyvbjerg on Megaprojects

1:04:17 | May 25th, 2015

Bent Flyvbjerg of Oxford University speaks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the political economy of megaprojects--massive investments of a billion dollars or more in infrastructure or technology. Flyvbjerg argues that such projects consistently...Show More

Nicholas Vincent on the Magna Carta

1:10:15 | May 18th, 2015

Did an 800-year old piece of parchment really change the world? Nicholas Vincent of the University of East Anglia talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the Magna Carta, the founding document of English law and liberty. The Magna Carta was repud...Show More

Eric Topol on the Power of Patients in a Digital World

1:07:05 | May 11th, 2015

We're in the middle of a healthcare revolution but it's about more than marvelous life-saving and life-enhancing apps on our smartphone. Eric Topol of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and author of The Patient Will See You Now argues that ...Show More

Michael O'Hare on Art Museums

1:03:18 | May 4th, 2015

Michael O'Hare of the University of California, Berkeley talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the management of art museums. O'Hare suggests a number of changes that would allow museums to be more effective and to justify their non-profit stat...Show More

Leonard Wong on Honesty and Ethics in the Military

1:02:23 | Apr 27th, 2015

Leonard Wong of the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about honesty in the military. Based on a recent co-authored paper, Wong argues that the paperwork and training burden on U.S. military...Show More

Scott Sumner on Interest Rates

1:05:10 | Apr 20th, 2015

Scott Sumner, of Bentley University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about interest rates. Sumner suggests that professional economists sometimes confuse cause and effect with respect to prices and quantities. Low interest rates need not encoura...Show More

Phil Rosenzweig on Leadership, Decisions, and Behavioral Economics

1:02:18 | Apr 13th, 2015

Phil Rosenzweig, professor of strategy and international business at IMD in Switzerland and author of the book Left Brain, Right Stuff: How Leaders Make Winning Decisions talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book. The focus of the conversa...Show More

Vernon Smith and James Otteson on Adam Smith

1:04:38 | Apr 6th, 2015

Vernon Smith and James Otteson talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Adam Smith in front of a live audience at Ball State University. Topics discussed include Smith's view of human nature, the relevance of Smith for philosophy and economics toda...Show More

David Skarbek on Prison Gangs and the Social Order of the Underworld

1:16:24 | Mar 30th, 2015

David Skarbek of King's College London and author of The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern The American Penal System talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the written and unwritten rules in America's prisons for the most v...Show More

Campbell Harvey on Randomness, Skill, and Investment Strategies

1:05:05 | Mar 23rd, 2015

Campbell Harvey of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research evaluating various investment and trading strategies and the challenge of measuring their effectiveness. Topics discussed include skill vs. luck, self-decepti...Show More

Paul Romer on Urban Growth

1:03:01 | Mar 16th, 2015

Paul Romer of New York University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about reforming cities to allow growth and human flourishing. Topics discussed include charter cities, the role of population density in city life, driverless cars, and various w...Show More

Lawrence H. White on Monetary Constitutions

1:18:19 | Mar 9th, 2015

Lawrence H. White of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the possibility of a monetary constitution. Based on a new book, Renewing the Search for a Monetary Constitution, White explores different constitutional constra...Show More

David Zetland on Water

1:00:02 | Mar 2nd, 2015

David Zetland of Leiden University College in the Netherlands and author of Living with Water Scarcity talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of water management. Issues covered include the sustainability of water supplies, the af...Show More

Michael Munger on Choosing in Groups

1:15:12 | Feb 23rd, 2015

Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book (co-authored with Kevin Munger), Choosing in Groups. Munger lays out the challenges of group decision-making and the challenges of agreeing on constitutions...Show More

Benn Steil on the Battle of Bretton Woods

1:05:09 | Feb 16th, 2015

Benn Steil of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Bretton Woods, the conference that resu...Show More

Daniel Sumner on the Political Economy of Agriculture

1:09:05 | Feb 9th, 2015

Daniel Sumner of the University of California talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about agricultural subsidies in the United States, the winners and losers from those subsidies, and how the structure of subsidies has changed from the New Deal to th...Show More

Luigi Zingales on the Costs and Benefits of the Financial Sector

1:01:42 | Feb 2nd, 2015

Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts on whether the financial sector is good for society and about the gap between how banks and bankers are perceived by the public vs. finance professors. Zingales discuss...Show More

Alex Tabarrok on Private Cities

1:08:18 | Jan 26th, 2015

Alex Tabarrok of George Mason University talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a recent paper Tabarrok co-authored with Shruti Rajagopalan on Gurgaon, a city in India that until recently had little or no municipal government. The two discuss the ...Show More

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Precautionary Principle and Genetically Modified Organisms

1:07:37 | Jan 19th, 2015

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Antifragile, Black Swan, and Fooled by Randomness, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a recent co-authored paper on the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the use of the Precautionary Principl...Show More

Greg Page on Food, Agriculture, and Cargill

1:02:07 | Jan 12th, 2015

Greg Page, former CEO of Cargill, the largest privately-held company in America, talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the global food supply and the challenges of running a company with employees and activity all over the world. Page talks about...Show More

Joshua Greene on Moral Tribes, Moral Dilemmas, and Utilitarianism

1:10:06 | Jan 5th, 2015

Joshua Greene, of Harvard University and author of Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about morality and the challenges we face when our morality conflicts with that of others. Topics...Show More