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Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Radio
Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher

Freakonomics co-author Stephen J. Dubner uncovers the hidden side of everything. Why is it safer to fly in an airplane than drive... more

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Episodes

Extra: Mr. Feynman Takes a Trip — But Doesn’t Fall

A wide-open conversation with three women who guided Richard Feynman through some big adventures at the Esalen Institute. (Part of... more

19 Feb 2024 · 47 minutes
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... more

15 Feb 2024 · 1 hour, 1 minute
The Brilliant Mr. Feynman

What happens when an existentially depressed and recently widowed young physicist from Queens gets a fresh start in California? We... more

08 Feb 2024 · 52 minutes
How the San Francisco 49ers Stopped Being Losers (Update)

They’re heading to the Super Bowl for the second time in five years. But back in 2018, they were coming... more

05 Feb 2024 · 1 hour, 3 minutes
The Curious Mr. Feynman

From the Manhattan Project to the Challenger investigation, the physicist Richard Feynman loved to shoot down what he called “lousy... more

01 Feb 2024 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
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... more

25 Jan 2024 · 46 minutes
5 Psychology Terms You’re Probably Misusing (Replay)

We all like to throw around terms that describe human behavior — “bystander apathy” and “steep learning curve” and “hard-wired.”... more

22 Jan 2024 · 49 minutes
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... more

18 Jan 2024 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
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... more

11 Jan 2024 · 1 hour, 14 minutes
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... more

04 Jan 2024 · 49 minutes
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:... more

28 Dec 2023 · 46 minutes
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... more

21 Dec 2023 · 39 minutes
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... more

14 Dec 2023 · 1 hour,
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... more

07 Dec 2023 · 47 minutes
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... more

30 Nov 2023 · 56 minutes
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... more

23 Nov 2023 · 54 minutes
Extra: Jason Kelce Hates to Lose

Pro footballer and star podcaster Jason Kelce is ubiquitous right now (almost as ubiquitous as his brother and co-host Travis,... more

19 Nov 2023 · 56 minutes
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... more

16 Nov 2023 · 51 minutes
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... more

09 Nov 2023 · 57 minutes
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... more

02 Nov 2023 · 52 minutes
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... more

26 Oct 2023 · 1 hour, 3 minutes
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... more

19 Oct 2023 · 54 minutes
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... more

12 Oct 2023 · 55 minutes
232. A New Nobel Laureate Explains the Gender Pay Gap (Replay)

Claudia Goldin is the newest winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. We spoke with her in 2016 about why... more

10 Oct 2023 · 44 minutes
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.... more

05 Oct 2023 · 40 minutes
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... more

28 Sep 2023 · 50 minutes
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:... more

21 Sep 2023 · 1 hour, 4 minutes
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... more

14 Sep 2023 · 1 hour,
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... more

07 Sep 2023 · 48 minutes
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... more

31 Aug 2023 · 47 minutes
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... more

24 Aug 2023 · 48 minutes
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... more

17 Aug 2023 · 56 minutes
Should Traffic Lights Be Abolished? (Ep. 454 Replay)

Americans are so accustomed to the standard intersection that we rarely consider how dangerous it can be — as well... more

10 Aug 2023 · 46 minutes
Extra: A Modern Whaler Speaks Up

Bjorn Andersen killed 111 minke whales this season. He tells us how he does it, why he does it, and... more

06 Aug 2023 · 26 minutes
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.

03 Aug 2023 · 47 minutes
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... more

27 Jul 2023 · 47 minutes
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... more

20 Jul 2023 · 37 minutes
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... more

13 Jul 2023 · 43 minutes
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?

06 Jul 2023 · 44 minutes
Why Did You Marry That Person? (Ep. 511 Replay)

Sure, you were “in love.” But economists — using evidence from "Bridgerton" to Tinder — point to what’s called “assortative... more

