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Preview: EconTalk

EconTalk



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



Copyright: Library of Economics and Liberty
 



Tim Harford on Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 06:30:00 EST

Financial Times columnist and author Tim Harford talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Harford's latest book, Fifty Inventions That Shaped the Modern Economy. Highlights include how elevators are an important form of mass transit, why washing machines didn't save quite as much time as you'd think, and the glorious illuminating aspects of light throughout history.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Harfordfiftyinventions.mp3




Anthony Gill on Tipping

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 06:30:00 EST

Why does tipping persist? Despite the efforts of some restaurants to stop tipping, it remains a healthy institution and has recently spread to Uber. Political scientist Anthony Gill of the University of Washington talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about why tipping persists and what it achieves despite there being no formal way of enforcing this norm.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Gilltipping.mp3




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

Mon, 06 Nov 2017 06:30:00 EST

How did the friendship between David Hume and Adam Smith influence their ideas? Why do their ideas still matter today? Political Scientist Dennis Rasmussen of Tufts University and author of The Infidel and the Professor talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book--the intellectual and personal connections between two of the greatest thinkers of all time, David Hume and Adam Smith.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/RasmussenHumeSmith.mp3




Michael Munger on Permissionless Innovation

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 06:30:00 EST

Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about permissionless innovation. Munger argues that the ability to innovate without permission is the most important concept of political economy. Munger defends this claim and explores the metaphor of emergent order as a dance, a metaphor coming from the German poet Schiller.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Mungerpermissionless.mp3




Jennifer Burns on Ayn Rand and the Goddess of the Market

Mon, 23 Oct 2017 06:30:00 EST

Jennifer Burns of Stanford University and the Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her biography of Ayn Rand, Goddess of the Market. They discuss Rand's philosophy, her influence, her relationship with the conservative movement, and the intersection of her personal life with her philosophical principles.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/BurnsRand.mp3




Megan McArdle on Internet Shaming and Online Mobs

Mon, 16 Oct 2017 06:30:00 EST

Author and journalist Megan McArdle of Bloomberg View talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how the internet has allowed a new kind of shaming via social media and how episodes of bad behavior live on because Google's memory is very, very good. McArdle discusses the implications this new reality has on how we behave at work and how people protect and maintain their reputations in a world where nothing is forgotten and seemingly little is forgiven.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/McArdleshaming.mp3




Tim O'Reilly on What's the Future

Mon, 09 Oct 2017 06:30:00 EST

Author Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media and long-time observer and commenter on the internet and technology, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us. O'Reilly surveys the evolution of the internet, the key companies that have prospered from it, and how the products of those companies have changed our lives. He then turns to the future and explains why he is an optimist and what can be done to make that optimism accurate.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/OReillyfuture.mp3




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

Mon, 02 Oct 2017 06:30:00 EST

Robert Wright, author of Why Buddhism Is True, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the psychotherapeutic insights of Buddhism and the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Wright argues our evolutionary past has endowed us with a mind that can be ill-suited to the stress of the present. He argues that meditation and the non-religious aspects of Buddhism can reduce suffering and are consistent with recent psychological research.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Wrightmeditation.mp3




Philip Auerswald on the Rise of Populism

Mon, 25 Sep 2017 06:30:00 EST

Author and professor Philip Auerswald of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the rise of populism in the United States and throughout the world. Auerswald argues that the rise of cities and the productivity of urban life has created a divergence in experience and rewards between urban and rural areas around the world. Auerswald ties these changes to changes in voting patterns and speculates about the sources of the increasing productivity of metropolitan areas.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Auerswaldpopulism.mp3




Gabriel Zucman on Inequality, Growth, and Distributional National Accounts

Mon, 18 Sep 2017 06:30:00 EST

Gabriel Zucman of the University of California, Berkeley talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research on inequality and the distribution of income in the United States over the last 35 years. Zucman finds that there has been no change in income for the bottom half of the income distribution over this time period with large gains going to the top 1%. The conversation explores the robustness of this result to various assumptions and possible explanations for the findings.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Zucmaninequality.mp3




Gillian Hadfield on Law and Rules For a Flat World

Mon, 11 Sep 2017 06:30:00 EST

Law professor Gillian Hadfield of the University of Southern California and author of Rules for a Flat World talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in her book for regulating the digital future. Hadfield suggests the competitive provision of regulation with government oversight as a way to improve the flexibility and effectiveness of regulation in the dynamic digital world we are living in.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Hadfieldrules.mp3




