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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

592. How to Make the Coolest Show on Broadway

Hit by Covid, runaway costs, and a zillion streams of competition, serious theater is in serious trouble. A new hit... more

13 Jun 2024 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
591. Signs of Progress, One Year at a Time

Every December, a British man named Tom Whitwell publishes a list of 52 things he’s learned that year. These fascinating... more

06 Jun 2024 · 53 minutes
EXTRA: The Opioid Tragedy — How We Got Here

An update of our 2020 series, in which we spoke with physicians, researchers, and addicts about the root causes of... more

03 Jun 2024 · 41 minutes
590. Can $55 Billion End the Opioid Epidemic?

Thanks to legal settlements with drug makers and distributors, states have plenty of money to boost prevention and treatment. Will... more

30 May 2024 · 40 minutes
589. Why Has the Opioid Crisis Lasted So Long?

Most epidemics flare up, do their damage, and fade away. This one has been raging for almost 30 years. To... more

23 May 2024 · 48 minutes
Extra: Car Colors & Storage Units

Presenting two stories from "The Economics of Everyday Things": Why does it seem like every car is black, white, or... more

20 May 2024 · 35 minutes
588. Confessions of a Black Conservative

The economist and social critic Glenn Loury has led a remarkably turbulent life, both professionally and personally. In a new... more

16 May 2024 · 56 minutes
587. Should Companies Be Owned by Their Workers?

The employee ownership movement is growing, and one of its biggest champions is also a private equity heavyweight. Is this... more

09 May 2024 · 46 minutes
586. How Does the Lost World of Vienna Still Shape Our Lives?

From politics and economics to psychology and the arts, many of the modern ideas we take for granted emerged a... more

02 May 2024 · 57 minutes
Extra: Why Is 23andMe Going Under? (Update)

Five years ago, we published an episode about the boom in home DNA testing kits, focusing on the high-flying firm... more

29 Apr 2024 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
585. A Social Activist in Prime Minister’s Clothing

Justin Trudeau, facing record-low approval numbers, is doubling down on his progressive agenda. But he is so upbeat (and Canada-polite)... more

25 Apr 2024 · 52 minutes
584. How to Pave the Road to Hell

So you want to help people? That’s great — but beware the law of unintended consequences. Three stories from the... more

18 Apr 2024 · 43 minutes
Extra: The Men Who Started a Thinking Revolution (Update)

The psychologist Daniel Kahneman — a Nobel laureate and the author of “Thinking, Fast and Slow” — recently died at... more

14 Apr 2024 · 34 minutes
Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses? (Update)

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

11 Apr 2024 · 49 minutes
583. Are We Living Through the Most Revolutionary Period in History?

Fareed Zakaria says yes. But it’s not just political revolution — it’s economic, technological, even emotional. He doesn’t offer easy... more

04 Apr 2024 · 1 hour, 2 minutes
Extra: How Much Do You Know About Immigration?

The political debates over immigration can generate a lot of fuzzy facts. We wanted to test Americans’ knowledge — so,... more

01 Apr 2024 · 27 minutes
582. Why Is Everyone Moving to Canada?

As the U.S. tries to fix its messy immigration system, our neighbor to the north is scooping up more talented... more

28 Mar 2024 · 49 minutes
581. What Both Parties Get Wrong About Immigration

The U.S. immigration system is a massively complicated machine, with a lot of worn-out parts. How to fix it? Step... more

21 Mar 2024 · 55 minutes
Extra: Madeleine Albright’s Warning on Immigration

She arrived in the U.S. as an 11-year-old refugee, then rose to become Secretary of State. Her views on immigration,... more

18 Mar 2024 · 29 minutes
580. The True Story of America’s Supremely Messed-Up Immigration System

How did a nation of immigrants come to hate immigration? We start at the beginning, sort through the evidence, and... more

14 Mar 2024 · 55 minutes
579. Are You Caught in a Social Media Trap?

Economists have discovered an odd phenomenon: many people who use social media (even you, maybe?) wish it didn’t exist. But... more

07 Mar 2024 · 42 minutes
Extra: What Is Sportswashing — and Does It Work? (Update)

In ancient Rome, it was bread and circuses. Today, it’s a World Cup, an Olympics, and a new Saudi-backed golf... more

04 Mar 2024 · 1 hour, 5 minutes
578. Water, Water Everywhere — But You Have to Stop and Think

What surprises lurk in our sewage? How did racist city planners end up saving Black lives? Why does Arizona grow... more

29 Feb 2024 · 52 minutes
Is Google Getting Worse? (Update)

It used to feel like magic. Now it can feel like a set of cheap tricks. Is the problem with... more

22 Feb 2024 · 56 minutes
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
Freakonomics Radio
232. A New Nobel Laureate Explains the Gender Pay Gap (Replay)
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Description

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