29 Jun 2023 · 47 minutes
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... more

22 Jun 2023 · 36 minutes
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... more

15 Jun 2023 · 54 minutes
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... more

08 Jun 2023 · 44 minutes
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... more

01 Jun 2023 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
Make Me a Match (Ep. 209 Update)

Sure, markets work well in general. But for some transactions — like school admissions and organ transplants — money alone... more

25 May 2023 · 1 hour, 8 minutes
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... more

18 May 2023 · 51 minutes
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... more

11 May 2023 · 52 minutes
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... more

04 May 2023 · 53 minutes
Why Your Projects Are Always Late — and What to Do About It (Ep. 323 Replay)

Whether it’s a giant infrastructure plan or a humble kitchen renovation, it’ll inevitably take way too long and cost way... more

27 Apr 2023 · 42 minutes
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... more

20 Apr 2023 · 45 minutes
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... more

13 Apr 2023 · 46 minutes
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.... more

06 Apr 2023 · 47 minutes
How to Hate Taxes a Little Bit Less (Ep. 400 Replay)

Every year, Americans short the I.R.S. nearly half a trillion dollars. Most ideas to increase compliance are more stick than... more

30 Mar 2023 · 43 minutes
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... more

23 Mar 2023 · 52 minutes
Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses? (Ep. 495 Replay)

People who are good at their jobs routinely get promoted into bigger jobs they’re bad at. We explain why firms... more

16 Mar 2023 · 49 minutes
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,... more

09 Mar 2023 · 58 minutes
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... more

02 Mar 2023 · 56 minutes
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... more

23 Feb 2023 · 58 minutes
Why Does the Most Monotonous Job in the World Pay $1 Million? (Ep. 493 Update)

Adam Smith famously argued that specialization is the key to prosperity. In the N.F.L., the long snapper is proof of... more

16 Feb 2023 · 53 minutes
The Economics of Everyday Things: Used Hotel Soaps

Hotel guests adore those cute little soaps, but is it just a one-night stand? In our fourth episode of "The... more

13 Feb 2023 · 16 minutes
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... more

09 Feb 2023 · 50 minutes
The Economics of Everyday Things: “My Sharona”

Can a hit single from four decades ago still pay the bills? Zachary Crockett f-f-f-finds out in the third episode... more

06 Feb 2023 · 18 minutes
Is Economic Growth the Wrong Goal? (Ep. 429 Update)

The economist Kate Raworth says the aggressive pursuit of G.D.P. is trashing the planet and shortchanging too many people. She... more

02 Feb 2023 · 41 minutes
The Economics of Everyday Things: Girl Scout Cookies

How does America's cutest sales force get billions of Thin Mints, Samoas, and Tagalongs into our hands every year? Zachary... more

30 Jan 2023 · 14 minutes
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... more

26 Jan 2023 · 46 minutes
Introducing “The Economics of Everyday Things”

A new podcast hosted by Zachary Crockett. In the first episode: Gas stations. When gas prices skyrocket, do station owners... more

23 Jan 2023 · 15 minutes
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... more

19 Jan 2023 · 42 minutes
Extra: Samin Nosrat Always Wanted to Be Famous

And with her book "Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat," she succeeded. Now she's not so sure how to feel about all... more

16 Jan 2023 · 39 minutes
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?

12 Jan 2023 · 49 minutes
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... more

05 Jan 2023 · 46 minutes
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... more

29 Dec 2022 · 51 minutes
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... more

22 Dec 2022 · 48 minutes
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... more

15 Dec 2022 · 1 hour, 9 minutes
Freakonomics Radio Needs Your Help

A sneak peek at an upcoming series — and a call for would-be radio reporters.