Rob Reich on Foundations and Philanthropy

Mon, 03 Sep 2017 06:30:00 EST

Is private charity always a good thing? Do large foundations have too much power? Political Scientist Rob Reich of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the power and effectiveness of foundations--large collections of wealth typically created and funded by a wealthy donor. Is such a plutocratic institution consistent with democracy? Reich discusses the history of foundations in the United States and the costs and benefits of foundation expenditures in the present.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Reichphilanthropy.mp3




Benedict Evans on the Future of Cars

Mon, 28 Aug 2017 06:30:00 EST

Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about two important trends for the future of personal travel--the increasing number of electric cars and a world of autonomous vehicles. Evans talks about how these two trends are likely to continue and the implications for the economy, urban design, and how we live.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Evanscars.mp3




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

Mon, 21 Aug 2017 06:30:00 EST

How did bad come to mean good? Why is Shakespeare so hard to understand? Is there anything good about "like" and "you know?" Author and professor John McWhorter of Columbia University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the unplanned ways that English speakers create English, an example of emergent order. Topics discussed include how words get short (but not too short), the demand for vividness in language, and why Shakespeare is so hard to understand.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/McWhorterlanguage.mp3




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

Mon, 14 Aug 2017 06:30:00 EST

Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the manuscript version of his forthcoming book, Skin in the Game. Topics discussed include the role of skin in the game in labor markets, the power of minorities, the Lindy effect, Taleb's blind spots and regrets, and the politics of globalization.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Talebgame.mp3




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

Mon, 07 Aug 2017 06:30:00 EST

Tyler Cowen of George Mason University and the co-host of the blog Marginal Revolution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Stubborn Attachments, his book-length treatment of how to think about public policy. Cowen argues that economic growth--properly defined--is the moral key to maintaining civilization and promoting human well-being. Along the way, the conversation also deals with inequality, environmental issues, and education.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Cowenstubborn.mp3




Alex Guarnaschelli on Food

Mon, 31 Jul 2017 06:30:00 EST

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


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Guarnaschellifood.mp3




Sally Satel on Organ Donation

Mon, 24 Jul 2017 06:30:00 EST

Sally Satel, psychiatrist and resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of increasing the supply of donated organs for transplantation and ways that public policy might increase the supply. Satel, who has received two kidney donations, suggests a federal tax credit as a way to increase the supply of organs while saving the federal government money. She also discusses the ethical issues surrounding various forms of compensation for organ donors.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Satelorgandonation.mp3




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

Mon, 17 Jul 2017 06:30:00 EST

Tamar Haspel, who writes "Unearthed," a column on food and agriculture at the Washington Post, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a wide variety of issues related to the cost of food and how it's produced. Topics discussed include why technology helps make some foods inexpensive, how animals are treated, the health of the honey bee, and whether eggs from your backyard taste any better than eggs at the grocery.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Haspelfood.mp3




Martha Nussbaum on Alexander Hamilton

Mon, 10 Jul 2017 06:30:00 EST

Martha Nussbaum, professor of philosophy at the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Alexander Hamilton. Nussbaum talks about the tension between acquiring power and living a life of virtue. The topics discussed include Hamilton's relationship with Aaron Burr, Burr's complicated historical legacy, and the role of the humanities in our lives.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/NussbaumHamilton.mp3




Chris Blattman on Chickens, Cash, and Development Economics

Mon, 03 Jul 2017 06:30:00 EST

Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about whether it's better to give poor Africans cash or chickens and the role of experiments in helping us figure out the answer. Along the way he discusses the importance of growth vs. smaller interventions and the state of development economics.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Blattmanchickens.mp3




Robin Feldman on Drug Patents, Generics, and Drug Wars

Mon, 26 Jun 2017 06:30:00 EST

Robin Feldman of the University of California Hastings College of Law and author of Drug Wars talks about her book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Feldman explores the various ways that pharmaceutical companies try to reduce competition from generic drugs. The conversation includes a discussion of the Hatch-Waxman Act and the sometimes crazy world of patent protection.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Feldmandrugs.mp3




