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Freakonomics Radio

Freakonomics Radio

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Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but

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Episodes


The Vanishing Mr. Feynman

In his final years, Richard Feynman's curiosity took him to some surprising places. We hear from his companions on the trips he took — and one he wasn’t able to. (Part three of a three-part series.) SOURCES: Alan Alda, actor and screenwriter.Barbara Berg, friend of Richard Feynman.Helen Czerski, physicist and oceanographer at University College London.Michelle Feynman, photographer and daughter of Richard Feynman.Cheryl Haley, friend of Richard Feynman.Debby Harlow, friend of Richard Feynman.Ralph Leighton, biographer and film producer.Charles Mann, science journalist and author.John Preskill, professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.Lisa Randall, professor of theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University.Christopher Sykes, documentary filmmaker.Stephen Wolfram, founder and C.E.O. of Wolfram Research; creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Wolfram Language. RESOURCES: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science, by Lawrence M. Krauss (2011).Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track: Selected Letters of Richard P. Feynman, edited by Michelle Feynman (2005).The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, by Richard Feynman (1999).The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan (1995).Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, by James Gleick (1992).The Quest for Tannu Tuva, by Christopher Sykes (1988)“What Do You Care What Other People Think?” by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (1988).The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-century Physics, by Robert Crease and Charles Mann (1986).Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (1985).Fun to Imagine, BBC docuseries (1983). EXTRAS: “The Brilliant Mr. Feynman,” by Freakonomics Radio (2024).“The Curious Mr. Feynman,” by Freakonomics Radio (2024).

The Vanishing Mr. Feynman

In his final years, Richard Feynman's curiosity took him to some surprising places. We hear from his companions on the trips he took — and one he wasn’t able to. (Part three of a three-part series.) SOURCES: Alan Alda, actor and screenwriter.Barbara Berg, friend of Richard Feynman.Helen Czerski, physicist and oceanographer at University College London.Michelle Feynman, photographer and daughter of Richard Feynman.Cheryl Haley, friend of Richard Feynman.Debby Harlow, friend of Richard Feynman.Ralph Leighton, biographer and film producer.Charles Mann, science journalist and author.John Preskill, professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.Lisa Randall, professor of theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University.Christopher Sykes, documentary filmmaker.Stephen Wolfram, founder and C.E.O. of Wolfram Research; creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Wolfram Language. RESOURCES: Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science, by Lawrence M. Krauss (2011).Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track: Selected Letters of Richard P. Feynman, edited by Michelle Feynman (2005).The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, by Richard Feynman (1999).The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, by Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan (1995).Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, by James Gleick (1992).The Quest for Tannu Tuva, by Christopher Sykes (1988)“What Do You Care What Other People Think?” by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (1988).The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-century Physics, by Robert Crease and Charles Mann (1986).Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (1985).Fun to Imagine, BBC docuseries (1983). EXTRAS: “The Brilliant Mr. Feynman,” by Freakonomics Radio (2024).“The Curious Mr. Feynman,” by Freakonomics Radio (2024).

01:01:32

15 Feb 24

The Brilliant Mr. Feynman

What happens when an existentially depressed and recently widowed young physicist from Queens gets a fresh start in California? We follow Richard Feynman out west, to explore his long and extremely fruitful second act. (Part two of a three-part series.) SOURCES:Seamus Blackley, video game designer and creator of the Xbox.Carl Feynman, computer scientist and son of Richard Feynman.Michelle Feynman, photographer and daughter of Richard Feynman.Ralph Leighton, biographer and film producer.Charles Mann, science journalist and author.John Preskill, professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.Lisa Randall, professor of theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University.Christopher Sykes, documentary filmmaker.Stephen Wolfram, founder and C.E.O. of Wolfram Research; creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Wolfram Language.Alan Zorthian, architect. RESOURCES:"Love After Life: Nobel-Winning Physicist Richard Feynman’s Extraordinary Letter to His Departed Wife," by Maria Popova (The Marginalian, 2017).Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science, by Lawrence M. Krauss (2011).The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, by Richard Feynman (1999).Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, by James Gleick (1992)."G. Feynman; Landscape Expert, Physicist’s Widow," (Los Angeles Times, 1990)."Nobel Physicist R. P. Feynman of Caltech Dies," by Lee Dye (Los Angeles Times, 1988).“What Do You Care What Other People Think?” by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (1988).The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-century Physics, by Robert Crease and Charles Mann (1986).Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (1985).Fun to Imagine, BBC docuseries (1983)."Richard P. Feynman: Nobel Prize Winner," by Tim Hendrickson, Stuart Galley, and Fred Lamb (Engineering and Science, 1965).F.B.I. files on Richard Feynman. EXTRAS:"The Curious Mr. Feynman," by Freakonomics Radio (2024).

The Brilliant Mr. Feynman

What happens when an existentially depressed and recently widowed young physicist from Queens gets a fresh start in California? We follow Richard Feynman out west, to explore his long and extremely fruitful second act. (Part two of a three-part series.) SOURCES:Seamus Blackley, video game designer and creator of the Xbox.Carl Feynman, computer scientist and son of Richard Feynman.Michelle Feynman, photographer and daughter of Richard Feynman.Ralph Leighton, biographer and film producer.Charles Mann, science journalist and author.John Preskill, professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.Lisa Randall, professor of theoretical particle physics and cosmology at Harvard University.Christopher Sykes, documentary filmmaker.Stephen Wolfram, founder and C.E.O. of Wolfram Research; creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Wolfram Language.Alan Zorthian, architect. RESOURCES:"Love After Life: Nobel-Winning Physicist Richard Feynman’s Extraordinary Letter to His Departed Wife," by Maria Popova (The Marginalian, 2017).Quantum Man: Richard Feynman's Life in Science, by Lawrence M. Krauss (2011).The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, by Richard Feynman (1999).Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, by James Gleick (1992)."G. Feynman; Landscape Expert, Physicist’s Widow," (Los Angeles Times, 1990)."Nobel Physicist R. P. Feynman of Caltech Dies," by Lee Dye (Los Angeles Times, 1988).“What Do You Care What Other People Think?” by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (1988).The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-century Physics, by Robert Crease and Charles Mann (1986).Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (1985).Fun to Imagine, BBC docuseries (1983)."Richard P. Feynman: Nobel Prize Winner," by Tim Hendrickson, Stuart Galley, and Fred Lamb (Engineering and Science, 1965).F.B.I. files on Richard Feynman. EXTRAS:"The Curious Mr. Feynman," by Freakonomics Radio (2024).

52:41

8 Feb 24

The Curious Mr. Feynman

From the Manhattan Project to the Challenger investigation, the physicist Richard Feynman loved to shoot down what he called “lousy ideas.” Today, the world is awash in lousy ideas — so maybe it’s time to get some more Feynman in our lives? (Part one of a three-part series.) SOURCES:Helen Czerski, physicist and oceanographer at University College London.Michelle Feynman, photographer and daughter of Richard Feynman.Ralph Leighton, biographer and film producer.Charles Mann, science journalist and author.John Preskill, professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.Stephen Wolfram, founder and C.E.O. of Wolfram Research; creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Wolfram Language. RESOURCES:"How Legendary Physicist Richard Feynman Helped Crack the Case on the Challenger Disaster," by Kevin Cook (Literary Hub, 2021).Challenger: The Final Flight, docuseries (2020).Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster, by Allan J. McDonald and James R. Hansen (2009).Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track: Selected Letters of Richard P. Feynman, edited by Michelle Feynman (2005).The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, by Richard Feynman (1999).Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, by James Gleick (1992).“What Do You Care What Other People Think?” by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (1988)."Mr. Feynman Goes to Washington," by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (Engineering & Science, 1987).The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-century Physics, by Robert Crease and Charles Mann (1986).Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (1985)."The Pleasure of Finding Things Out," (Horizon S18.E9, 1981)."Los Alamos From Below," by Richard Feynman (UC Santa Barbara lecture, 1975)."The World from Another Point of View," (PBS Nova, 1973). EXTRAS:"Exploring Physics, from Eggshells to Oceans," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023).

The Curious Mr. Feynman

From the Manhattan Project to the Challenger investigation, the physicist Richard Feynman loved to shoot down what he called “lousy ideas.” Today, the world is awash in lousy ideas — so maybe it’s time to get some more Feynman in our lives? (Part one of a three-part series.) SOURCES:Helen Czerski, physicist and oceanographer at University College London.Michelle Feynman, photographer and daughter of Richard Feynman.Ralph Leighton, biographer and film producer.Charles Mann, science journalist and author.John Preskill, professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology.Stephen Wolfram, founder and C.E.O. of Wolfram Research; creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Wolfram Language. RESOURCES:"How Legendary Physicist Richard Feynman Helped Crack the Case on the Challenger Disaster," by Kevin Cook (Literary Hub, 2021).Challenger: The Final Flight, docuseries (2020).Truth, Lies, and O-Rings: Inside the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster, by Allan J. McDonald and James R. Hansen (2009).Perfectly Reasonable Deviations From the Beaten Track: Selected Letters of Richard P. Feynman, edited by Michelle Feynman (2005).The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, by Richard Feynman (1999).Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, by James Gleick (1992).“What Do You Care What Other People Think?” by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (1988)."Mr. Feynman Goes to Washington," by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (Engineering & Science, 1987).The Second Creation: Makers of the Revolution in Twentieth-century Physics, by Robert Crease and Charles Mann (1986).Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton (1985)."The Pleasure of Finding Things Out," (Horizon S18.E9, 1981)."Los Alamos From Below," by Richard Feynman (UC Santa Barbara lecture, 1975)."The World from Another Point of View," (PBS Nova, 1973). EXTRAS:"Exploring Physics, from Eggshells to Oceans," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023).

01:02:22

1 Feb 24

574. “A Low Moment in Higher Education”

Michael Roth of Wesleyan University doesn’t hang out with other university presidents. He also thinks some of them have failed a basic test of good sense and decency. It’s time for a conversation about college, and courage.   SOURCE:Michael S. Roth, president of Wesleyan University. RESOURCES:"Opinion: College Presidents Are Supposed to Be Moral Leaders, Not Evasive Bureaucrats," by Michael S. Roth (Los Angeles Times, 2023)."Transcript: What Harvard, MIT and Penn Presidents Said at Antisemitism Hearing," by CQ Roll Call Staff (Roll Call, 2023)."To Testify or Not to Testify in Congress? Your Job Could Hang in the Balance," by Annie Karni (The New York Times, 2023)."You Could Not Pay Me Enough to Be a College President," by Daniel W. Drezner (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2023)."The Case for College: Promising Solutions to Reverse College Enrollment Declines," by Katharine Meyer (Brookings, 2023)."Arab Funding of American Universities: Donors, Recipients, and Impact," by Mitchell G. Bard (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2023)."Racist Attack Spotlights Stefanik’s Echo of Replacement Theory," by Annie Karni (The New York Times, 2022)."Why Is There So Much Saudi Money in American Universities?" by Michael Sokolove (The New York Times Magazine, 2019).Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist’s Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness on College Campuses, by Michael S. Roth (2019)."The Opening of the Liberal Mind," by Michael S. Roth (The Wall Street Journal, 2017). EXTRAS:"Academic Fraud," series by Freakonomics Radio (2024)."Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School," series by Freakonomics Radio (2022).

574. “A Low Moment in Higher Education”

Michael Roth of Wesleyan University doesn’t hang out with other university presidents. He also thinks some of them have failed a basic test of good sense and decency. It’s time for a conversation about college, and courage.   SOURCE:Michael S. Roth, president of Wesleyan University. RESOURCES:"Opinion: College Presidents Are Supposed to Be Moral Leaders, Not Evasive Bureaucrats," by Michael S. Roth (Los Angeles Times, 2023)."Transcript: What Harvard, MIT and Penn Presidents Said at Antisemitism Hearing," by CQ Roll Call Staff (Roll Call, 2023)."To Testify or Not to Testify in Congress? Your Job Could Hang in the Balance," by Annie Karni (The New York Times, 2023)."You Could Not Pay Me Enough to Be a College President," by Daniel W. Drezner (The Chronicle of Higher Education, 2023)."The Case for College: Promising Solutions to Reverse College Enrollment Declines," by Katharine Meyer (Brookings, 2023)."Arab Funding of American Universities: Donors, Recipients, and Impact," by Mitchell G. Bard (American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise, 2023)."Racist Attack Spotlights Stefanik’s Echo of Replacement Theory," by Annie Karni (The New York Times, 2022)."Why Is There So Much Saudi Money in American Universities?" by Michael Sokolove (The New York Times Magazine, 2019).Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist’s Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness on College Campuses, by Michael S. Roth (2019)."The Opening of the Liberal Mind," by Michael S. Roth (The Wall Street Journal, 2017). EXTRAS:"Academic Fraud," series by Freakonomics Radio (2024)."Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School," series by Freakonomics Radio (2022).

46:51

25 Jan 24

573. Can Academic Fraud Be Stopped?

Probably not — the incentives are too strong. Scholarly publishing is a $28 billion global industry, with misconduct at every level. But a few reformers are gaining ground.   (Part 2 of 2) SOURCES:Max Bazerman, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.Leif Nelson, professor of business administration at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.Brian Nosek, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and executive director at the Center for Open Science.Ivan Oransky, distinguished journalist-in-residence at New York University, editor-in-chief of The Transmitter, and co-founder of Retraction Watch.Joseph Simmons, professor of applied statistics and operations, information, and decisions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.Uri Simonsohn, professor of behavioral science at Esade Business School.Simine Vazire, professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne and editor-in-chief of Psychological Science. RESOURCES:"The Harvard Professor and the Bloggers," by Noam Scheiber (The New York Times, 2023)."They Studied Dishonesty. Was Their Work a Lie?" by Gideon Lewis-Kraus (The New Yorker, 2023)."Evolving Patterns of Extremely Productive Publishing Behavior Across Science," by John P.A. Ioannidis, Thomas A. Collins, and Jeroen Baas (bioRxiv, 2023)."Hindawi Reveals Process for Retracting More Than 8,000 Paper Mill Articles," (Retraction Watch, 2023)."Exclusive: Russian Site Says It Has Brokered Authorships for More Than 10,000 Researchers," (Retraction Watch, 2019)."How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data," by Daniele Fanelli (PLOS One, 2009). EXTRAS:"Why Is There So Much Fraud in Academia?" by Freakonomics Radio (2024)."Freakonomics Goes to College, Part 1," by Freakonomics Radio (2012).