12 Dec 2022 · 5 minutes
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... more

08 Dec 2022 · 46 minutes
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... more

01 Dec 2022 · 31 minutes
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... more

24 Nov 2022 · 52 minutes
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... more

17 Nov 2022 · 53 minutes
The Most Interesting Fruit in the World (Ep. 375 Update)

The banana, once a luxury good, rose to become America’s favorite fruit. Now a deadly fungus threatens to wipe it... more

10 Nov 2022 · 39 minutes
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?

03 Nov 2022 · 44 minutes
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.

27 Oct 2022 · 40 minutes
519. Has Globalization Failed?

It was supposed to boost prosperity and democracy at the same time. What really happened? According to the legal scholar... more

20 Oct 2022 · 46 minutes
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?

13 Oct 2022 · 1 hour, 1 minute
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... more

06 Oct 2022 · 47 minutes
Please Get Your Noise Out of My Ears (Ep. 439 Update)

The pandemic provided city dwellers with a break from the din of the modern world. Now the noise is coming... more

29 Sep 2022 · 51 minutes
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... more

22 Sep 2022 · 54 minutes
Extra: Ken Burns | People I (Mostly) Admire

The documentary filmmaker, known for "The Civil War," "Jazz," and "Baseball," turns his attention to the Holocaust, and asks what... more

19 Sep 2022 · 46 minutes
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... more

15 Sep 2022 · 44 minutes
This Is Your Brain on Pollution (Ep. 472 Update)

As the Biden administration rushes to address climate change, Stephen Dubner looks at another, hidden cost of air pollution —... more

08 Sep 2022 · 48 minutes
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.... more

01 Sep 2022 · 59 minutes
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... more

25 Aug 2022 · 45 minutes
Why Is U.S. Media So Negative? (Ep. 477 Replay)

Breaking news! Sources say American journalism exploits our negativity bias to maximize profits, and social media algorithms add fuel to... more

18 Aug 2022 · 47 minutes
The Pros and Cons of America’s (Extreme) Individualism (Ep. 470 Replay)

According to a decades-long research project, the U.S. is not only the most individualistic country on earth; we’re also high... more

11 Aug 2022 · 48 minutes
The U.S. Is Just Different — So Let’s Stop Pretending We’re Not (Ep. 469 Replay)

We often look to other countries for smart policies on education, healthcare, infrastructure, etc. But can a smart policy be... more

04 Aug 2022 · 51 minutes
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,... more

28 Jul 2022 · 49 minutes
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... more

21 Jul 2022 · 46 minutes
The Economist’s Guide to Parenting: 10 Years Later (Ep. 479 Replay)

In one of the earliest Freakonomics Radio episodes, we asked a bunch of economists with young kids how they approached... more

14 Jul 2022 · 51 minutes
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... more

07 Jul 2022 · 52 minutes
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... more

30 Jun 2022 · 48 minutes
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... more

23 Jun 2022 · 49 minutes
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,... more

16 Jun 2022 · 40 minutes
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... more

09 Jun 2022 · 50 minutes
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.

02 Jun 2022 · 50 minutes
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)... more

26 May 2022 · 38 minutes
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... more

19 May 2022 · 48 minutes
Abortion and Crime, Revisited (Ep. 384 Update)

As the Supreme Court considers overturning Roe v. Wade, we look back at Steve Levitt’s controversial research on an unintended... more

12 May 2022 · 58 minutes
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... more

05 May 2022 · 44 minutes
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... more

28 Apr 2022 · 59 minutes
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... more

21 Apr 2022 · 45 minutes
Is the U.S. Really Less Corrupt Than China — and How About Russia? (Ep. 481 Update)

The political scientist Yuen Yuen Ang argues that different forms of government create different styles of corruption. The U.S. and... more

14 Apr 2022 · 1 hour, 7 minutes
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... more

07 Apr 2022 · 37 minutes
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... more

31 Mar 2022 · 43 minutes
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... more

24 Mar 2022 · 46 minutes
How to Change Your Mind (Ep. 379 Update)

There are a lot of barriers to changing your mind: ego, overconfidence, inertia — and cost. Politicians who flip-flop get... more