Thomas Ricks on Churchill and Orwell

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 06:30:00 EST

Author and historian Thomas Ricks talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, Churchill and Orwell. Ricks makes the case that the odd couple of Winston Churchill and George Orwell played and play an important role in preserving individual liberty. Ricks reviews the contributions of these two giants whose lives overlapped and whose legacy remains vibrant.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/RicksChurchillOrwell.mp3




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

Mon, 12 Jun 2017 06:30:00 EST

Why is it that people in large cities like Paris or New York City people sleep peacefully, unworried about whether there will be enough bread or other necessities available for purchase the next morning? No one is in charge--no bread czar. No flour czar. And yet it seems to work remarkably well. Don Boudreaux of George Mason University and Michael Munger of Duke University join EconTalk host Russ Roberts to discuss emergent order and markets. The conversation includes a reading of Roberts's poem, "It's a Wonderful Loaf."


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/BoudreauxMungerRoberts.mp3




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

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 06:30:00 EST

Historian Christy Ford Chapin of University of Maryland Baltimore County and Johns Hopkins and author of Ensuring America's Health talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her book--a history of how America's health care system came to be dominated by insurance companies or government agencies paying doctors per procedure. Chapin explains how this system emerged from efforts by the American Medical Association to stop various reform efforts over the decades. Chapin argues that different models might have emerged that would lead to a more effective health care system.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Chapinhealth.mp3




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

Mon, 29 May 2017 06:30:00 EST

What is the state of liberty in America? Is liberty increasing or decreasing? Should we be optimistic or pessimistic about the future? This week EconTalk features David Boaz, P.J. O'Rourke, and George Will discussing these questions and more with EconTalk host Russ Roberts in front of a live audience at the Cato Institute.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/BoazORourkeWillliberty.mp3




Lant Pritchett on Poverty, Growth, and Experiments

Mon, 22 May 2017 06:30:00 EST

How should we think about growth and poverty? How important is the goal of reducing the proportion of the world's population living on less than a dollar a day? Does poverty persist because people lack skills or because they live in economic systems where skills are not rewarded? What is the role of experimental methods in understanding what reduces poverty? Author and economist Lant Pritchett of Harvard University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about these questions and more in a wide-ranging discussion of how best to help the world's poorest people.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Pritchettpoverty.mp3




Cass Sunstein on #Republic

Mon, 15 May 2017 06:30:00 EST

Author and legal scholar Cass Sunstein of Harvard University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, #Republic. Sunstein argues that the internet has encouraged people to frequent informational echo chambers where their views are reinforced and rarely challenged. In addition, there is a loss of public space where people might have to encounter dissonant ideas or causes they might wish to champion. Sunstein considers this a threat to democracy and discusses a variety of ways the situation might improve.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Sunsteinrepublic.mp3




Tyler Cowen on The Complacent Class

Mon, 08 May 2017 06:30:00 EST

Author and economist Tyler Cowen of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, The Complacent Class. Cowen argues that the United States has become complacent and the result is a loss of dynamism in the economy and in American life, generally. Cowen provides a rich mix of data, speculation, and creativity in support of his claims.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Cowencomplacent.mp3




Jennifer Pahlka on Code for America

Mon, 01 May 2017 06:30:00 EST

Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the organization she started. Code for America works with private sector tech people to bring technology to the provision of government services. Pahlka discusses some of the success Code for America has had with improving government and the challenges of citizenship and technology in the 21st century.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Pahlkacode.mp3




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

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 06:30:00 EST

Elizabeth Pape, founder of the women's clothing company Elizabeth Suzann, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about starting and running her company--a manufacturer and seller of high-end women's clothing in Nashville, Tennessee. The conversation chronicles the ups and downs of her entrepreneurial story, the recent evolution of the women's clothing market, and the challenge of competition from lower quality, lower-priced products.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Papeclothing.mp3




Rana Foroohar on the Financial Sector and Makers and Takers

Mon, 17 Apr 2017 06:30:00 EST

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


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Forooharfinancial.mp3




Erica Sandberg on Homelessness and Downtown Streets Team

Mon, 10 Apr 2017 06:30:00 EST

Podcaster and writer Erica Sandberg talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about homelessness in San Francisco. Sandberg talks about what the city can do about homelessness and her experience with Downtown Streets Team, which gives homeless people in the Bay Area the chance to work in exchange for gift cards that let them buy food and other basics.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Sandberghomelessness.mp3