573. Can Academic Fraud Be Stopped?

Probably not — the incentives are too strong. Scholarly publishing is a $28 billion global industry, with misconduct at every level. But a few reformers are gaining ground.   (Part 2 of 2) SOURCES:Max Bazerman, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.Leif Nelson, professor of business administration at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.Brian Nosek, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and executive director at the Center for Open Science.Ivan Oransky, distinguished journalist-in-residence at New York University, editor-in-chief of The Transmitter, and co-founder of Retraction Watch.Joseph Simmons, professor of applied statistics and operations, information, and decisions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.Uri Simonsohn, professor of behavioral science at Esade Business School.Simine Vazire, professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne and editor-in-chief of Psychological Science. RESOURCES:"The Harvard Professor and the Bloggers," by Noam Scheiber (The New York Times, 2023)."They Studied Dishonesty. Was Their Work a Lie?" by Gideon Lewis-Kraus (The New Yorker, 2023)."Evolving Patterns of Extremely Productive Publishing Behavior Across Science," by John P.A. Ioannidis, Thomas A. Collins, and Jeroen Baas (bioRxiv, 2023)."Hindawi Reveals Process for Retracting More Than 8,000 Paper Mill Articles," (Retraction Watch, 2023)."Exclusive: Russian Site Says It Has Brokered Authorships for More Than 10,000 Researchers," (Retraction Watch, 2019)."How Many Scientists Fabricate and Falsify Research? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Survey Data," by Daniele Fanelli (PLOS One, 2009). EXTRAS:"Why Is There So Much Fraud in Academia?" by Freakonomics Radio (2024)."Freakonomics Goes to College, Part 1," by Freakonomics Radio (2012).

01:02:32

18 Jan 24

572. Why Is There So Much Fraud in Academia?

Some of the biggest names in behavioral science stand accused of faking their results. Last year, an astonishing 10,000 research papers were retracted. We talk to whistleblowers, reformers, and a co-author who got caught up in the chaos. (Part 1 of 2) SOURCES:Max Bazerman, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.Leif Nelson, professor of business administration at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.Brian Nosek, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and executive director at the Center for Open Science.Joseph Simmons, professor of applied statistics and operations, information, and decisions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.Uri Simonsohn, professor of behavioral science at Esade Business School.Simine Vazire, professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne and editor-in-chief of Psychological Science. RESOURCES:"More Than 10,000 Research Papers Were Retracted in 2023 — a New Record," by Richard Van Noorden (Nature, 2023)."Data Falsificada (Part 1): 'Clusterfake,'" by Joseph Simmons, Leif Nelson, and Uri Simonsohn (Data Colada, 2023)."Fabricated Data in Research About Honesty. You Can't Make This Stuff Up. Or, Can You?" by Nick Fountain, Jeff Guo, Keith Romer, and Emma Peaslee (Planet Money, 2023).Complicit: How We Enable the Unethical and How to Stop, by Max Bazerman (2022)."Evidence of Fraud in an Influential Field Experiment About Dishonesty," by Joseph Simmons, Leif Nelson, and Uri Simonsohn (Data Colada, 2021)."False-Positive Psychology: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant," by Joseph Simmons, Leif Nelson, and Uri Simonsohn (Psychological Science, 2011). EXTRAS:"Why Do We Cheat, and Why Shouldn’t We?" by No Stupid Questions (2023)."Is Everybody Cheating These Days?" by No Stupid Questions (2021).

572. Why Is There So Much Fraud in Academia?

Some of the biggest names in behavioral science stand accused of faking their results. Last year, an astonishing 10,000 research papers were retracted. We talk to whistleblowers, reformers, and a co-author who got caught up in the chaos. (Part 1 of 2) SOURCES:Max Bazerman, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School.Leif Nelson, professor of business administration at the University of California, Berkeley Haas School of Business.Brian Nosek, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and executive director at the Center for Open Science.Joseph Simmons, professor of applied statistics and operations, information, and decisions at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.Uri Simonsohn, professor of behavioral science at Esade Business School.Simine Vazire, professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne and editor-in-chief of Psychological Science. RESOURCES:"More Than 10,000 Research Papers Were Retracted in 2023 — a New Record," by Richard Van Noorden (Nature, 2023)."Data Falsificada (Part 1): 'Clusterfake,'" by Joseph Simmons, Leif Nelson, and Uri Simonsohn (Data Colada, 2023)."Fabricated Data in Research About Honesty. You Can't Make This Stuff Up. Or, Can You?" by Nick Fountain, Jeff Guo, Keith Romer, and Emma Peaslee (Planet Money, 2023).Complicit: How We Enable the Unethical and How to Stop, by Max Bazerman (2022)."Evidence of Fraud in an Influential Field Experiment About Dishonesty," by Joseph Simmons, Leif Nelson, and Uri Simonsohn (Data Colada, 2021)."False-Positive Psychology: Undisclosed Flexibility in Data Collection and Analysis Allows Presenting Anything as Significant," by Joseph Simmons, Leif Nelson, and Uri Simonsohn (Psychological Science, 2011). EXTRAS:"Why Do We Cheat, and Why Shouldn’t We?" by No Stupid Questions (2023)."Is Everybody Cheating These Days?" by No Stupid Questions (2021).

01:14:06

11 Jan 24

571. Greeting Cards, Pizza Boxes, and Personal Injury Lawyers

In a special episode of The Economics of Everyday Things, host Zachary Crockett explains what millennials do to show they care, how corrugated cardboard keeps your food warm, and why every city has a billboard for a guy who calls himself “The Hammer.” SOURCES:Jason Abraham, managing partner of Hupy & Abraham.Nora Engstrom, professor at Stanford Law School.Kyle Hebenstreit, C.E.O. of Practice Made Perfect.Patrick Kivits, president of corrugated packaging at WestRock.Mia Mercado, writer and former editor at Hallmark.Eric Nelson, green business program manager for Johnson County, Kansas.Scott Wiener, founder of Scott's Pizza Tours.George White, president of Up With Paper and former president of the American Greeting Card Association. RESOURCES:34th Louie Awards - Finalists & Winners, (2022-2023)."Personal Injury Settlement Amounts Examples (2024 Guide)," by Jeffrey Johnson (Forbes Advisor, 2022)."Who Is the Fastest Pizza Box Folder?! World Pizza Games 2021," video by The Laughing Lion (2021)."Season’s (and Other...) Greetings," by Maria Ricapito (Marie Claire, 2020)."Scott's Pizza Chronicles: A Brief History of the Pizza Box," by Scott Wiener (Serious Eats, 2018)."Apple Patented a Pizza Box, for Pizzas," by Jacob Kastrenakes (The Verge, 2017)."Hallmark Greeting Cards Have Adjusted to the Digital Revolution," by Trent Gillies (CNBC, 2017)."We Eat 100 Acres of Pizza a Day in the U.S.," by Lenny Bernstein (The Washington Post, 2015)."Low Ball: An Insider’s Look at How Some Insurers Can Manipulate Computerized Systems to Broadly Underpay Injury Claims," by Mark Romano and J. Robert Hunter (Consumer Federation of America, 2012)."A Century of Change in Personal Injury Law," by Stephen D. Sugarman (UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper, 2000).Pizza Tiger, by Thomas Monaghan (1986).Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, in the Supreme Court of Arizona (1977).

571. Greeting Cards, Pizza Boxes, and Personal Injury Lawyers

In a special episode of The Economics of Everyday Things, host Zachary Crockett explains what millennials do to show they care, how corrugated cardboard keeps your food warm, and why every city has a billboard for a guy who calls himself “The Hammer.” SOURCES:Jason Abraham, managing partner of Hupy & Abraham.Nora Engstrom, professor at Stanford Law School.Kyle Hebenstreit, C.E.O. of Practice Made Perfect.Patrick Kivits, president of corrugated packaging at WestRock.Mia Mercado, writer and former editor at Hallmark.Eric Nelson, green business program manager for Johnson County, Kansas.Scott Wiener, founder of Scott's Pizza Tours.George White, president of Up With Paper and former president of the American Greeting Card Association. RESOURCES:34th Louie Awards - Finalists & Winners, (2022-2023)."Personal Injury Settlement Amounts Examples (2024 Guide)," by Jeffrey Johnson (Forbes Advisor, 2022)."Who Is the Fastest Pizza Box Folder?! World Pizza Games 2021," video by The Laughing Lion (2021)."Season’s (and Other...) Greetings," by Maria Ricapito (Marie Claire, 2020)."Scott's Pizza Chronicles: A Brief History of the Pizza Box," by Scott Wiener (Serious Eats, 2018)."Apple Patented a Pizza Box, for Pizzas," by Jacob Kastrenakes (The Verge, 2017)."Hallmark Greeting Cards Have Adjusted to the Digital Revolution," by Trent Gillies (CNBC, 2017)."We Eat 100 Acres of Pizza a Day in the U.S.," by Lenny Bernstein (The Washington Post, 2015)."Low Ball: An Insider’s Look at How Some Insurers Can Manipulate Computerized Systems to Broadly Underpay Injury Claims," by Mark Romano and J. Robert Hunter (Consumer Federation of America, 2012)."A Century of Change in Personal Injury Law," by Stephen D. Sugarman (UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper, 2000).Pizza Tiger, by Thomas Monaghan (1986).Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, in the Supreme Court of Arizona (1977).

49:25

4 Jan 24

570. Is Gynecology the Best Innovation Ever?

In a special episode of People I (Mostly) Admire, Steve Levitt talks to Cat Bohannon about her new book Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution. SOURCE:Cat Bohannon, researcher and author. RESOURCES:Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution, by Cat Bohannon (2023)."Genomic Inference of a Severe Human Bottleneck During the Early to Middle Pleistocene Transition," by Wangjie Hu, Ziqian Hao, Pengyuan Du, Fabio Di Vincenzo, Giorgio Manzi, Jialong Cui, Yun-Xin Fu, Yi-Hsuan, and Haipeng Li (Science, 2023)."The Greatest Invention in the History of Humanity," by Cat Bohannon (The Atlantic, 2023)."A Newborn Infant Chimpanzee Snatched and Cannibalized Immediately After Birth: Implications for 'Maternity Leave' in Wild Chimpanzee," by Hitonaru Nishie and Michio Nakamura (American Journal of Biological Anthropology, 2018)."War in the Womb," by Suzanne Sadedin (Aeon, 2014)."Timing of Childbirth Evolved to Match Women’s Energy Limits," by Erin Wayman (Smithsonian Magazine, 2012)."Bonobo Sex and Society," by Frans B. M. de Waal (Scientific American, 2006). EXTRAS:"Yuval Noah Harari Thinks Life Is Meaningless and Amazing," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022)."Jared Diamond on the Downfall of Civilizations — and His Optimism for Ours," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021).

570. Is Gynecology the Best Innovation Ever?

In a special episode of People I (Mostly) Admire, Steve Levitt talks to Cat Bohannon about her new book Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution. SOURCE:Cat Bohannon, researcher and author. RESOURCES:Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution, by Cat Bohannon (2023)."Genomic Inference of a Severe Human Bottleneck During the Early to Middle Pleistocene Transition," by Wangjie Hu, Ziqian Hao, Pengyuan Du, Fabio Di Vincenzo, Giorgio Manzi, Jialong Cui, Yun-Xin Fu, Yi-Hsuan, and Haipeng Li (Science, 2023)."The Greatest Invention in the History of Humanity," by Cat Bohannon (The Atlantic, 2023)."A Newborn Infant Chimpanzee Snatched and Cannibalized Immediately After Birth: Implications for 'Maternity Leave' in Wild Chimpanzee," by Hitonaru Nishie and Michio Nakamura (American Journal of Biological Anthropology, 2018)."War in the Womb," by Suzanne Sadedin (Aeon, 2014)."Timing of Childbirth Evolved to Match Women’s Energy Limits," by Erin Wayman (Smithsonian Magazine, 2012)."Bonobo Sex and Society," by Frans B. M. de Waal (Scientific American, 2006). EXTRAS:"Yuval Noah Harari Thinks Life Is Meaningless and Amazing," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022)."Jared Diamond on the Downfall of Civilizations — and His Optimism for Ours," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021).

46:02

28 Dec 23

569. Do You Need Closure?

In a special episode of No Stupid Questions, Angela Duckworth and Mike Maughan talk about unfinished tasks, recurring arguments, and Irish goodbyes. SOURCES:Roy Baumeister, social psychologist and visiting scholar at Harvard University.Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University.John Gottman, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington.Kurt Lewin, 20th-century German-American psychologist.E. J. Masicampo, professor of psychology at Wake Forest University.Timothy Wilson, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia.Bluma Zeigarnik, 20th-century Soviet psychologist. RESOURCES:"Life and Work of the Psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik," by M. Marco (Neurosciences and History, 2018)."Why We Need Answers," by Maria Konnikova (The New Yorker, 2013)."Consider It Done! Plan Making Can Eliminate the Cognitive Effects of Unfulfilled Goals," by E. J. Masicampo and Roy Baumeister (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2011).The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples, by John Gottman (2011)."'Let Me Dream On!' Anticipatory Emotions and Preference for Timing in Lotteries," by Martin Kocher, Michal Krawczyk, and Frans van Winden (Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper, 2009)."Explaining Away: A Model of Affective Adaptation," by Timothy Wilson and Daniel Gilbert (Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2008)."On Finished and Unfinished Tasks," by Bluma Zeigarnik (A Source Book of Gestalt Psychology, 1938). EXTRAS:"Can We Disagree Better?" by No Stupid Questions (2023)."Would You Be Happier if You Were More Creative?" by No Stupid Questions (2023)."How Can You Be Kinder to Yourself?" by No Stupid Questions (2023)."What’s Wrong With Holding a Grudge?" by No Stupid Questions (2022).Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch,  by Eileen Spinelli (1991).