17 Mar 2022 · 47 minutes
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... more

10 Mar 2022 · 51 minutes
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... more

03 Mar 2022 · 48 minutes
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... more

24 Feb 2022 · 48 minutes
Why Does the Richest Country in the World Have So Many Poor Kids? (Ep. 475 Update)

Among O.E.C.D. nations, the U.S. has one of the highest rates of child poverty. Until recently, it looked as if... more

17 Feb 2022 · 53 minutes
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... more

10 Feb 2022 · 50 minutes
Are You Ready for a Fresh Start? (Ep. 455 Replay)

Behavioral scientists have been exploring if — and when — a psychological reset can lead to lasting change. We survey... more

03 Feb 2022 · 44 minutes
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... more

27 Jan 2022 · 39 minutes
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... more

20 Jan 2022 · 48 minutes
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.

13 Jan 2022 · 47 minutes
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... more

06 Jan 2022 · 36 minutes
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... more

30 Dec 2021 · 53 minutes
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... more

23 Dec 2021 · 31 minutes
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... more

16 Dec 2021 · 42 minutes
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... more

09 Dec 2021 · 46 minutes
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... more

02 Dec 2021 · 52 minutes
How Do You Cure a Compassion Crisis? (Ep. 444 Replay)

Patients in the U.S. healthcare system often feel they’re treated with a lack of empathy. Doctors and nurses have tragically... more

25 Nov 2021 · 51 minutes
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... more

18 Nov 2021 · 43 minutes
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... more

11 Nov 2021 · 45 minutes
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... more

04 Nov 2021 · 55 minutes
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... more

28 Oct 2021 · 53 minutes
479. The Economist’s Guide to Parenting: 10 Years Later

In one of the earliest Freakonomics Radio episodes (No. 39!), we asked a bunch of economists with young kids how... more

21 Oct 2021 · 51 minutes
478. How Can We Break Our Addiction to Contempt?

Arthur Brooks is an economist who for 10 years ran the American Enterprise Institute, one of the most influential conservative... more

14 Oct 2021 · 42 minutes
477. Why Is U.S. Media So Negative?

Breaking news! Sources say American journalism exploits our negativity bias to maximize profits, and social media algorithms add fuel to... more

07 Oct 2021 · 47 minutes
That’s a Great Question! (Ep. 192 Rebroadcast)

Verbal tic or strategic rejoinder? Whatever the case: it’s rare to come across an interview these days where at least... more

30 Sep 2021 · 19 minutes
“This Didn't End the Way It’s Supposed to End.” (Bonus)

The N.B.A. superstar Chris Bosh was still competing at the highest level when a blood clot abruptly ended his career.... more

27 Sep 2021 · 32 minutes
476. What Are the Police for, Anyway?

The U.S. is an outlier when it comes to policing, as evidenced by more than 1,000 fatal shootings by police... more

23 Sep 2021 · 45 minutes
475. Why Does the Richest Country in the World Have So Many Poor Kids?

Among O.E.C.D. nations, the U.S. has one of the highest rates of child poverty. How can that be? To find... more

16 Sep 2021 · 48 minutes
474. All You Need Is Nudge

When Richard Thaler published Nudge in 2008 (with co-author Cass Sunstein), the world was just starting to believe in his... more

09 Sep 2021 · 58 minutes
Is There Really a “Loneliness Epidemic”? (Ep. 407 Rebroadcast)

That’s what some health officials are saying, but the data aren’t so clear. We look into what’s known (and not... more

02 Sep 2021 · 35 minutes
473. These Jobs Were Not Posted on ZipRecruiter

In a conversation fresh from the Freakonomics Radio Network’s podcast laboratory, Michèle Flournoy (one of the highest-ranking women in Defense... more

26 Aug 2021 · 47 minutes
Reasons to Be Cheerful (Ep. 417 Rebroadcast)

Humans have a built-in “negativity bias,” which means we give bad news much more power than good. Would the Covid-19... more