Vanessa Williamson on Taxes and Read My Lips

Mon, 03 Apr 2017 06:30:00 EST

Are Americans overtaxed? How does the average American feel about the tax system and tax reform? Vanessa Williamson of the Brookings Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her book, Read My Lips. Williamson shares the results of her survey of American attitudes toward taxation and government spending. People misperceive much about who pays what and the structure of the tax system, particularly the payroll tax. But some of what appears to be errors--about foreign aid and government waste for example, come from the average person's definition of these terms being different from the narrow meaning.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Williamsontaxes.mp3




Jason Barr on Building the Skyline and the Economics of Skyscrapers

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 06:30:00 EST

Why does the Manhattan skyline look like it does with incredible skyscrapers south of City Hall then almost no tall buildings until midtown? Jason Barr of Rutgers University-Newark and author of Building the Skyline talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the evolution of Manhattan as a place to live and work, and the mix of individual choices and government policy that created the skyline of Manhattan.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Barrskyscrapers.mp3




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

Mon, 20 Mar 2017 06:30:00 EST

Statistician, blogger, and author Andrew Gelman of Columbia University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges facing psychologists and economists when using small samples. On the surface, finding statistically significant results in a small sample would seem to be extremely impressive and would make one even more confident that a larger sample would find even stronger evidence. Yet, larger samples often fail to lead to replication. Gelman discusses how this phenomenon is rooted in the incentives built into human nature and the publication process. The conversation closes with a general discussion of the nature of empirical work in the social sciences.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Gelmansamples.mp3




Robert Whaples on the Economics of Pope Francis

Mon, 13 Mar 2017 06:30:00 EST

Is capitalism part of the poverty problem facing the world or part of the solution? Are human beings doing a good job preserving the earth for future generations? To improve the world, should we improve capitalism or ourselves? Robert Whaples of Wake Forest University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about "Laudato Si'," Pope Francis's encyclical on capitalism, poverty, and environmental issues.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Whaplespope.mp3




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

Mon, 06 Mar 2017 06:30:00 EST

What is the future of the European economy? What are the challenges facing Europe? What are the implications of Brexit for the United Kingdom and the rest of the Europe? Nicholas Crafts of the University of Warwick, Luis Garicano of the London School of Economics, and Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about these questions and more in front of a live audience at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/CraftsGaricanoZingaleseurope.mp3




Paul Bloom on Empathy

Mon, 27 Feb 2017 06:30:00 EST

Psychologist Paul Bloom of Yale University talks about his book Against Empathy with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Bloom argues that empathy--the ability to feel the emotions of others--is a bad guide to charitable giving and public policy. Bloom argues that reason combined with compassion is a better and more effective guide to making the world a better place.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Bloomagainstempathy.mp3




Tom Wainwright on Narconomics

Mon, 20 Feb 2017 06:30:00 EST

When fighting the war on drugs, governments typically devote enormous resources trying to reduce the supply. But is this effective? Journalist and author Tom Wainwright of the Economist and author of Narconomics talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ways that the drug cartels respond to government attempts to reduce the availability of drugs. Like any business trying to maintain profitability, cartels look for ways to cut costs and maintain or grow revenue. Wainwright uses extensive on-the-ground interviews and reporting to understand the behavior of the cartels and argues that reducing demand would be a much more effective strategy for reducing drug use.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Wainwrightnarconomics.mp3




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

Mon, 13 Feb 2017 06:30:00 EST

Writer, reporter, and film producer Jim Epstein talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about mining Bitcoins in Venezuela as a way to import food. Venezuela is a tragicomic example of how policy can lead to strange and presumably unexpected outcomes. Epstein also discusses how Bitcoin is being used elsewhere in Latin America and the potential for the blockchain technology to lower the costs of owning and transferring property.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/EpsteinJbitcoin.mp3




Gary Taubes on the Case Against Sugar

Mon, 06 Feb 2017 06:30:00 EST

Sugar appears to have no nutritional value. But is it more than just empty calories? Is it actually bad for us? Author and journalist Gary Taubes talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, The Case Against Sugar. Taubes argues that there is substantial circumstantial evidence suggesting that sugar is the underlying cause of a host of modern health problems including diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Taubes concedes the evidence is not iron-clad or definitive and reflects along the way on the intellectual and personal challenges of holding a strong view in the face of significant skepticism.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Taubessugar.mp3