569. Do You Need Closure?

In a special episode of No Stupid Questions, Angela Duckworth and Mike Maughan talk about unfinished tasks, recurring arguments, and Irish goodbyes. SOURCES:Roy Baumeister, social psychologist and visiting scholar at Harvard University.Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University.John Gottman, professor emeritus of psychology at the University of Washington.Kurt Lewin, 20th-century German-American psychologist.E. J. Masicampo, professor of psychology at Wake Forest University.Timothy Wilson, professor of psychology at the University of Virginia.Bluma Zeigarnik, 20th-century Soviet psychologist. RESOURCES:"Life and Work of the Psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik," by M. Marco (Neurosciences and History, 2018)."Why We Need Answers," by Maria Konnikova (The New Yorker, 2013)."Consider It Done! Plan Making Can Eliminate the Cognitive Effects of Unfulfilled Goals," by E. J. Masicampo and Roy Baumeister (Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2011).The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples, by John Gottman (2011)."'Let Me Dream On!' Anticipatory Emotions and Preference for Timing in Lotteries," by Martin Kocher, Michal Krawczyk, and Frans van Winden (Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper, 2009)."Explaining Away: A Model of Affective Adaptation," by Timothy Wilson and Daniel Gilbert (Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2008)."On Finished and Unfinished Tasks," by Bluma Zeigarnik (A Source Book of Gestalt Psychology, 1938). EXTRAS:"Can We Disagree Better?" by No Stupid Questions (2023)."Would You Be Happier if You Were More Creative?" by No Stupid Questions (2023)."How Can You Be Kinder to Yourself?" by No Stupid Questions (2023)."What’s Wrong With Holding a Grudge?" by No Stupid Questions (2022).Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch,  by Eileen Spinelli (1991).

39:34

21 Dec 23

568. Why Are People So Mad at Michael Lewis?

Lewis got incredible access to Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire behind the spectacular FTX fraud. His book is a bestseller, but some critics say he went too easy on S.B.F. Lewis tells us why the critics are wrong — and what it’s like to watch your book get turned into a courtroom drama. SOURCES:Michael Lewis, author. RESOURCES:Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon, by Michael Lewis (2023)."Column: In Michael Lewis, Sam Bankman-Fried Found His Last and Most Willing Victim," by Michael Hiltzik (Los Angeles Times, 2023)."Even Michael Lewis Can’t Make a Hero Out of Sam Bankman-Fried," by Jennifer Szalai (The New York Times, 2023)."Michael Lewis Goes Close on Sam Bankman-Fried — Maybe Too Close," by James Ledbetter (The Washington Post, 2023)."What You Won’t Learn From Michael Lewis’ Book on FTX Could Fill Another Book," by Julia M. Klein (Los Angeles Times, 2023)."Michael Lewis’s Big Contrarian Bet," by Gideon Lewis-Kraus (The New Yorker, 2023)."He-Said, They-Said," by John Lanchester (London Review of Books, 2023)."Downfall of the Crypto King," by Jesse Armstrong (The Times Literary Supplement, 2023)."FTX Debtors vs. Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried," in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (2023).Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses: Eighth Edition, by Richard C. Pilger (2017)."Pay Candidates to Drop Out? That Should Be Legal," by Stephen L. Carter (Bloomberg, 2016)."The History of the Term 'Effective Altruism,'" by William MacAskill (Effective Altruism Forum, 2014). EXTRAS:"Is This 'The Worst Job in Corporate America' — or Maybe the Best?" by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."A Million-Year View on Morality," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022).“Did Michael Lewis Just Get Lucky with 'Moneyball'?” by Freakonomics Radio (2022).

568. Why Are People So Mad at Michael Lewis?

Lewis got incredible access to Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire behind the spectacular FTX fraud. His book is a bestseller, but some critics say he went too easy on S.B.F. Lewis tells us why the critics are wrong — and what it’s like to watch your book get turned into a courtroom drama. SOURCES:Michael Lewis, author. RESOURCES:Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon, by Michael Lewis (2023)."Column: In Michael Lewis, Sam Bankman-Fried Found His Last and Most Willing Victim," by Michael Hiltzik (Los Angeles Times, 2023)."Even Michael Lewis Can’t Make a Hero Out of Sam Bankman-Fried," by Jennifer Szalai (The New York Times, 2023)."Michael Lewis Goes Close on Sam Bankman-Fried — Maybe Too Close," by James Ledbetter (The Washington Post, 2023)."What You Won’t Learn From Michael Lewis’ Book on FTX Could Fill Another Book," by Julia M. Klein (Los Angeles Times, 2023)."Michael Lewis’s Big Contrarian Bet," by Gideon Lewis-Kraus (The New Yorker, 2023)."He-Said, They-Said," by John Lanchester (London Review of Books, 2023)."Downfall of the Crypto King," by Jesse Armstrong (The Times Literary Supplement, 2023)."FTX Debtors vs. Joseph Bankman and Barbara Fried," in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (2023).Federal Prosecution of Election Offenses: Eighth Edition, by Richard C. Pilger (2017)."Pay Candidates to Drop Out? That Should Be Legal," by Stephen L. Carter (Bloomberg, 2016)."The History of the Term 'Effective Altruism,'" by William MacAskill (Effective Altruism Forum, 2014). EXTRAS:"Is This 'The Worst Job in Corporate America' — or Maybe the Best?" by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."A Million-Year View on Morality," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022).“Did Michael Lewis Just Get Lucky with 'Moneyball'?” by Freakonomics Radio (2022).

01:00:36

14 Dec 23

567. Do the Police Have a Management Problem?

In policing, as in most vocations, the best employees are often promoted into leadership without much training. One economist thinks he can address this problem — and, with it, America’s gun violence. SOURCESKenneth Corey, director of outreach and engagement for the Policing Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago and retired chief of department for the New York Police Department.Stephanie Drescher, operations captain in the City of Madison Police Department.Max Kapustin, assistant professor of economics and public policy at Cornell University.Jens Ludwig, economist and director of the Crime Lab at the University of Chicago.Sandy Jo MacArthur, curriculum design director for the Policing Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago.Sean Malinowski, D.O.J. strategic site liaison for the Philadelphia Police Department and retired chief of detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department.Sindyanna Paul-Noel, lieutenant with the City of Miami Police Department.Michael Wolley, deputy chief of operations with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. RESOURCES:"Policing Leadership Academy (PLA) Graduation of Inaugural Cohort," by the University of Chicago Crime Lab (2023)."Policing and Management," by Max Kapustin, Terrence Neumann, and Jens Ludwig (NBER Working Paper, 2022)."Getting More Out of Policing in the U.S.," by Jens Ludwig, Terrence Neumann, and Max Kapustin (VoxEU, 2022)."University of Chicago Crime Lab Launches National Policing and Community Violence Intervention Leadership Academies," by the University of Chicago Crime Lab (2022)."What Drives Differences in Management?" by Nicholas Bloom, Erik Brynjolfsson, Lucia Foster, Ron S. Jarmin, Megha Patnaik, Itay Saporta-Eksten, and John Van Reenen (NBER Working Paper, 2017)."Management as a Technology?" by Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen (NBER Working Paper, 2017)."Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," by Nick Bloom and John Van Reenen (NBER Working Paper, 2006)."Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities," by Julie Berry Cullen and Steven D. Levitt (SSRN, 1997). EXTRAS:"Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses?" by Freakonomics Radio (2022)."What Are the Police for, Anyway?" by Freakonomics Radio (2021).

567. Do the Police Have a Management Problem?

In policing, as in most vocations, the best employees are often promoted into leadership without much training. One economist thinks he can address this problem — and, with it, America’s gun violence. SOURCESKenneth Corey, director of outreach and engagement for the Policing Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago and retired chief of department for the New York Police Department.Stephanie Drescher, operations captain in the City of Madison Police Department.Max Kapustin, assistant professor of economics and public policy at Cornell University.Jens Ludwig, economist and director of the Crime Lab at the University of Chicago.Sandy Jo MacArthur, curriculum design director for the Policing Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago.Sean Malinowski, D.O.J. strategic site liaison for the Philadelphia Police Department and retired chief of detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department.Sindyanna Paul-Noel, lieutenant with the City of Miami Police Department.Michael Wolley, deputy chief of operations with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. RESOURCES:"Policing Leadership Academy (PLA) Graduation of Inaugural Cohort," by the University of Chicago Crime Lab (2023)."Policing and Management," by Max Kapustin, Terrence Neumann, and Jens Ludwig (NBER Working Paper, 2022)."Getting More Out of Policing in the U.S.," by Jens Ludwig, Terrence Neumann, and Max Kapustin (VoxEU, 2022)."University of Chicago Crime Lab Launches National Policing and Community Violence Intervention Leadership Academies," by the University of Chicago Crime Lab (2022)."What Drives Differences in Management?" by Nicholas Bloom, Erik Brynjolfsson, Lucia Foster, Ron S. Jarmin, Megha Patnaik, Itay Saporta-Eksten, and John Van Reenen (NBER Working Paper, 2017)."Management as a Technology?" by Nicholas Bloom, Raffaella Sadun, and John Van Reenen (NBER Working Paper, 2017)."Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," by Nick Bloom and John Van Reenen (NBER Working Paper, 2006)."Crime, Urban Flight, and the Consequences for Cities," by Julie Berry Cullen and Steven D. Levitt (SSRN, 1997). EXTRAS:"Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses?" by Freakonomics Radio (2022)."What Are the Police for, Anyway?" by Freakonomics Radio (2021).

47:39

7 Dec 23

566. Why Is It So Hard (and Expensive) to Build Anything in America?

Most industries have become more productive over time. But not construction! We identify the causes — and possible solutions. (Can you say ... “prefab”?) RESOURCES:"The Strange and Awful Path of Productivity in the US Construction Sector," by Austan Goolsbee and Chad Syverson (BFI Working Paper, 2023)."Infrastructure Costs," by Leah Brooks and Zachary D. Liscow (American Economic Journal: Applied, 2023)."The Silicon Valley Elite Who Want to Build a City From Scratch," by Conor Dougherty and Erin Griffith (The New York Times, 2023)."A Decent Home," report by the President's Committee on Urban Housing (1968). EXTRAS:"Edward Glaeser Explains Why Some Cities Thrive While Others Fade Away," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."Why Are Cities (Still) So Expensive?" by Freakonomics Radio (2020). SOURCES:Vaughan Buckley, founder and C.E.O. of the Volumetric Building Companies.Carrie Sturts Dossick, professor of construction management at the University of Washington.Ed Glaeser, professor of economics and chair the economics department at Harvard University.Michael Hough, director of MJH Structural Engineers.Ivan Rupnik, professor of architecture at Northeastern University.Chad Syverson, professor of economics at the University of Chicago.

566. Why Is It So Hard (and Expensive) to Build Anything in America?

Most industries have become more productive over time. But not construction! We identify the causes — and possible solutions. (Can you say ... “prefab”?) RESOURCES:"The Strange and Awful Path of Productivity in the US Construction Sector," by Austan Goolsbee and Chad Syverson (BFI Working Paper, 2023)."Infrastructure Costs," by Leah Brooks and Zachary D. Liscow (American Economic Journal: Applied, 2023)."The Silicon Valley Elite Who Want to Build a City From Scratch," by Conor Dougherty and Erin Griffith (The New York Times, 2023)."A Decent Home," report by the President's Committee on Urban Housing (1968). EXTRAS:"Edward Glaeser Explains Why Some Cities Thrive While Others Fade Away," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."Why Are Cities (Still) So Expensive?" by Freakonomics Radio (2020). SOURCES:Vaughan Buckley, founder and C.E.O. of the Volumetric Building Companies.Carrie Sturts Dossick, professor of construction management at the University of Washington.Ed Glaeser, professor of economics and chair the economics department at Harvard University.Michael Hough, director of MJH Structural Engineers.Ivan Rupnik, professor of architecture at Northeastern University.Chad Syverson, professor of economics at the University of Chicago.

54:45

23 Nov 23

565. Are Private Equity Firms Plundering the U.S. Economy?

They say they make companies more efficient through savvy management. Critics say they bend the rules to enrich themselves at the expense of consumers and employees. Can they both be right? (Probably not.) RESOURCES:Plunder: Private Equity's Plan to Pillage America, by Brendan Ballou (2023).Two and Twenty: How the Masters of Private Equity Always Win, by Sachin Khajuria (2022)."Local Journalism under Private Equity Ownership," by Michael Ewens, Arpit Gupta, and Sabrina T. Howell (NBER Working Paper, 2022).“Owner Incentives and Performance in Healthcare: Private Equity Investment in Nursing Homes,” by Atul Gupta, Sabrina T. Howell, Constantine Yannelis, and Abhinav Gupta (NBER Working Paper, 2021).“Leveraged Buyouts and Financial Distress,” by Brian Ayash and Mahdi Rastad (Finance Research Letters, 2021).“Have Private Equity Owned Nursing Homes Fared Worse Under COVID-19?” by Ashvin Gandhi, YoungJun Song, and Prabhava Upadrashta (SSRN, 2020).“When Investor Incentives and Consumer Interests Diverge: Private Equity in Higher Education,” by Charlie Eaton, Sabrina T. Howell, and Constantine Yannelis (The Review of Financial Studies, 2020).“The Economic Effects of Private Equity Buyouts,” by Steven J. Davis, John Haltiwanger, Kyle Handley, Ben Lipsius, Josh Lerner, and Javier Miranda (SSRN, 2019).“How Acquisitions Affect Firm Behavior and Performance: Evidence from the Dialysis Industry,” by Paul J. Eliason, Benjamin Heebsh, Ryan C. McDevitt, and James W. Roberts (The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2019)."In Silicon Valley, Even Mobile Homes Are Getting Too Pricey for Longtime Residents," by Tracy Lien (Los Angeles Times, 2017).“The Operational Consequences of Private Equity Buyouts: Evidence from the Restaurant Industry,” by Shai Bernstein and Albert Sheen (SSRN, 2013)."Private Equity and Employment," by Steven J. Davis, John C. Haltiwanger, Ron S. Jarmin, Josh Lerner, and Javier Miranda (NBER Working Paper, 2011).EXTRAS:"Should You Trust Private Equity to Take Care of Your Dog?" by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Do You Know Who Owns Your Vet?" by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Mobile Home Parks," by The Economics of Everyday Things (2023)."The Secret Life of a C.E.O.," series by Freakonomics Radio (2018)."Extra: David Rubenstein Full Interview," by Freakonomics Radio (2018).SOURCES:Brendan Ballou, special counsel at the Department of Justice.Dan Glickberg, venture-capital investor.Hannah Howard, food writer.Sachin Khajuria, investor.