19 Aug 2021 · 52 minutes
472. This Is Your Brain on Pollution

Air pollution is estimated to cause 7 million deaths a year and cost the global economy nearly $3 trillion. But... more

12 Aug 2021 · 46 minutes
471. Mayor Pete and Elaine Chao Hit the Road

While other countries seem to build spectacular bridges, dams, and even entire cities with ease, the U.S. is stuck in... more

05 Aug 2021 · 49 minutes
Two (Totally Opposite) Ways to Save the Planet (Ep. 346 Rebroadcast)

The environmentalists say we’re doomed if we don’t drastically reduce consumption. The technologists say that human ingenuity can solve just... more

29 Jul 2021 · 53 minutes
470. The Pros and Cons of America’s (Extreme) Individualism

According to a decades-long research project, the U.S. is not only the most individualistic country on earth; we’re also high... more

22 Jul 2021 · 47 minutes
469. The U.S. Is Just Different — So Let’s Stop Pretending We’re Not

We often look to other countries for smart policies on education, healthcare, infrastructure, etc. But can a smart policy be... more

15 Jul 2021 · 50 minutes
468. Nap Time for Everyone!

The benefits of sleep are by now well established, and yet many people don’t get enough. A new study suggests... more

08 Jul 2021 · 36 minutes
How Stupid Is Our Obsession With Lawns? (Ep. 289 Rebroadcast)

Nearly two percent of America is grassy green. Sure, lawns are beautiful and useful and they smell great. But are... more

01 Jul 2021 · 27 minutes
467. Is the Future of Farming in the Ocean?

Bren Smith, who grew up fishing and fighting, is now part of a movement that seeks to feed the planet... more

24 Jun 2021 · 42 minutes
466. She’s From the Government, and She’s Here to Help

Cecilia Rouse, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, is as cold-blooded as any economist. But she... more

17 Jun 2021 · 45 minutes
465. Introducing a New “Freakonomics of Medicine” Podcast

Bapu Jena was already a double threat: a doctor who’s also an economist. Now he’s a podcast host too. In... more

10 Jun 2021 · 23 minutes
464. Will Work-from-Home Work Forever?

The pandemic may be winding down, but that doesn’t mean we’ll return to full-time commuting and packed office buildings. The... more

03 Jun 2021 · 48 minutes
463. How to Get Anyone to Do Anything

The social psychologist Robert Cialdini is a pioneer in the science of persuasion. His 1984 book Influence is a classic,... more

27 May 2021 · 58 minutes
These Shoes Are Killing Me! (Ep. 296 Rebroadcast)

The human foot is an evolutionary masterpiece, far more functional than we give it credit for. So why do we... more

20 May 2021 · 39 minutes
462. The Future of New York City Is in Question. Could Andrew Yang Be the Answer?

The man who wants America to “think harder” has parlayed his quixotic presidential campaign into front-runner status in New York’s... more

13 May 2021 · 42 minutes
461. How to Stop Worrying and Love the Robot Apocalypse

It’s true that robots (and other smart technologies) will kill many jobs. It may also be true that newer collaborative... more

06 May 2021 · 48 minutes
460. The True Story of the Minimum-Wage Fight

Backers of a $15 federal wage say it’s a no-brainer if you want to fight poverty. Critics say it’s a... more

29 Apr 2021 · 44 minutes
459. Let’s Be Blunt: Marijuana Is a Boon for Older Workers

The state-by-state rollout of legalized weed has given economists a perfect natural experiment to measure its effects. Here’s what we... more

22 Apr 2021 · 35 minutes
458. How to Manage Your Goal Hierarchy

In this special crossover episode, People I (Mostly) Admire host Steve Levitt admits to No Stupid Questions co-host Angela Duckworth... more

15 Apr 2021 · 51 minutes
457. Is Dialysis a Test Case of Medicare for All?

Kidney failure is such a catastrophic (and expensive) disease that Medicare covers treatment for anyone, regardless of age. Since Medicare... more