George Borjas on Immigration and We Wanted Workers

Mon, 30 Jan 2017 06:30:00 EST

George Borjas of Harvard University and author of We Wanted Workers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about immigration and the challenges of measuring the impact of increased immigration on American workers and consumers. The discussion also looks at the cultural impact of immigration and what immigration in the past can tell us about immigration today.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Borjasimmigration.mp3




Sam Quinones on Heroin, the Opioid Epidemic, and Dreamland

Mon, 23 Jan 2017 06:30:00 EST

How did heroin spread beyond big cities in America? What's the connection between heroin and America's opioid problem? Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the explosion in heroin use and how one small Mexican town changed how heroin was produced and sold in America. That in turn became entangled with the growth in the use of pain-killers as recreational drugs. Drawing on the investigative reporting that culminated in his book, Quinones lays out the recent history and economics of the growth in heroin and pain-killer usage and the lost lives along the way.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Quinonesopioids.mp3




Michael Munger on the Basic Income Guarantee

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 06:30:00 EST

Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the virtues and negatives of a basic guaranteed income--giving every American adult an annual amount of money to guarantee a subsistence level of well-being. How would such a plan work? How would it interact with current anti-poverty programs? How would it affect recipients and taxpayers? Munger attacks these issues and more in a lively conversation with Roberts.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Mungerguarantee.mp3




Robert Hall on Recession, Stagnation, and Monetary Policy

Mon, 09 Jan 2017 06:30:00 EST

Economist Robert Hall of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the current state of the U.S. economy and what we know and don't know about the recovery from the Great Recession. Much of the conversation focuses on the choices facing the Federal Reserve and the policy instruments the Fed has available. The conversation includes a discussion of Hall's experience as chair of the National Bureau of Economic Research Committee on Business Cycle Dating.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Hallmoney.mp3




Mark Warshawsky on Compensation, Health Care Costs, and Inequality

Mon, 02 Jan 2017 06:30:00 EST

Economist and author Mark Warshawsky of George Mason Univerity's Mercatus Center talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his work on the role health care benefits play in measuring inequality. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Warshawsky shows that because health care benefits are a larger share of compensation for lower-paid than higher-paid workers, measures of inequality and even measures of economic progress can be misleading or distorted. The conversation covers a wide range of topics related to how the labor market treats workers and the role of benefits in setting overall compensation.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2017/Warshawskyhealthcare.mp3




Chris Blattman on Sweatshops

Mon, 26 Dec 2016 06:30:00 EST

If you were a poor person in a poor country, would you prefer steady work in a factory or to be your own boss, buying and selling in the local market? Economist Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about experimental evidence on how poor people choose in the labor market and the consequences for their income, health, and satisfaction.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Blattmansweatshops.mp3




Terry Anderson on Native American Economics

Mon, 19 Dec 2016 06:30:00 EST

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


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/AndersonTnative.mp3




Bruce Bueno de Mesquita on the Spoils of War

Mon, 12 Dec 2016 06:30:00 EST

There is a fascinating and depressing positive correlation between the reputation of an American president and the number of people dying in wars while that president is in office. Political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita of NYU and co-author of The Spoils of War talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how presidents go to war. Bueno de Mesquita argues that the decision of how and when to go to war is made in self-interested ways rather than in consideration of what is best for the nation. The discussion includes a revisionist perspective on the presidencies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and others as Bueno de Mesquita tries to make the case that the reputations of these men are over-inflated.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/BuenodeMesquitawar.mp3




Thomas Leonard on Race, Eugenics, and Illiberal Reformers

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 06:30:00 EST

Were the first professional economists racists? Thomas Leonard of Princeton University and author of Illiberal Reformers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book--a portrait of the progressive movement and its early advocates at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The economists of that time were eager to champion the power of the state and its ability to regulate capitalism successfully. Leonard exposes the racist origins of these ideas and the role eugenics played in the early days of professional economics. Woodrow Wilson takes a beating as well.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Leonardrace.mp3