565. Are Private Equity Firms Plundering the U.S. Economy?

They say they make companies more efficient through savvy management. Critics say they bend the rules to enrich themselves at the expense of consumers and employees. Can they both be right? (Probably not.) RESOURCES:Plunder: Private Equity's Plan to Pillage America, by Brendan Ballou (2023).Two and Twenty: How the Masters of Private Equity Always Win, by Sachin Khajuria (2022)."Local Journalism under Private Equity Ownership," by Michael Ewens, Arpit Gupta, and Sabrina T. Howell (NBER Working Paper, 2022).“Owner Incentives and Performance in Healthcare: Private Equity Investment in Nursing Homes,” by Atul Gupta, Sabrina T. Howell, Constantine Yannelis, and Abhinav Gupta (NBER Working Paper, 2021).“Leveraged Buyouts and Financial Distress,” by Brian Ayash and Mahdi Rastad (Finance Research Letters, 2021).“Have Private Equity Owned Nursing Homes Fared Worse Under COVID-19?” by Ashvin Gandhi, YoungJun Song, and Prabhava Upadrashta (SSRN, 2020).“When Investor Incentives and Consumer Interests Diverge: Private Equity in Higher Education,” by Charlie Eaton, Sabrina T. Howell, and Constantine Yannelis (The Review of Financial Studies, 2020).“The Economic Effects of Private Equity Buyouts,” by Steven J. Davis, John Haltiwanger, Kyle Handley, Ben Lipsius, Josh Lerner, and Javier Miranda (SSRN, 2019).“How Acquisitions Affect Firm Behavior and Performance: Evidence from the Dialysis Industry,” by Paul J. Eliason, Benjamin Heebsh, Ryan C. McDevitt, and James W. Roberts (The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2019)."In Silicon Valley, Even Mobile Homes Are Getting Too Pricey for Longtime Residents," by Tracy Lien (Los Angeles Times, 2017).“The Operational Consequences of Private Equity Buyouts: Evidence from the Restaurant Industry,” by Shai Bernstein and Albert Sheen (SSRN, 2013)."Private Equity and Employment," by Steven J. Davis, John C. Haltiwanger, Ron S. Jarmin, Josh Lerner, and Javier Miranda (NBER Working Paper, 2011).EXTRAS:"Should You Trust Private Equity to Take Care of Your Dog?" by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Do You Know Who Owns Your Vet?" by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Mobile Home Parks," by The Economics of Everyday Things (2023)."The Secret Life of a C.E.O.," series by Freakonomics Radio (2018)."Extra: David Rubenstein Full Interview," by Freakonomics Radio (2018).SOURCES:Brendan Ballou, special counsel at the Department of Justice.Dan Glickberg, venture-capital investor.Hannah Howard, food writer.Sachin Khajuria, investor.

51:17

16 Nov 23

564. How to Succeed at Failing, Part 4: Extreme Resiliency

Everyone makes mistakes. How do you learn from them? Lessons from the classroom, the Air Force, and the world’s deadliest infectious disease. RESOURCES:Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well, by Amy Edmondson (2023)."You Think Failure Is Hard? So Is Learning From It," by Lauren Eskreis-Winkler and Ayelet Fishbach (Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2022)."The Market for R&D Failures," by Manuel Trajtenberg and Roy Shalem (SSRN, 2010)."Performing a Project Premortem," by Gary Klein (Harvard Business Review, 2007).EXTRAS:“How to Succeed at Failing,” series by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Moncef Slaoui: 'It’s Unfortunate That It Takes a Crisis for This to Happen,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2020).SOURCES:Will Coleman, founder and C.E.O. of Alto.Amy Edmondson, professor of leadership management at Harvard Business School.Babak Javid, physician-scientist and associate director of the University of California, San Francisco Center for Tuberculosis.Gary Klein, cognitive psychologist and pioneer in the field of naturalistic decision making.Theresa MacPhail, medical anthropologist and associate professor of science & technology studies at the Stevens Institute of Technology.Roy Shalem, lecturer at Tel Aviv University.Samuel West, curator and founder of The Museum of Failure.

564. How to Succeed at Failing, Part 4: Extreme Resiliency

Everyone makes mistakes. How do you learn from them? Lessons from the classroom, the Air Force, and the world’s deadliest infectious disease. RESOURCES:Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well, by Amy Edmondson (2023)."You Think Failure Is Hard? So Is Learning From It," by Lauren Eskreis-Winkler and Ayelet Fishbach (Perspectives on Psychological Science, 2022)."The Market for R&D Failures," by Manuel Trajtenberg and Roy Shalem (SSRN, 2010)."Performing a Project Premortem," by Gary Klein (Harvard Business Review, 2007).EXTRAS:“How to Succeed at Failing,” series by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Moncef Slaoui: 'It’s Unfortunate That It Takes a Crisis for This to Happen,'" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2020).SOURCES:Will Coleman, founder and C.E.O. of Alto.Amy Edmondson, professor of leadership management at Harvard Business School.Babak Javid, physician-scientist and associate director of the University of California, San Francisco Center for Tuberculosis.Gary Klein, cognitive psychologist and pioneer in the field of naturalistic decision making.Theresa MacPhail, medical anthropologist and associate professor of science & technology studies at the Stevens Institute of Technology.Roy Shalem, lecturer at Tel Aviv University.Samuel West, curator and founder of The Museum of Failure.

52:00

2 Nov 23

563. How to Succeed at Failing, Part 3: Grit vs. Quit

Giving up can be painful. That's why we need to talk about it. Today: stories about glitchy apps, leaky paint cans, broken sculptures — and a quest for the perfect bowl of ramen.  RESOURCES"Data Snapshot: Tenure and Contingency in US Higher Education," by Glenn Colby (American Association of University Professors, 2023).Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth (2016)."Entrepreneurship and the U.S. Economy," by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016)."A CV of Failures," by Melanie Stefan (Nature, 2010).EXTRAS“How to Succeed at Failing,” series by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Annie Duke Thinks You Should Quit," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022)."How Do You Know When It’s Time to Quit?" by No Stupid Questions (2020).“Honey, I Grew the Economy,” by Freakonomics Radio (2019).“The Upside of Quitting," by Freakonomics Radio (2011)."The Ramen Now - Rapid Desktop Cooking for Delicious Meals," Kickstarter campaign by Travis Thul.SOURCES:John Boykin, website designer and failed paint can re-inventor.Angela Duckworth, host of No Stupid Questions, co-founder of Character Lab, and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.Amy Edmondson, professor of leadership management at Harvard Business School.Helen Fisher, senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute and chief science advisor to Match.com.Eric von Hippel, professor of technological innovation at M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management.Jill Hoffman, founder and C.E.O. of Path 2 Flight.Gary Klein, cognitive psychologist and pioneer in the field of naturalistic decision making.Steve Levitt, host of People I (Mostly) Admire, co-author of the Freakonomics books, and professor of economics at the University of Chicago.Joseph O’Connell, artist.Mike Ridgeman, advocacy manager at Trek Bicycles and former professor.Melanie Stefan, professor of physiology at Medical School Berlin.Travis Thul, director of operations and senior fellow at the University of Minnesota Technological Leadership Institute.

563. How to Succeed at Failing, Part 3: Grit vs. Quit

Giving up can be painful. That's why we need to talk about it. Today: stories about glitchy apps, leaky paint cans, broken sculptures — and a quest for the perfect bowl of ramen.  RESOURCES"Data Snapshot: Tenure and Contingency in US Higher Education," by Glenn Colby (American Association of University Professors, 2023).Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, by Angela Duckworth (2016)."Entrepreneurship and the U.S. Economy," by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2016)."A CV of Failures," by Melanie Stefan (Nature, 2010).EXTRAS“How to Succeed at Failing,” series by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Annie Duke Thinks You Should Quit," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2022)."How Do You Know When It’s Time to Quit?" by No Stupid Questions (2020).“Honey, I Grew the Economy,” by Freakonomics Radio (2019).“The Upside of Quitting," by Freakonomics Radio (2011)."The Ramen Now - Rapid Desktop Cooking for Delicious Meals," Kickstarter campaign by Travis Thul.SOURCES:John Boykin, website designer and failed paint can re-inventor.Angela Duckworth, host of No Stupid Questions, co-founder of Character Lab, and professor of psychology at the University of Pennsylvania.Amy Edmondson, professor of leadership management at Harvard Business School.Helen Fisher, senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute and chief science advisor to Match.com.Eric von Hippel, professor of technological innovation at M.I.T.’s Sloan School of Management.Jill Hoffman, founder and C.E.O. of Path 2 Flight.Gary Klein, cognitive psychologist and pioneer in the field of naturalistic decision making.Steve Levitt, host of People I (Mostly) Admire, co-author of the Freakonomics books, and professor of economics at the University of Chicago.Joseph O’Connell, artist.Mike Ridgeman, advocacy manager at Trek Bicycles and former professor.Melanie Stefan, professor of physiology at Medical School Berlin.Travis Thul, director of operations and senior fellow at the University of Minnesota Technological Leadership Institute.

01:03:37

26 Oct 23

562. How to Succeed at Failing, Part 2: Life and Death

In medicine, failure can be catastrophic. It can also produce discoveries that save millions of lives. Tales from the front line, the lab, and the I.T. department. RESOURCES:Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well, by Amy Edmondson (2023)."Reconsidering the Application of Systems Thinking in Healthcare: The RaDonda Vaught Case," by Connor Lusk, Elise DeForest, Gabriel Segarra, David M. Neyens, James H. Abernathy III, and Ken Catchpole (British Journal of Anaesthesia, 2022)."Dispelling the Myth That Organizations Learn From Failure," by Jeffrey Ray (SSRN, 2016)."A New, Evidence-Based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated With Hospital Care," by John T. James (Journal of Patient Safety, 2013).To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, by the National Academy of Sciences (1999)."Polymers for the Sustained Release of Proteins and Other Macromolecules," by Robert Langer and Judah Folkman (Nature, 1976).EXTRAS:"How to Succeed at Failing," series by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Will a Covid-19 Vaccine Change the Future of Medical Research?" by Freakonomics Radio (2020)."Bad Medicine, Part 3: Death by Diagnosis," by Freakonomics Radio (2016).SOURCES:Amy Edmondson, professor of leadership management at Harvard Business School.Carole Hemmelgarn, co-founder of Patients for Patient Safety U.S. and director of the Clinical Quality, Safety & Leadership Master’s program at Georgetown University.Gary Klein, cognitive psychologist and pioneer in the field of naturalistic decision making.Robert Langer, institute professor and head of the Langer Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.John Van Reenen, professor at the London School of Economics.

562. How to Succeed at Failing, Part 2: Life and Death

In medicine, failure can be catastrophic. It can also produce discoveries that save millions of lives. Tales from the front line, the lab, and the I.T. department. RESOURCES:Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well, by Amy Edmondson (2023)."Reconsidering the Application of Systems Thinking in Healthcare: The RaDonda Vaught Case," by Connor Lusk, Elise DeForest, Gabriel Segarra, David M. Neyens, James H. Abernathy III, and Ken Catchpole (British Journal of Anaesthesia, 2022)."Dispelling the Myth That Organizations Learn From Failure," by Jeffrey Ray (SSRN, 2016)."A New, Evidence-Based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated With Hospital Care," by John T. James (Journal of Patient Safety, 2013).To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, by the National Academy of Sciences (1999)."Polymers for the Sustained Release of Proteins and Other Macromolecules," by Robert Langer and Judah Folkman (Nature, 1976).EXTRAS:"How to Succeed at Failing," series by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Will a Covid-19 Vaccine Change the Future of Medical Research?" by Freakonomics Radio (2020)."Bad Medicine, Part 3: Death by Diagnosis," by Freakonomics Radio (2016).SOURCES:Amy Edmondson, professor of leadership management at Harvard Business School.Carole Hemmelgarn, co-founder of Patients for Patient Safety U.S. and director of the Clinical Quality, Safety & Leadership Master’s program at Georgetown University.Gary Klein, cognitive psychologist and pioneer in the field of naturalistic decision making.Robert Langer, institute professor and head of the Langer Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.John Van Reenen, professor at the London School of Economics.

54:03

19 Oct 23

561. How to Succeed at Failing, Part 1: The Chain of Events

We tend to think of tragedies as a single terrible moment, rather than the result of multiple bad decisions. Can this pattern be reversed? We try — with stories about wildfires, school shootings, and love. RESOURCESRight Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well, by Amy Edmondson (2023)."Michigan School Shooter Is Found Eligible for Life Sentence Without Parole," by Stephanie Saul and Dana Goldstein (The New York Times, 2023)."How Fire Turned Lahaina Into a Death Trap," by Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Serge F. Kovaleski, Shawn Hubler, and Riley Mellen (The New York Times, 2023).The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic, by Jillian Peterson and James Densley (2021)."I Was Almost A School Shooter," by Aaron Stark (TEDxBoulder, 2018).EXTRAS "Is Perfectionism Ruining Your Life?" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023)."Why Did You Marry That Person?" by Freakonomics Radio (2022)."What Do We Really Learn From Failure?" by No Stupid Questions (2021)."How to Fail Like a Pro," by Freakonomics Radio (2019)."Failure Is Your Friend," by Freakonomics Radio (2014).SOURCES:Amy Edmondson, professor of leadership management at Harvard Business School.Helen Fisher, senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute and chief science advisor to Match.com.Ed Galea, founding director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group at the University of Greenwich.Gary Klein, cognitive psychologist and pioneer in the field of naturalistic decision making.David Riedman, founder of the K-12 School Shooting Database.Aaron Stark, assistant manager at Kum & Go and keynote speaker.John Van Reenen, professor at the London School of Economics.