08 Apr 2021 · 53 minutes
456. How to Fix the Hot Mess of U.S. Healthcare

Medicine has evolved from a calling into an industry, adept at dispensing procedures and pills (and gigantic bills), but less... more

01 Apr 2021 · 49 minutes
Policymaking Is Not a Science (Yet) (Ep. 405 Rebroadcast)

Why do so many promising solutions — in education, medicine, criminal justice, etc. — fail to scale up into great... more

25 Mar 2021 · 46 minutes
How Does New York City Keep Reinventing Itself? (Bonus)

In a word: networks. Once it embraced information as its main currency, New York was able to climb out of... more

21 Mar 2021 · 52 minutes
455. Are You Ready for a Fresh Start?

Behavioral scientists have been exploring if — and when — a psychological reset can lead to lasting change. We survey... more

18 Mar 2021 · 42 minutes
454. Should Traffic Lights Be Abolished?

Americans are so accustomed to the standard intersection that we rarely consider how dangerous it can be — as well... more

11 Mar 2021 · 44 minutes
453. A Rescue Plan for Black America

New York Times columnist Charles Blow argues that white supremacy in America will never fully recede, and that it’s time... more

04 Mar 2021 · 56 minutes
Am I Boring You? (Ep. 225 Rebroadcast)

Researchers are trying to figure out who gets bored — and why — and what it means for ourselves and... more

25 Feb 2021 · 39 minutes
452. Jeff Immelt Knows He Let You Down

Not so long ago, G.E. was the most valuable company in the world, a conglomerate that included everything from light... more

18 Feb 2021 · 45 minutes
451. Can I Ask You a Ridiculously Personal Question?

Most of us are are afraid to ask sensitive questions about money, sex, politics, etc. New research shows this fear... more

11 Feb 2021 · 42 minutes
450. How to Be Better at Death

Caitlin Doughty is a mortician who would like to put herself out of business. Our corporate funeral industry, she argues,... more

04 Feb 2021 · 57 minutes
449. How to Fix the Incentives in Cancer Research

For all the progress made in fighting cancer, it still kills 10 million people a year, and some types remain... more

28 Jan 2021 · 44 minutes
448. The Downside of Disgust

It’s a powerful biological response that has preserved our species for millennia. But now it may be keeping us from... more

21 Jan 2021 · 45 minutes
447. How Much Do We Really Care About Children?

They can’t vote or hire lobbyists. The policies we create to help them aren’t always so helpful. Consider the car... more

14 Jan 2021 · 47 minutes
446. “We Get All Our Great Stuff from Europe — Including Witch Hunting.”

We’ve collected some of our favorite moments from People I (Mostly) Admire, the latest show from the Freakonomics Radio Network.... more

07 Jan 2021 · 40 minutes
Trust Me (Ep. 266 Rebroadcast)

Societies where people trust one another are healthier and wealthier. In the U.S. (and the U.K. and elsewhere), social trust... more

31 Dec 2020 · 30 minutes
445. Why Do We Seek Comfort in the Familiar?

In this episode of No Stupid Questions — a Freakonomics Radio Network show launched earlier this year — Stephen Dubner... more

24 Dec 2020 · 36 minutes
444. How Do You Cure a Compassion Crisis?

Patients in the U.S. healthcare system often feel they’re treated with a lack of empathy. Doctors and nurses have tragically... more

17 Dec 2020 · 48 minutes
443. A Sneak Peek at Biden’s Top Economist

The incoming president argues that the economy and the environment are deeply connected. This is reflected in his choice for... more

10 Dec 2020 · 43 minutes
PLAYBACK (2015): Could the Next Brooklyn Be ... Las Vegas?!

Tony Hsieh, the longtime C.E.O. of Zappos, was an iconoclast and a dreamer. Five years ago, we sat down with... more