561. How to Succeed at Failing, Part 1: The Chain of Events

We tend to think of tragedies as a single terrible moment, rather than the result of multiple bad decisions. Can this pattern be reversed? We try — with stories about wildfires, school shootings, and love. RESOURCESRight Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well, by Amy Edmondson (2023)."Michigan School Shooter Is Found Eligible for Life Sentence Without Parole," by Stephanie Saul and Dana Goldstein (The New York Times, 2023)."How Fire Turned Lahaina Into a Death Trap," by Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Serge F. Kovaleski, Shawn Hubler, and Riley Mellen (The New York Times, 2023).The Violence Project: How to Stop a Mass Shooting Epidemic, by Jillian Peterson and James Densley (2021)."I Was Almost A School Shooter," by Aaron Stark (TEDxBoulder, 2018).EXTRAS "Is Perfectionism Ruining Your Life?" by People I (Mostly) Admire (2023)."Why Did You Marry That Person?" by Freakonomics Radio (2022)."What Do We Really Learn From Failure?" by No Stupid Questions (2021)."How to Fail Like a Pro," by Freakonomics Radio (2019)."Failure Is Your Friend," by Freakonomics Radio (2014).SOURCES:Amy Edmondson, professor of leadership management at Harvard Business School.Helen Fisher, senior research fellow at The Kinsey Institute and chief science advisor to Match.com.Ed Galea, founding director of the Fire Safety Engineering Group at the University of Greenwich.Gary Klein, cognitive psychologist and pioneer in the field of naturalistic decision making.David Riedman, founder of the K-12 School Shooting Database.Aaron Stark, assistant manager at Kum & Go and keynote speaker.John Van Reenen, professor at the London School of Economics.

55:18

12 Oct 23

560. Is This “the Worst Job in Corporate America” — or Maybe the Best?

John Ray is an emergency C.E.O., a bankruptcy expert who takes over companies that have succumbed to failure or fraud. He’s currently cleaning up the mess left by alleged crypto scammer Sam Bankman-Fried. And he loves it. RESOURCES:"United States of America v. Samuel Bankman-Fried, a/k/a 'SBF,'" by the United States District Court Southern District of New York (2023)."Does FTX’s New CEO Have the Worst Job in Corporate America?" by Ben Cohen (The Wall Street Journal, 2022)."John J. Ray III, a St. Joseph’s Grad From Pittsfield, Is Earning $1,300 an Hour to Sort Out the Remains of the FTX Cryptocurrency Collapse," by Larry Parnass (The Berkshire Eagle, 2022)."'Pit Bull' Fights to Pick Up Enron's Pieces," by Ameet Sachdev (Chicago Tribune, 2007).EXTRAS:“The Secret Life of a C.E.O.,” series by Freakonomics Radio (2018-2023)."Did Michael Lewis Just Get Lucky with Moneyball?" by Freakonomics Radio (2022)."Does the Crypto Crash Mean the Blockchain Is Over?" by Freakonomics Radio (2022)."What Can Blockchain Do for You?" series by Freakonomics Radio (2022).SOURCES:John Ray, C.E.O. of FTX.

560. Is This “the Worst Job in Corporate America” — or Maybe the Best?

John Ray is an emergency C.E.O., a bankruptcy expert who takes over companies that have succumbed to failure or fraud. He’s currently cleaning up the mess left by alleged crypto scammer Sam Bankman-Fried. And he loves it. RESOURCES:"United States of America v. Samuel Bankman-Fried, a/k/a 'SBF,'" by the United States District Court Southern District of New York (2023)."Does FTX’s New CEO Have the Worst Job in Corporate America?" by Ben Cohen (The Wall Street Journal, 2022)."John J. Ray III, a St. Joseph’s Grad From Pittsfield, Is Earning $1,300 an Hour to Sort Out the Remains of the FTX Cryptocurrency Collapse," by Larry Parnass (The Berkshire Eagle, 2022)."'Pit Bull' Fights to Pick Up Enron's Pieces," by Ameet Sachdev (Chicago Tribune, 2007).EXTRAS:“The Secret Life of a C.E.O.,” series by Freakonomics Radio (2018-2023)."Did Michael Lewis Just Get Lucky with Moneyball?" by Freakonomics Radio (2022)."Does the Crypto Crash Mean the Blockchain Is Over?" by Freakonomics Radio (2022)."What Can Blockchain Do for You?" series by Freakonomics Radio (2022).SOURCES:John Ray, C.E.O. of FTX.

40:07

5 Oct 23

559. Are Two C.E.O.s Better Than One?

If two parents can run a family, why shouldn’t two executives run a company? We dig into the research and hear firsthand stories of both triumph and disaster. Also: lessons from computer programmers, Simon and Garfunkel, and bears versus alligators.RESOURCES:"How Allbirds Lost Its Way," by Suzanne Kapner (The Wall Street Journal, 2023)."Is It Time to Consider Co-C.E.O.s?" by Marc A. Feigen, Michael Jenkins, and Anton Warendh (Harvard Business Review, 2022)."The Costs and Benefits of Pair Programming," by Alistair Cockburn and Laurie Williams (2000)."Strengthening the Case for Pair Programming," by Laurie Williams, Robert R. Kessler, Ward Cunningham, and Ron Jeffries (IEEE Software, 2000). EXTRAS:"The Facts Are In: Two Parents Are Better Than One," by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."The Secret Life of a C.E.O.," series by Freakonomics Radio (2018-2023). SOURCES:Jim Balsillie, retired chairman and co-C.E.O. of Research In Motion.Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and co-C.E.O. of Atlassian.Scott Farquhar, co-founder and co-C.E.O. of Atlassian.Marc Feigen, C.E.O. advisor.Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, professor of management studies and senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management and founding president of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute.Laurie Williams, professor of computer science at North Carolina State University...

559. Are Two C.E.O.s Better Than One?

If two parents can run a family, why shouldn’t two executives run a company? We dig into the research and hear firsthand stories of both triumph and disaster. Also: lessons from computer programmers, Simon and Garfunkel, and bears versus alligators.RESOURCES:"How Allbirds Lost Its Way," by Suzanne Kapner (The Wall Street Journal, 2023)."Is It Time to Consider Co-C.E.O.s?" by Marc A. Feigen, Michael Jenkins, and Anton Warendh (Harvard Business Review, 2022)."The Costs and Benefits of Pair Programming," by Alistair Cockburn and Laurie Williams (2000)."Strengthening the Case for Pair Programming," by Laurie Williams, Robert R. Kessler, Ward Cunningham, and Ron Jeffries (IEEE Software, 2000). EXTRAS:"The Facts Are In: Two Parents Are Better Than One," by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."The Secret Life of a C.E.O.," series by Freakonomics Radio (2018-2023). SOURCES:Jim Balsillie, retired chairman and co-C.E.O. of Research In Motion.Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and co-C.E.O. of Atlassian.Scott Farquhar, co-founder and co-C.E.O. of Atlassian.Marc Feigen, C.E.O. advisor.Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, professor of management studies and senior associate dean at the Yale School of Management and founding president of the Chief Executive Leadership Institute.Laurie Williams, professor of computer science at North Carolina State University...

50:35

28 Sep 23

558. The Facts Are In: Two Parents Are Better Than One

In her new book The Two-Parent Privilege, the economist Melissa Kearney says it’s time for liberals to face the facts: U.S. marriage rates have plummeted but the babies keep coming, and the U.S. now leads the world in single-parent households. Plus: our friends at Atlas Obscura explore just how many parents a kid can have.

558. The Facts Are In: Two Parents Are Better Than One

In her new book The Two-Parent Privilege, the economist Melissa Kearney says it’s time for liberals to face the facts: U.S. marriage rates have plummeted but the babies keep coming, and the U.S. now leads the world in single-parent households. Plus: our friends at Atlas Obscura explore just how many parents a kid can have.

01:04:07

21 Sep 23

557. When Is a Superstar Just Another Employee?

The union that represents N.F.L. players conducted their first-ever survey of workplace conditions, and issued a report card to all 32 teams. What did the survey reveal? Clogged showers, rats in the locker room — and some helpful insights for those of us who don’t play pro football. For show notes, visit freakonomics.com/podcast/when-is-a-superstar-just-another-employee/

557. When Is a Superstar Just Another Employee?

The union that represents N.F.L. players conducted their first-ever survey of workplace conditions, and issued a report card to all 32 teams. What did the survey reveal? Clogged showers, rats in the locker room — and some helpful insights for those of us who don’t play pro football. For show notes, visit freakonomics.com/podcast/when-is-a-superstar-just-another-employee/

01:00:53

14 Sep 23

556. A.I. Is Changing Everything. Does That Include You?

For all the speculation about the future, A.I. tools can be useful right now. Adam Davidson discovers what they can help us do, how we can get the most from them — and why the things that make them helpful also make them dangerous. (Part 3 of "How to Think About A.I.")

556. A.I. Is Changing Everything. Does That Include You?

For all the speculation about the future, A.I. tools can be useful right now. Adam Davidson discovers what they can help us do, how we can get the most from them — and why the things that make them helpful also make them dangerous. (Part 3 of "How to Think About A.I.")

48:34

7 Sep 23

555. New Technologies Always Scare Us. Is A.I. Any Different?

Guest host Adam Davidson looks at what might happen to your job in a world of human-level artificial intelligence, and asks when it might be time to worry that the machines have become too powerful. (Part 2 of "How to Think About A.I.")

555. New Technologies Always Scare Us. Is A.I. Any Different?

Guest host Adam Davidson looks at what might happen to your job in a world of human-level artificial intelligence, and asks when it might be time to worry that the machines have become too powerful. (Part 2 of "How to Think About A.I.")

47:33

31 Aug 23

554. Can A.I. Take a Joke?

Artificial intelligence, we’ve been told, will destroy humankind. No, wait — it will usher in a new age of human flourishing! Guest host Adam Davidson (co-founder of Planet Money) sorts through the big claims about A.I.'s future by exploring its past and present — and whether it has a sense of humor. (Part 1 of "How to Think About A.I.")

554. Can A.I. Take a Joke?

Artificial intelligence, we’ve been told, will destroy humankind. No, wait — it will usher in a new age of human flourishing! Guest host Adam Davidson (co-founder of Planet Money) sorts through the big claims about A.I.'s future by exploring its past and present — and whether it has a sense of humor. (Part 1 of "How to Think About A.I.")

48:05

24 Aug 23

553. The Suddenly Diplomatic Rahm Emanuel

The famously profane politician and operative is now U.S. ambassador to Japan, where he’s trying to rewrite the rules of diplomacy. But don’t worry: When it comes to China, he’s every bit as combative as you’d expect.

553. The Suddenly Diplomatic Rahm Emanuel

The famously profane politician and operative is now U.S. ambassador to Japan, where he’s trying to rewrite the rules of diplomacy. But don’t worry: When it comes to China, he’s every bit as combative as you’d expect.

56:21

17 Aug 23

552. Freakonomics Radio Presents: The Economics of Everyday Things

In three stories from our newest podcast, host Zachary Crockett digs into sports mascots, cashmere sweaters, and dinosaur skeletons. 

552. Freakonomics Radio Presents: The Economics of Everyday Things

In three stories from our newest podcast, host Zachary Crockett digs into sports mascots, cashmere sweaters, and dinosaur skeletons. 

47:17

3 Aug 23

551. What Can Whales Teach Us About Clean Energy, Workplace Harmony, and Living the Good Life?

In the final episode of our whale series, we learn about fecal plumes, shipping noise, and why "Moby-Dick" is still worth reading. (Part 3 of "Everything You Never Knew About Whaling.")

551. What Can Whales Teach Us About Clean Energy, Workplace Harmony, and Living the Good Life?

In the final episode of our whale series, we learn about fecal plumes, shipping noise, and why "Moby-Dick" is still worth reading. (Part 3 of "Everything You Never Knew About Whaling.")

47:45

27 Jul 23

550. Why Do People Still Hunt Whales?

For years, whale oil was used as lighting fuel, industrial lubricant, and the main ingredient in (yum!) margarine. Whale meat was also on a few menus. But today, demand for whale products is at a historic low. And yet some countries still have a whaling industry. We find out why. (Part 2 of “Everything You Never Knew About Whaling.”)

550. Why Do People Still Hunt Whales?

For years, whale oil was used as lighting fuel, industrial lubricant, and the main ingredient in (yum!) margarine. Whale meat was also on a few menus. But today, demand for whale products is at a historic low. And yet some countries still have a whaling industry. We find out why. (Part 2 of “Everything You Never Knew About Whaling.”)

37:11

20 Jul 23

549. The First Great American Industry

Whaling was, in the words of one scholar, “early capitalism unleashed on the high seas.” How did the U.S. come to dominate the whale market? Why did whale hunting die out here — and continue to grow elsewhere? And is that whale vomit in your perfume? (Part 1 of “Everything You Never Knew About Whaling.”)

549. The First Great American Industry

Whaling was, in the words of one scholar, “early capitalism unleashed on the high seas.” How did the U.S. come to dominate the whale market? Why did whale hunting die out here — and continue to grow elsewhere? And is that whale vomit in your perfume? (Part 1 of “Everything You Never Knew About Whaling.”)

43:51

13 Jul 23

548. Why Is the U.S. So Good at Killing Pedestrians?

Actually, the reasons are pretty clear. The harder question is: Will we ever care enough to stop?

548. Why Is the U.S. So Good at Killing Pedestrians?

Actually, the reasons are pretty clear. The harder question is: Will we ever care enough to stop?

44:57

6 Jul 23

547. Satya Nadella’s Intelligence Is Not Artificial

But as C.E.O. of the resurgent Microsoft, he is firmly at the center of the A.I. revolution. We speak with him about the perils and blessings of A.I., Google vs. Bing, the Microsoft succession plan — and why his favorite use of ChatGPT is translating poetry.

547. Satya Nadella’s Intelligence Is Not Artificial

But as C.E.O. of the resurgent Microsoft, he is firmly at the center of the A.I. revolution. We speak with him about the perils and blessings of A.I., Google vs. Bing, the Microsoft succession plan — and why his favorite use of ChatGPT is translating poetry.

36:45

22 Jun 23

546. Are E.S.G. Investors Actually Helping the Environment?

Probably not. The economist Kelly Shue argues that E.S.G. investing just gives more money to firms that are already green while depriving polluting firms of the financing they need to get greener. But she has a solution.

546. Are E.S.G. Investors Actually Helping the Environment?

Probably not. The economist Kelly Shue argues that E.S.G. investing just gives more money to firms that are already green while depriving polluting firms of the financing they need to get greener. But she has a solution.

54:38

15 Jun 23

545. Enough with the Slippery Slopes!

Gun control, abortion rights, drug legalization — it seems like every argument these days claims that if X happens, then Y will follow, and we’ll all be doomed to Z. Is the slippery-slope argument a valid logical construction or just a game of feelingsball?

545. Enough with the Slippery Slopes!

Gun control, abortion rights, drug legalization — it seems like every argument these days claims that if X happens, then Y will follow, and we’ll all be doomed to Z. Is the slippery-slope argument a valid logical construction or just a game of feelingsball?

44:11

8 Jun 23

544. Ari Emanuel Is Never Indifferent

He turned a small Hollywood talent agency into a massive sports-and-entertainment empire. In a freewheeling conversation, he explains how he did it and why it nearly killed him.

544. Ari Emanuel Is Never Indifferent

He turned a small Hollywood talent agency into a massive sports-and-entertainment empire. In a freewheeling conversation, he explains how he did it and why it nearly killed him.

01:05:47

1 Jun 23

543. How to Return Stolen Art

Museums are purging their collections of looted treasures. Can they also get something in return? And what does it mean to be a museum in the 21st century? (Part 3 of “Stealing Art Is Easy. Giving It Back Is Hard.”)

543. How to Return Stolen Art

Museums are purging their collections of looted treasures. Can they also get something in return? And what does it mean to be a museum in the 21st century? (Part 3 of “Stealing Art Is Easy. Giving It Back Is Hard.”)

51:38

18 May 23

542. Is a Museum Just a Trophy Case?

The world’s great museums are full of art and artifacts that were plundered during an era when plunder was the norm. Now there’s a push to return these works to their rightful owners. Sounds simple, right? It's not. (Part 2 of “Stealing Art Is Easy. Giving It Back Is Hard.”)

542. Is a Museum Just a Trophy Case?

The world’s great museums are full of art and artifacts that were plundered during an era when plunder was the norm. Now there’s a push to return these works to their rightful owners. Sounds simple, right? It's not. (Part 2 of “Stealing Art Is Easy. Giving It Back Is Hard.”)

52:11

11 May 23

541. The Case of the $4 Million Gold Coffin

How did a freshly looted Egyptian antiquity end up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Why did it take Kim Kardashian to crack the case? And how much of what you see in any museum is stolen? (Part 1 of “Stealing Art Is Easy. Giving It Back Is Hard.”)

541. The Case of the $4 Million Gold Coffin

How did a freshly looted Egyptian antiquity end up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Why did it take Kim Kardashian to crack the case? And how much of what you see in any museum is stolen? (Part 1 of “Stealing Art Is Easy. Giving It Back Is Hard.”)

53:29

4 May 23

540. Swearing Is More Important Than You Think

Every language has its taboo words (which many people use all the time). But the list of forbidden words is always changing — and those changes tell us some surprising things about ourselves. Note: The swear words in this episode have been bleeped out. To hear a version of this episode without the bleeps, go to freakonomics.com.

540. Swearing Is More Important Than You Think

Every language has its taboo words (which many people use all the time). But the list of forbidden words is always changing — and those changes tell us some surprising things about ourselves. Note: The swear words in this episode have been bleeped out. To hear a version of this episode without the bleeps, go to freakonomics.com.

45:10

20 Apr 23

539. Why Does One Tiny State Set the Rules for Everyone?

Delaware is beloved by corporations, bankruptcy lawyers, tax avoiders, and money launderers. Critics say the Delaware “franchise” is undemocratic and corrupt. Insiders say it’s wildly efficient. We say: they’re both right.

539. Why Does One Tiny State Set the Rules for Everyone?

Delaware is beloved by corporations, bankruptcy lawyers, tax avoiders, and money launderers. Critics say the Delaware “franchise” is undemocratic and corrupt. Insiders say it’s wildly efficient. We say: they’re both right.

46:59

13 Apr 23

538. A Radically Simple Way to Boost a Neighborhood

Many companies say they want to create more opportunities for Black Americans. One company is doing something concrete about it. We visit the South Side of Chicago to see how it’s working out.

538. A Radically Simple Way to Boost a Neighborhood

Many companies say they want to create more opportunities for Black Americans. One company is doing something concrete about it. We visit the South Side of Chicago to see how it’s working out.

47:30

6 Apr 23

537. “Insurance Is Sexy.” Discuss.

In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, the economist Amy Finkelstein explains why insurance markets are broken and how to fix them. Also: why can’t you buy divorce insurance?

537. “Insurance Is Sexy.” Discuss.

In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, the economist Amy Finkelstein explains why insurance markets are broken and how to fix them. Also: why can’t you buy divorce insurance?

52:32

23 Mar 23

536. Is Your Plane Ticket Too Expensive — or Too Cheap?

Most travelers want the cheapest flight they can find. Airlines, meanwhile, need to manage volatile fuel costs, a pricey workforce, and complex logistics. So how do they make money — and how did America’s grubbiest airport suddenly turn into a palace? (Part 3 of “Freakonomics Radio Takes to the Skies.”)

536. Is Your Plane Ticket Too Expensive — or Too Cheap?

Most travelers want the cheapest flight they can find. Airlines, meanwhile, need to manage volatile fuel costs, a pricey workforce, and complex logistics. So how do they make money — and how did America’s grubbiest airport suddenly turn into a palace? (Part 3 of “Freakonomics Radio Takes to the Skies.”)

58:00

9 Mar 23

535. Why Is Flying Safer Than Driving?

Thanks to decades of work by airlines and regulators, plane crashes are nearly a thing of the past. Can we do the same for cars? (Part 2 of “Freakonomics Radio Takes to the Skies.”)

535. Why Is Flying Safer Than Driving?

Thanks to decades of work by airlines and regulators, plane crashes are nearly a thing of the past. Can we do the same for cars? (Part 2 of “Freakonomics Radio Takes to the Skies.”)

56:20

2 Mar 23

534. Air Travel Is a Miracle. Why Do We Hate It?

It’s an unnatural activity that has become normal. You’re stuck in a metal tube with hundreds of strangers (and strange smells), defying gravity and racing through the sky.  But oh, the places you’ll go! We visit the world’s busiest airport to see how it all comes together. (Part 1 of “Freakonomics Radio Takes to the Skies.”) 

534. Air Travel Is a Miracle. Why Do We Hate It?

It’s an unnatural activity that has become normal. You’re stuck in a metal tube with hundreds of strangers (and strange smells), defying gravity and racing through the sky.  But oh, the places you’ll go! We visit the world’s busiest airport to see how it all comes together. (Part 1 of “Freakonomics Radio Takes to the Skies.”) 

58:20

23 Feb 23

533. Will the Democrats “Make America Great Again”?

For decades, the U.S. let globalization run its course and hoped China would be an ally. Now the Biden administration is spending billions to bring high-tech manufacturing back home. Is this the beginning of a new industrial policy — or just another round of corporate welfare?

533. Will the Democrats “Make America Great Again”?

For decades, the U.S. let globalization run its course and hoped China would be an ally. Now the Biden administration is spending billions to bring high-tech manufacturing back home. Is this the beginning of a new industrial policy — or just another round of corporate welfare?

50:39

9 Feb 23

532. Do You Know Who Owns Your Vet?

When small businesses get bought by big investors, the name may stay the same — but customers and employees can feel the difference. (Part 2 of 2.)

532. Do You Know Who Owns Your Vet?

When small businesses get bought by big investors, the name may stay the same — but customers and employees can feel the difference. (Part 2 of 2.)

46:42

26 Jan 23

531. Should You Trust Private Equity to Take Care of Your Dog?

Big investors are buying up local veterinary practices (and pretty much everything else). What does this mean for scruffy little Max* — and for the U.S. economy? (Part 1 of 2.) *The most popular dog name in the U.S. in 2022. 

531. Should You Trust Private Equity to Take Care of Your Dog?

Big investors are buying up local veterinary practices (and pretty much everything else). What does this mean for scruffy little Max* — and for the U.S. economy? (Part 1 of 2.) *The most popular dog name in the U.S. in 2022. 

42:05

19 Jan 23

530. What's Wrong with Being a One-Hit Wonder?

We tend to look down on artists who can't match their breakthrough success. Should we be celebrating them instead? 

530. What's Wrong with Being a One-Hit Wonder?

We tend to look down on artists who can't match their breakthrough success. Should we be celebrating them instead? 

49:16

12 Jan 23

529. Can Our Surroundings Make Us Smarter?

In a special episode of No Stupid Questions, Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth discuss classroom design, open offices, and cognitive drift. 

529. Can Our Surroundings Make Us Smarter?

In a special episode of No Stupid Questions, Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth discuss classroom design, open offices, and cognitive drift. 

46:42

5 Jan 23

528. Yuval Noah Harari Thinks Life is Meaningless and Amazing

In this special episode of People I (Mostly) Admire, Steve Levitt talks to the best-selling author of Sapiens and Homo Deus about finding the profound in the obvious.

528. Yuval Noah Harari Thinks Life is Meaningless and Amazing

In this special episode of People I (Mostly) Admire, Steve Levitt talks to the best-selling author of Sapiens and Homo Deus about finding the profound in the obvious.

51:59

29 Dec 22

527. Can Adam Smith Fix Our Economy?

Labor exploitation! Corporate profiteering! Government corruption! The 21st century can look a lot like the 18th. In the final episode of a series, we turn to “the father of economics” for solutions. (Part 3 of “In Search of the Real Adam Smith.”)

527. Can Adam Smith Fix Our Economy?

Labor exploitation! Corporate profiteering! Government corruption! The 21st century can look a lot like the 18th. In the final episode of a series, we turn to “the father of economics” for solutions. (Part 3 of “In Search of the Real Adam Smith.”)

48:49

22 Dec 22

526. Was Adam Smith Really a Right-Winger?

Economists and politicians have turned him into a mascot for free-market ideology. Some on the left say the right has badly misread him. Prepare for a very Smithy tug of war. (Part 2 of “In Search of the Real Adam Smith.”)

526. Was Adam Smith Really a Right-Winger?

Economists and politicians have turned him into a mascot for free-market ideology. Some on the left say the right has badly misread him. Prepare for a very Smithy tug of war. (Part 2 of “In Search of the Real Adam Smith.”)

01:09:01

15 Dec 22

525. In Search of the Real Adam Smith

How did an affable 18th-century “moral philosopher” become the patron saint of cutthroat capitalism? Does “the invisible hand” mean what everyone thinks it does? We travel to Smith’s hometown in Scotland to uncover the man behind the myth. (Part 1 of a series.)

525. In Search of the Real Adam Smith

How did an affable 18th-century “moral philosopher” become the patron saint of cutthroat capitalism? Does “the invisible hand” mean what everyone thinks it does? We travel to Smith’s hometown in Scotland to uncover the man behind the myth. (Part 1 of a series.)

46:42

8 Dec 22

524. How Important Is Breastfeeding, Really?

In this special episode of Freakonomics, M.D., host Bapu Jena looks at a clever new study that could help answer one of parenting’s most contentious questions.

524. How Important Is Breastfeeding, Really?

In this special episode of Freakonomics, M.D., host Bapu Jena looks at a clever new study that could help answer one of parenting’s most contentious questions.

31:30

1 Dec 22

523. Did Michael Lewis Just Get Lucky with “Moneyball”?

No — but he does have a knack for stumbling into the perfect moment, including the recent FTX debacle. In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, we revisit the book that launched the analytics revolution.

523. Did Michael Lewis Just Get Lucky with “Moneyball”?

No — but he does have a knack for stumbling into the perfect moment, including the recent FTX debacle. In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, we revisit the book that launched the analytics revolution.

52:58

24 Nov 22

522. Is Google Getting Worse?

It used to feel like magic. Now it can feel like a set of cheap tricks. Is the problem with Google — or with us?

522. Is Google Getting Worse?

It used to feel like magic. Now it can feel like a set of cheap tricks. Is the problem with Google — or with us?

53:05

17 Nov 22

521. I’m Your Biggest Fan!

It’s fun to obsess over pop stars and racecar drivers — but is fandom making our politics even more toxic?  

521. I’m Your Biggest Fan!

It’s fun to obsess over pop stars and racecar drivers — but is fandom making our politics even more toxic?  

44:18

3 Nov 22

520. The Unintended Consequences of Working from Home

The last two years have radically changed the way we work — producing winners, losers, and a lot of surprises.

520. The Unintended Consequences of Working from Home

The last two years have radically changed the way we work — producing winners, losers, and a lot of surprises.

40:10

27 Oct 22

519. Has Globalization Failed?

It was supposed to boost prosperity and democracy at the same time. What really happened? According to the legal scholar Anthea Roberts, it depends which story you believe.

519. Has Globalization Failed?

It was supposed to boost prosperity and democracy at the same time. What really happened? According to the legal scholar Anthea Roberts, it depends which story you believe.