06 Dec 2020 · 57 minutes
442. Is it Too Late for General Motors to Go Electric?

G.M. produces more than 20 times as many cars as Tesla, but Tesla is worth nearly 10 times as much.... more

03 Dec 2020 · 44 minutes
441. Does Advertising Actually Work? (Part 2: Digital)

Google and Facebook are worth a combined $2 trillion, with the vast majority of their revenue coming from advertising. In... more

26 Nov 2020 · 48 minutes
440. Does Advertising Actually Work? (Part 1: TV)

Companies around the world spend more than half-a-trillion dollars each year on ads. The ad industry swears by its efficacy... more

19 Nov 2020 · 37 minutes
439. Please Get Your Noise Out of My Ears

The modern world overwhelms us with sounds we didn’t ask for, like car alarms and cell-phone “halfalogues.” What does all... more

12 Nov 2020 · 49 minutes
438. How to Succeed by Being Authentic (Hint: Carefully)

John Mackey, the C.E.O. of Whole Foods, has learned the perils of speaking his mind. But he still says what... more

05 Nov 2020 · 47 minutes
Why the Left Had to Steal the Right’s Dark-Money Playbook

The sociologist Sudhir Venkatesh spent years studying crack dealers, sex workers, and the offspring of billionaires. Then he wandered into... more

31 Oct 2020 · 45 minutes
437. Many Businesses Thought They Were Insured for a Pandemic. They Weren’t.

A fine reading of most policies for “business interruption” reveals that viral outbreaks aren’t covered. Some legislators are demanding that... more

29 Oct 2020 · 40 minutes
436. Forget Everything You Know About Your Dog

As beloved and familiar as they are, we rarely stop to consider life from the dog’s point of view. That... more

22 Oct 2020 · 57 minutes
435. Why Are Cities (Still) So Expensive?

It isn’t just supply and demand. We look at the complicated history and skewed incentives that make “affordable housing” more... more

15 Oct 2020 · 44 minutes
434. Is New York City Over?

The pandemic has hit America's biggest city particularly hard. Amidst a deep fiscal hole, rising homicides, and a flight to... more

08 Oct 2020 · 49 minutes
“Don’t Neglect the Thing That Makes You Weird” | People I (Mostly) Admire: Ken Jennings

It was only in his late twenties that America’s favorite brainiac began to seriously embrace his love of trivia. Now... more

03 Oct 2020 · 47 minutes
433. How Are Psychedelics and Other Party Drugs Changing Psychiatry?

Three leading researchers from the Mount Sinai Health System discuss how ketamine, cannabis, and ecstasy are being used (or studied)... more

01 Oct 2020 · 53 minutes
432. When Your Safety Becomes My Danger

The families of U.S. troops killed and wounded in Afghanistan are suing several companies that did reconstruction there. Why? These... more

24 Sep 2020 · 47 minutes
“One Does Not Know Where an Insight Will Come From” | People I (Mostly) Admire: Kerwin Charles

The dean of Yale’s School of Management grew up in a small village in Guyana. During his unlikely journey, he... more

19 Sep 2020 · 39 minutes
Does Anyone Really Know What Socialism Is? (Ep. 408 Rebroadcast)

Trump says it would destroy us. Biden needs the voters who support it (especially the Bernie voters). The majority of... more

17 Sep 2020 · 44 minutes
What if Your Company Had No Rules?

Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings came to believe that corporate rules can kill creativity and innovation. In this latest edition of... more

12 Sep 2020 · 55 minutes
431. Why Can’t Schools Get What the N.F.L. Has?

Thanks to daily Covid testing and regimented protocols, the new football season is underway. Meanwhile, most teachers, students, and parents... more

10 Sep 2020 · 49 minutes
"I Started Crying When I Realized How Beautiful the Universe Is” | People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 2: Mayim Bialik

She’s best known for playing neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, but the award-winning actress has a... more

05 Sep 2020 · 45 minutes
America’s Hidden Duopoly (Ep. 356 Rebroadcast)

We all know our political system is “broken” — but what if that’s not true? Some say the Republicans and... more