46:03

20 Oct 22

518. Are Personal Finance Gurus Giving You Bad Advice?

One Yale economist certainly thinks so. But even if he’s right, are economists any better?

518. Are Personal Finance Gurus Giving You Bad Advice?

One Yale economist certainly thinks so. But even if he’s right, are economists any better?

01:01:38

13 Oct 22

517. Are M.B.A.s to Blame for Wage Stagnation?

New research finds that bosses who went to business school pay their workers less. So what are M.B.A. programs teaching — and should they stop? 

517. Are M.B.A.s to Blame for Wage Stagnation?

New research finds that bosses who went to business school pay their workers less. So what are M.B.A. programs teaching — and should they stop? 

47:35

6 Oct 22

516. Nuclear Power Isn’t Perfect. Is It Good Enough?

Liberals endorse harm reduction when it comes to the opioid epidemic. Are they ready to take the same approach to climate change? 

516. Nuclear Power Isn’t Perfect. Is It Good Enough?

Liberals endorse harm reduction when it comes to the opioid epidemic. Are they ready to take the same approach to climate change? 

54:16

22 Sep 22

515. When You Pray to God Online, Who Else Is Listening?

The pandemic moved a lot of religious activity onto the internet. With faith-based apps, Silicon Valley is turning virtual prayers into earthly rewards. Does this mean sharing user data? Dear God, let’s hope not …

515. When You Pray to God Online, Who Else Is Listening?

The pandemic moved a lot of religious activity onto the internet. With faith-based apps, Silicon Valley is turning virtual prayers into earthly rewards. Does this mean sharing user data? Dear God, let’s hope not …

44:32

15 Sep 22

514. Roland Fryer Refuses to Lie to Black America

The controversial Harvard economist, recently back from a suspension, “broke a lot of glass early in my career,” he says. His research on school incentives and police brutality won him acclaim — but also enemies. Now he’s taking a hard look at corporate diversity programs. The common thread in his work? “I refuse to not tell the truth.”

514. Roland Fryer Refuses to Lie to Black America

The controversial Harvard economist, recently back from a suspension, “broke a lot of glass early in my career,” he says. His research on school incentives and police brutality won him acclaim — but also enemies. Now he’s taking a hard look at corporate diversity programs. The common thread in his work? “I refuse to not tell the truth.”

59:54

1 Sep 22

513. Should Public Transit Be Free? (Update)

It boosts economic opportunity and social mobility. It’s good for the environment. So why do we charge people to use it? The short answer: it’s complicated. Also: We talk to the man who gets half the nation’s mass-transit riders where they want to go (most of the time).  SOURCES:Marcus Finbom, traffic planner in Stockholm, Sweden.Robbie Makinen, former president and C.E.O. of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority.Janno Lieber, chair and C.E.O. of the M.T.A. in New York City.Brian Taylor, professor of urban planning and public policy and director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at U.C.L.A.Shashi Verma, director of strategy and C.T.O. at Transport for London.Michelle Wu, mayor of Boston. RESOURCES:"Free Bus Service Starts Sunday on 5 Routes in New York City," by Ana Ley (The New York Times, 2023).“Vehicle Access and Falling Transit Ridership: Evidence From Southern California,” by Michael Manville, Brian D. Taylor, Evelyn Blumenberg, and Andrew Schouten (Transportation, 2023).“Route-28 Fare-Free Pilot Evaluation: Summary Findings,” by the City of Boston Transportation (2022).“Forget Fare Hikes — Make the T Free,” by Michelle Wu (The Boston Globe, 2019).Traffic Power Structure, by Planka.nu (2016)."The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility: Childhood Exposure Effects and County-Level Estimates," by Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren (NBER Working Paper, 2015)."Fare, Free, or Something in Between?" by Jennifer S. Perone and Joel M. Volinski (World Transit Research, 2003).Planka.Nu. EXTRAS:"Why Is the U.S. So Good at Killing Pedestrians?" by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Should Public Transit Be Free?" by Freakonomics Radio (2022).“Should Traffic Lights Be Abolished?” by Freakonomics Radio (2021).“The Perfect Crime,” by Freakonomics Radio (2014).“Parking Is Hell,” by Freakonomics Radio (2013).

513. Should Public Transit Be Free? (Update)

It boosts economic opportunity and social mobility. It’s good for the environment. So why do we charge people to use it? The short answer: it’s complicated. Also: We talk to the man who gets half the nation’s mass-transit riders where they want to go (most of the time).  SOURCES:Marcus Finbom, traffic planner in Stockholm, Sweden.Robbie Makinen, former president and C.E.O. of the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority.Janno Lieber, chair and C.E.O. of the M.T.A. in New York City.Brian Taylor, professor of urban planning and public policy and director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at U.C.L.A.Shashi Verma, director of strategy and C.T.O. at Transport for London.Michelle Wu, mayor of Boston. RESOURCES:"Free Bus Service Starts Sunday on 5 Routes in New York City," by Ana Ley (The New York Times, 2023).“Vehicle Access and Falling Transit Ridership: Evidence From Southern California,” by Michael Manville, Brian D. Taylor, Evelyn Blumenberg, and Andrew Schouten (Transportation, 2023).“Route-28 Fare-Free Pilot Evaluation: Summary Findings,” by the City of Boston Transportation (2022).“Forget Fare Hikes — Make the T Free,” by Michelle Wu (The Boston Globe, 2019).Traffic Power Structure, by Planka.nu (2016)."The Impacts of Neighborhoods on Intergenerational Mobility: Childhood Exposure Effects and County-Level Estimates," by Raj Chetty and Nathaniel Hendren (NBER Working Paper, 2015)."Fare, Free, or Something in Between?" by Jennifer S. Perone and Joel M. Volinski (World Transit Research, 2003).Planka.Nu. EXTRAS:"Why Is the U.S. So Good at Killing Pedestrians?" by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Should Public Transit Be Free?" by Freakonomics Radio (2022).“Should Traffic Lights Be Abolished?” by Freakonomics Radio (2021).“The Perfect Crime,” by Freakonomics Radio (2014).“Parking Is Hell,” by Freakonomics Radio (2013).

56:10

30 Nov 23

513. Should Public Transit Be Free?

It boosts economic opportunity and social mobility. It’s good for the environment. So why do we charge people to use it? The short answer: it’s complicated. 

513. Should Public Transit Be Free?

It boosts economic opportunity and social mobility. It’s good for the environment. So why do we charge people to use it? The short answer: it’s complicated. 

45:32

25 Aug 22

512. Does Philosophy Still Matter?

It used to be at the center of our conversations about politics and society. Scott Hershovitz (author of Nasty, Brutish, and Short) argues that philosophy still has a lot to say about work, justice, and parenthood. Our latest installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club.

512. Does Philosophy Still Matter?

It used to be at the center of our conversations about politics and society. Scott Hershovitz (author of Nasty, Brutish, and Short) argues that philosophy still has a lot to say about work, justice, and parenthood. Our latest installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club.

49:52

28 Jul 22

511. Why Did You Marry That Person?

Sure, you were “in love.” But economists — using evidence from Bridgerton to Tinder — point to what’s called “assortative mating.” And it has some unpleasant consequences for society.

511. Why Did You Marry That Person?

Sure, you were “in love.” But economists — using evidence from Bridgerton to Tinder — point to what’s called “assortative mating.” And it has some unpleasant consequences for society.

46:06

21 Jul 22

510. What Problems Does Crypto Solve, Anyway?

Boosters say blockchain technology will usher in a brave new era of decentralization. Are they right — and would it be a dream or a nightmare? (Part 3 of "What Can Blockchain Do for You?")

510. What Problems Does Crypto Solve, Anyway?

Boosters say blockchain technology will usher in a brave new era of decentralization. Are they right — and would it be a dream or a nightmare? (Part 3 of "What Can Blockchain Do for You?")

52:11

7 Jul 22

509. Are N.F.T.s All Scams?

Some of them are. With others, it’s more complicated (and more promising). We try to get past the Bored Apes and the ripoffs to see if we can find art on the blockchain. (Part 2 of "What Can Blockchain Do for You?")

509. Are N.F.T.s All Scams?

Some of them are. With others, it’s more complicated (and more promising). We try to get past the Bored Apes and the ripoffs to see if we can find art on the blockchain. (Part 2 of "What Can Blockchain Do for You?")

48:04

30 Jun 22

508. Does the Crypto Crash Mean the Blockchain Is Over?

No. But now is a good time to sort out the potential from the hype. Whether you’re bullish, bearish, or just confused, we’re here to explain what the blockchain can do for you. (Part 1 of a series.) 

508. Does the Crypto Crash Mean the Blockchain Is Over?

No. But now is a good time to sort out the potential from the hype. Whether you’re bullish, bearish, or just confused, we’re here to explain what the blockchain can do for you. (Part 1 of a series.) 

49:30

23 Jun 22

507. 103 Pieces of Advice That May or May Not Work

Kevin Kelly calls himself “the most optimistic person in the world.” And he has a lot to say about parenting, travel, A.I., being luckier — and why we should spend way more time on YouTube.

507. 103 Pieces of Advice That May or May Not Work

Kevin Kelly calls himself “the most optimistic person in the world.” And he has a lot to say about parenting, travel, A.I., being luckier — and why we should spend way more time on YouTube.

40:23

16 Jun 22

506. What Is Sportswashing (and Does It Work)?

In ancient Rome, it was bread and circuses. Today, it’s a World Cup, an Olympics, and a new Saudi-backed golf league that’s challenging the P.G.A. Tour. Can a sporting event really repair a country’s reputation — or will it trigger the dreaded Streisand Effect?

506. What Is Sportswashing (and Does It Work)?

In ancient Rome, it was bread and circuses. Today, it’s a World Cup, an Olympics, and a new Saudi-backed golf league that’s challenging the P.G.A. Tour. Can a sporting event really repair a country’s reputation — or will it trigger the dreaded Streisand Effect?

50:16

9 Jun 22

505. Did Domestic Violence Really Spike During the Pandemic?

When the world went into lockdown, experts predicted a rise in intimate-partner assaults. What actually happened was more complicated.

505. Did Domestic Violence Really Spike During the Pandemic?

When the world went into lockdown, experts predicted a rise in intimate-partner assaults. What actually happened was more complicated.

50:59

2 Jun 22

504. Introducing “Off Leash”

In this new podcast from the Freakonomics Radio Network, dog-cognition expert and bestselling author Alexandra Horowitz (Inside of a Dog) takes us inside the scruffy, curious, joyful world of dogs. This is the first episode of Off Leash; you can find more episodes in your podcast app now. 

504. Introducing “Off Leash”

In this new podcast from the Freakonomics Radio Network, dog-cognition expert and bestselling author Alexandra Horowitz (Inside of a Dog) takes us inside the scruffy, curious, joyful world of dogs. This is the first episode of Off Leash; you can find more episodes in your podcast app now. 

38:50

26 May 22

503. What Is the Future of College — and Does It Have Room for Men?

Educators and economists tell us all the reasons college enrollment has been dropping, especially for men, and how to stop the bleeding. (Part 4 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)

503. What Is the Future of College — and Does It Have Room for Men?

Educators and economists tell us all the reasons college enrollment has been dropping, especially for men, and how to stop the bleeding. (Part 4 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)

48:27

19 May 22

502. “I Don’t Think the Country Is Turning Away From College.”

Enrollment is down for the first time in memory, and critics complain college is too expensive, too elitist, and too politicized. The economist Chris Paxson — who happens to be the president of Brown University — does not agree. (Part 3 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)

502. “I Don’t Think the Country Is Turning Away From College.”

Enrollment is down for the first time in memory, and critics complain college is too expensive, too elitist, and too politicized. The economist Chris Paxson — who happens to be the president of Brown University — does not agree. (Part 3 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)

44:27

5 May 22

501. The University of Impossible-to-Get-Into

America’s top colleges are facing record demand. So why don’t they increase supply? (Part 2 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)

501. The University of Impossible-to-Get-Into

America’s top colleges are facing record demand. So why don’t they increase supply? (Part 2 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)

59:06

28 Apr 22

500. What Exactly Is College For?

We think of them as intellectual enclaves and the surest route to a better life. But U.S. colleges also operate like firms, trying to differentiate their products to win market share and prestige points. In the first episode of a special series, we ask what our chaotic system gets right — and wrong. (Part 1 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)

500. What Exactly Is College For?

We think of them as intellectual enclaves and the surest route to a better life. But U.S. colleges also operate like firms, trying to differentiate their products to win market share and prestige points. In the first episode of a special series, we ask what our chaotic system gets right — and wrong. (Part 1 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)

45:44

21 Apr 22

499. Don't Worry, Be Tacky

The British art superstar Flora Yukhnovich, the Freakonomist Steve Levitt, and the upstart American Basketball Association were all unafraid to follow their joy — despite sneers from the Establishment. Should we all be more willing to embrace the déclassé?

499. Don't Worry, Be Tacky

The British art superstar Flora Yukhnovich, the Freakonomist Steve Levitt, and the upstart American Basketball Association were all unafraid to follow their joy — despite sneers from the Establishment. Should we all be more willing to embrace the déclassé?

37:37

7 Apr 22

498. In the 1890s, the Best-Selling Car Was … Electric

After a huge false start, electric cars are finally about to flourish. We speak with a technology historian about this all-too-common story, and what it means for innovation everywhere.

498. In the 1890s, the Best-Selling Car Was … Electric

After a huge false start, electric cars are finally about to flourish. We speak with a technology historian about this all-too-common story, and what it means for innovation everywhere.

43:17

31 Mar 22

497. Can the Big Bad Wolf Save Your Life?

Every year, there are more than a million collisions in the U.S. between drivers and deer. The result: hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and billions in damages. Enter the wolf …

497. Can the Big Bad Wolf Save Your Life?

Every year, there are more than a million collisions in the U.S. between drivers and deer. The result: hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and billions in damages. Enter the wolf …

46:40

24 Mar 22

496. Do Unions Still Work?

Organized labor hasn’t had this much public support in 50 years, and yet the percentage of Americans in a union is near a record low. A.F.L-C.I.O. president Liz Shuler tries to explain this gap — and persuade Stephen Dubner that “the folks who brought you the weekend” still have the leverage to fix a broken economy.

496. Do Unions Still Work?

Organized labor hasn’t had this much public support in 50 years, and yet the percentage of Americans in a union is near a record low. A.F.L-C.I.O. president Liz Shuler tries to explain this gap — and persuade Stephen Dubner that “the folks who brought you the weekend” still have the leverage to fix a broken economy.

51:32

10 Mar 22

495. Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses?

People who are good at their jobs routinely get promoted into bigger jobs they’re bad at. We explain why firms keep producing incompetent managers — and why that’s unlikely to change. 

495. Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses?

People who are good at their jobs routinely get promoted into bigger jobs they’re bad at. We explain why firms keep producing incompetent managers — and why that’s unlikely to change. 

48:34

3 Mar 22

494. Why Do Most Ideas Fail to Scale?

In a new book called The Voltage Effect, the economist John List — who has already revolutionized how his profession does research — is trying to start a scaling revolution. In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, List teaches us how to avoid false positives, how to know whether a given success is due to the chef or the ingredients, and how to practice “optimal quitting.”  

494. Why Do Most Ideas Fail to Scale?

In a new book called The Voltage Effect, the economist John List — who has already revolutionized how his profession does research — is trying to start a scaling revolution. In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, List teaches us how to avoid false positives, how to know whether a given success is due to the chef or the ingredients, and how to practice “optimal quitting.”  

48:54

24 Feb 22

493. Why Does the Most Monotonous Job in the World Pay $1 Million?

Adam Smith famously argued that specialization is the key to prosperity. In the N.F.L., the long snapper is proof of that argument. Just in time for the Super Bowl, here’s everything there is to know about a job that didn’t used to exist.

493. Why Does the Most Monotonous Job in the World Pay $1 Million?

Adam Smith famously argued that specialization is the key to prosperity. In the N.F.L., the long snapper is proof of that argument. Just in time for the Super Bowl, here’s everything there is to know about a job that didn’t used to exist.

50:48

10 Feb 22

492. How Did a Hayfield Become One of America’s Hottest Cities?

Frisco used to be just another sleepy bedroom community outside of Dallas. Now it’s got corporate headquarters, billions of investment dollars, and a bunch of Democrats in a place that used to be deep red. Is Frisco nothing more than a suburb on steroids — or is it the future of the American city?

492. How Did a Hayfield Become One of America’s Hottest Cities?

Frisco used to be just another sleepy bedroom community outside of Dallas. Now it’s got corporate headquarters, billions of investment dollars, and a bunch of Democrats in a place that used to be deep red. Is Frisco nothing more than a suburb on steroids — or is it the future of the American city?

39:19

27 Jan 22

491. Why Is Everyone Moving to Dallas?

When Stephen Dubner learned that Dallas–Fort Worth will soon overtake Chicago as the third-biggest metro area in the U.S., he got on a plane to find out why. Despite getting stood up by the mayor, nearly drowning on a highway, and eating way too much barbecue, he came away impressed. (Part 1 of 2 — because even podcasts are bigger in Texas.)

491. Why Is Everyone Moving to Dallas?

When Stephen Dubner learned that Dallas–Fort Worth will soon overtake Chicago as the third-biggest metro area in the U.S., he got on a plane to find out why. Despite getting stood up by the mayor, nearly drowning on a highway, and eating way too much barbecue, he came away impressed. (Part 1 of 2 — because even podcasts are bigger in Texas.)

48:27

20 Jan 22

490. What Do Broken-Hearted Knitters, Urinating Goalkeepers, and the C.I.A. Have in Common?

Curses and other superstitions may have no basis in reality, but that doesn’t stop us from believing. 

490. What Do Broken-Hearted Knitters, Urinating Goalkeepers, and the C.I.A. Have in Common?

Curses and other superstitions may have no basis in reality, but that doesn’t stop us from believing. 

47:01

13 Jan 22

489. Is “Toxic Positivity” a Thing?

 In this special episode of No Stupid Questions, Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth discuss the consequences of seeing every glass as at least half-full. 

489. Is “Toxic Positivity” a Thing?

 In this special episode of No Stupid Questions, Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth discuss the consequences of seeing every glass as at least half-full. 

36:19

6 Jan 22

488. Does Death Have to Be a Death Sentence?

In this special episode of People I (Mostly) Admire, Steve Levitt speaks with the palliative physician B.J. Miller about modern medicine’s goal of “protecting a pulse at all costs.” Is there a better, even beautiful way to think about death and dying?

488. Does Death Have to Be a Death Sentence?

In this special episode of People I (Mostly) Admire, Steve Levitt speaks with the palliative physician B.J. Miller about modern medicine’s goal of “protecting a pulse at all costs.” Is there a better, even beautiful way to think about death and dying?

53:58

30 Dec 21

487. Is It Okay to Have a Party Yet?

In this special episode of Freakonomics, M.D., host Bapu Jena looks at data from birthday parties, March Madness parties, and a Freakonomics Radio holiday party to help us all manage our risk of Covid-19 exposure.

487. Is It Okay to Have a Party Yet?

In this special episode of Freakonomics, M.D., host Bapu Jena looks at data from birthday parties, March Madness parties, and a Freakonomics Radio holiday party to help us all manage our risk of Covid-19 exposure.

31:11

23 Dec 21

486. “The Art Market Is in Massive Disruption.”

Is art really meant to be an “asset class”? Will the digital revolution finally democratize a market that just keeps getting more elitist? And what will happen to the last painting Alice Neel ever made? (Part 3 of “The Hidden Side of the Art Market.”)

486. “The Art Market Is in Massive Disruption.”

Is art really meant to be an “asset class”? Will the digital revolution finally democratize a market that just keeps getting more elitist? And what will happen to the last painting Alice Neel ever made? (Part 3 of “The Hidden Side of the Art Market.”)

42:21

16 Dec 21

485. “I’ve Been Working My Ass Off for You to Make that Profit?”

The more successful an artist is, the more likely their work will later be resold at auction for a huge markup — and they receive nothing. Should that change? Also: why doesn’t contemporary art impact society the way music and film do? (Part 2 of “The Hidden Side of the Art Market.”)

485. “I’ve Been Working My Ass Off for You to Make that Profit?”

The more successful an artist is, the more likely their work will later be resold at auction for a huge markup — and they receive nothing. Should that change? Also: why doesn’t contemporary art impact society the way music and film do? (Part 2 of “The Hidden Side of the Art Market.”)

46:24

9 Dec 21

484. “A Fascinating, Sexy, Intellectually Compelling, Unregulated Global Market.”

The art market is so opaque and illiquid that it barely functions like a market at all. A handful of big names get all the headlines (and most of the dollars). Beneath the surface is a tangled web of dealers, curators, auction houses, speculators — and, of course, artists. In the first episode of a three-part series, we meet the key players and learn how an obscure, long-dead American painter suddenly became a superstar. (Part 1 of “The Hidden Side of the Art Market.”)

484. “A Fascinating, Sexy, Intellectually Compelling, Unregulated Global Market.”

The art market is so opaque and illiquid that it barely functions like a market at all. A handful of big names get all the headlines (and most of the dollars). Beneath the surface is a tangled web of dealers, curators, auction houses, speculators — and, of course, artists. In the first episode of a three-part series, we meet the key players and learn how an obscure, long-dead American painter suddenly became a superstar. (Part 1 of “The Hidden Side of the Art Market.”)

52:42

2 Dec 21

483. What’s Wrong With Shortcuts?

You know the saying: “There are no shortcuts in life.” What if that saying is just wrong? In his new book Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut in Math and Life, the mathematician Marcus du Sautoy argues that shortcuts can be applied to practically anything: music, psychotherapy, even politics. Our latest installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club.

483. What’s Wrong With Shortcuts?

You know the saying: “There are no shortcuts in life.” What if that saying is just wrong? In his new book Thinking Better: The Art of the Shortcut in Math and Life, the mathematician Marcus du Sautoy argues that shortcuts can be applied to practically anything: music, psychotherapy, even politics. Our latest installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club.

43:20

18 Nov 21

482. Is Venture Capital the Secret Sauce of the American Economy?

The U.S. is home to seven of the world’s 10 biggest companies. How did that happen? The answer may come down to two little letters: V.C. Is venture capital good for society, or does it just help the rich get richer? Stephen Dubner invests the time to find out.

482. Is Venture Capital the Secret Sauce of the American Economy?

The U.S. is home to seven of the world’s 10 biggest companies. How did that happen? The answer may come down to two little letters: V.C. Is venture capital good for society, or does it just help the rich get richer? Stephen Dubner invests the time to find out.

45:35

11 Nov 21

481. Is the U.S. Really Less Corrupt Than China?

A new book by an unorthodox political scientist argues that the two rivals have more in common than we’d like to admit. It’s just that most American corruption is essentially legal.

481. Is the U.S. Really Less Corrupt Than China?

A new book by an unorthodox political scientist argues that the two rivals have more in common than we’d like to admit. It’s just that most American corruption is essentially legal.

55:44

4 Nov 21

480. How Much Does Discrimination Hurt the Economy? (Replay)

Evidence from Nazi Germany and 1940’s America (and pretty much everywhere else) shows that discrimination is incredibly costly — to the victims, of course, but also the perpetrators. One modern solution is to invoke a diversity mandate. But new research shows that’s not necessarily the answer. RESOURCES:"Discrimination, Managers, and Firm Performance: Evidence from 'Aryanizations' in Nazi Germany," by Kilian Huber, Volker Lindenthal, and Fabian Waldinger (Journal of Political Economy, 2021)."Diversity and Performance in Entrepreneurial Teams," by Sophie Calder-Wang, Paul A. Gompers, and Kevin Huang (SSRN, 2021)."Systemic Discrimination Among Large U.S. Employers," by Patrick M. Kline, Evan K. Rose, and Christopher R. Walters (NBER Working Papers, 2021).City of Champions: A History of Triumph and Defeat in Detroit, by Silke-Maria Weineck and Stefan Szymanski (2020)."The Allocation of Talent and U.S. Economic Growth," by Chang-Tai Hsieh, Erik Hurst, Charles I. Jones, and Peter J. Klenow (Econometrica, 2019).Genius & Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World, 1847-1947, by Norman Lebrecht (2019)."And the Children Shall Lead: Gender Diversity and Performance in Venture Capital," by Paul A. Gompers and Sophie Q. Wang (NBER Working Papers, 2017)."The Political Economy of Hatred," by Edward Glaeser (The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2005)."Statistical Theories of Discrimination in Labor Markets," by Dennis J. Aigner and Glen G. Cain (Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 1977).The Economics of Discrimination, by Gary S. Becker (1957).EXTRAS:"A New Nobel Laureate Explains the Gender Pay Gap (Replay)," by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Edward Glaeser Explains Why Some Cities Thrive While Others Fade Away," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."What Are the Secrets of the German Economy — and Should We Steal Them?" by Freakonomics Radio (2017).SOURCES:Kilian Huber, professor of economics at the University of Chicago.Silke-Maria Weineck, professor of German studies and comparative literature at the University of Michigan.Sophie Calder-Wang, professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

480. How Much Does Discrimination Hurt the Economy? (Replay)

Evidence from Nazi Germany and 1940’s America (and pretty much everywhere else) shows that discrimination is incredibly costly — to the victims, of course, but also the perpetrators. One modern solution is to invoke a diversity mandate. But new research shows that’s not necessarily the answer. RESOURCES:"Discrimination, Managers, and Firm Performance: Evidence from 'Aryanizations' in Nazi Germany," by Kilian Huber, Volker Lindenthal, and Fabian Waldinger (Journal of Political Economy, 2021)."Diversity and Performance in Entrepreneurial Teams," by Sophie Calder-Wang, Paul A. Gompers, and Kevin Huang (SSRN, 2021)."Systemic Discrimination Among Large U.S. Employers," by Patrick M. Kline, Evan K. Rose, and Christopher R. Walters (NBER Working Papers, 2021).City of Champions: A History of Triumph and Defeat in Detroit, by Silke-Maria Weineck and Stefan Szymanski (2020)."The Allocation of Talent and U.S. Economic Growth," by Chang-Tai Hsieh, Erik Hurst, Charles I. Jones, and Peter J. Klenow (Econometrica, 2019).Genius & Anxiety: How Jews Changed the World, 1847-1947, by Norman Lebrecht (2019)."And the Children Shall Lead: Gender Diversity and Performance in Venture Capital," by Paul A. Gompers and Sophie Q. Wang (NBER Working Papers, 2017)."The Political Economy of Hatred," by Edward Glaeser (The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2005)."Statistical Theories of Discrimination in Labor Markets," by Dennis J. Aigner and Glen G. Cain (Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 1977).The Economics of Discrimination, by Gary S. Becker (1957).EXTRAS:"A New Nobel Laureate Explains the Gender Pay Gap (Replay)," by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."Edward Glaeser Explains Why Some Cities Thrive While Others Fade Away," by People I (Mostly) Admire (2021)."What Are the Secrets of the German Economy — and Should We Steal Them?" by Freakonomics Radio (2017).SOURCES:Kilian Huber, professor of economics at the University of Chicago.Silke-Maria Weineck, professor of German studies and comparative literature at the University of Michigan.Sophie Calder-Wang, professor of economics at the University of Pennsylvania.

57:50

9 Nov 23

480. How Much Does Discrimination Hurt the Economy?

Evidence from Nazi Germany and 1940’s America (and pretty much everywhere else) shows that discrimination is incredibly costly — to the victims, of course, but also the perpetrators. One modern solution is to invoke a diversity mandate. But new research shows that’s not necessarily the answer.

480. How Much Does Discrimination Hurt the Economy?

Evidence from Nazi Germany and 1940’s America (and pretty much everywhere else) shows that discrimination is incredibly costly — to the victims, of course, but also the perpetrators. One modern solution is to invoke a diversity mandate. But new research shows that’s not necessarily the answer.

53:19

28 Oct 21

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