03 Sep 2020 · 53 minutes
430. Will a Covid-19 Vaccine Change the Future of Medical Research?

We explore the science, scalability, and (of course) economics surrounding the global vaccine race. Guests include the chief medical officer... more

27 Aug 2020 · 58 minutes
Introducing “People I (Mostly) Admire"

A new interview show with host Steve Levitt. Today he speaks with the Harvard psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker. By... more

22 Aug 2020 · 42 minutes
The Economics of Sports Gambling (Ep. 388 Rebroadcast)

What happens when tens of millions of fantasy-sports players are suddenly able to bet real money on real games? We’re... more

20 Aug 2020 · 54 minutes
429. Is Economic Growth the Wrong Goal?

The endless pursuit of G.D.P., argues the economist Kate Raworth, shortchanges too many people and also trashes the planet. Economic... more

13 Aug 2020 · 41 minutes
How the Supermarket Helped America Win the Cold War (Ep. 386 Rebroadcast)

Aisle upon aisle of fresh produce, cheap meat, and sugary cereal — a delicious embodiment of free-market capitalism, right? Not... more

06 Aug 2020 · 43 minutes
428. The Simple Economics of Saving the Amazon Rain Forest

Everyone agrees that massive deforestation is an environmental disaster. But most of the standard solutions — scolding the Brazilians, invoking... more

30 Jul 2020 · 32 minutes
427. The Pros and Cons of Reparations

Most Americans agree that racial discrimination has been, and remains, a big problem. But that is where the agreement ends.

23 Jul 2020 · 40 minutes
426. Should America (and FIFA) Pay Reparations?

The racial wealth gap in the U.S. is massive. We explore the causes, consequences, and potential solutions. Also: another story... more

16 Jul 2020 · 44 minutes
425. Remembrance of Economic Crises Past

Christina Romer was a top White House economist during the Great Recession. As a researcher, she specializes in the Great... more

09 Jul 2020 · 51 minutes
424. How to Make Your Own Luck

Before she decided to become a poker pro, Maria Konnikova didn’t know how many cards are in a deck. But... more

02 Jul 2020 · 1 hour,
423. The Doctor Will Zoom You Now

Thanks to the pandemic, the telehealth revolution we’ve been promised for decades has finally arrived. Will it stick? Will it... more

25 Jun 2020 · 52 minutes
422. Introducing "No Stupid Questions"

In this new addition to the Freakonomics Radio Network, co-hosts Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth discuss the relationship between age... more

18 Jun 2020 · 33 minutes
421. How to Prevent Another Great Depression

Millions and millions are out of work, with some jobs never coming back. We speak with four economists — and... more

11 Jun 2020 · 37 minutes
420. Which Jobs Will Come Back, and When?

Covid-19 is the biggest job killer in a century. As the lockdown eases, what does re-employment look like? Who will... more

04 Jun 2020 · 42 minutes
How to Make Meetings Less Terrible (Ep. 389 Rebroadcast)

In the U.S. alone, we hold 55 million meetings a day. Most of them are woefully unproductive, and tyrannize our... more

28 May 2020 · 42 minutes
419. 68 Ways to Be Better at Life

The accidental futurist Kevin Kelly on why enthusiasm beats intelligence, how to really listen, and why the solution to bad... more

21 May 2020 · 37 minutes
418. What Will College Look Like in the Fall (and Beyond)?

Three university presidents try to answer our listeners’ questions. The result? Not much pomp and a whole lot of circumstance.

14 May 2020 · 55 minutes
417. Reasons to Be Cheerful

Humans have a built-in “negativity bias,” which means we give bad news much more power than good. Would the Covid-19... more

07 May 2020 · 49 minutes
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424. How to Make Your Own Luck
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Before she decided to become a poker pro, Maria Konnikova didn’t know how many cards are in a deck. But she did... more