Doug Lemov on Reading

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 06:30:00 EST

Doug Lemov of Uncommon School and co-author of Reading Reconsidered talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about reading. Lemov makes the case for the educational importance of critical reading of challenging books and texts. Along the way, he gives listeners some ideas of how to read themselves and gives parents some ideas for how to educate their children.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Lemovreading.mp3




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

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 06:30:00 EST

Erik Hurst of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the state of the labor market in the United States. Hurst notes dramatic changes in employment rates for men and speculates about the causes. Two factors discussed in detail are declines in the manufacturing sector and the rise of high-end video games as a form of leisure.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Hurstlabor.mp3




Tim Harford on the Virtues of Disorder and Messy

Mon, 14 Nov 2016 06:30:00 EST

Tim Harford, journalist and author, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, Messy. Harford argues that we have a weakness for order and neat solutions causing us to miss opportunities to find happiness or success with messier, more disorderly processes and solutions. Hartford looks at a wide range of examples from business and personal life making the case that tidiness is overrated and that messy should get more love.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Harfordmessy.mp3




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

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 06:30:00 EST

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


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Gelernterconsciousness.mp3




Judith Donath on Signaling, Design, and the Social Machine

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 06:30:00 EST

Judith Donath, author of The Social Machine, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in her book--an examination of signaling, online identity, and online community. Donath argues that design elements in technology play a key role in our interactions with one another. The conversation closes with a discussion of data collection by corporations and the government.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Donathsignaling.mp3




Casey Mulligan on Cuba

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:30:00 EST

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


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/MulliganCuba.mp3




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

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 06:30:00 EST

Chris Arnade, former Wall Street trader turned photographer and social chronicler, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about what he learned from the front lines of the financial industry in the 1990s and 2000s when everything slowly and then very quickly began to fall apart. He also discusses his transition into observer and photographer of drug addicts, the poor, and the forgotten parts of America.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Arnadepoverty.mp3




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

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 06:30:00 EST

Nobel Laureate in Economics Angus Deaton of Princeton University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the economics of trade and aid. Deaton wonders if economists should re-think the widely-held view that redistribution from rich nations to poor nations makes the world a better place. The conversation focuses on the challenges facing poor Americans including the rising mortality rate for white Americans ages 45-54.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Deatoninequality.mp3




Cathy O'Neil on Weapons of Math Destruction

Mon, 03 Oct 2016 06:30:00 EST

Cathy O'Neil, data scientist and author of Weapons of Math Destruction talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in her book. O'Neil argues that the commercial application of big data often harms individuals in unknown ways. She argues that the poor are particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Examples discussed include prison sentencing, college rankings, evaluations of teachers, and targeted advertising. O'Neil argues for more transparency and ethical standards when using data.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/ONeilmath.mp3




John Cochrane on Economic Growth and Changing the Policy Debate

Mon, 26 Sep 2016 06:30:00 EST

How are those in favor of bigger government and those who want smaller government like a couple stuck in a bad marriage? Economist John Cochrane of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how to take a different approach to the standard policy arguments. Cochrane wants to get away from the stale big government/small government arguments which he likens to a couple who have gotten stuck in a rut making the same ineffective arguments over and over. Cochrane argues for a fresh approach to economic policy including applications to growth, taxes and financial regulation.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Cochranegrowth.mp3




Eric Wakin on Archiving, Preservation, and History

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 06:30:00 EST

What does an x-ray of Hitler's skull have in common with a jar of Ronald Reagan's jelly beans? They are both part of the Hoover Institution archives. Eric Wakin, Director of the Library and Archives of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about what it's like to be an archivist and the importance of archival materials for research, culture, and memory.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Wakinarchiving.mp3




Susan Athey on Machine Learning, Big Data, and Causation

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 06:30:00 EST

Can machine learning improve the use of data and evidence for understanding economics and public policy? Susan Athey of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how machine learning can be used in conjunction with traditional econometric techniques to measure the impact of say, the minimum wage or the effectiveness of a new drug. The last part of the conversation looks at the experimental techniques being used by firms like Google and Amazon.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Atheymachinelearning.mp3




Terry Moe on the Constitution, the Presidency, and Relic

Mon, 05 Sep 2016 06:30:00 EST

Are there many Americans today who wish the President of the United States had more power relative to the other branches of Congress? Terry Moe is one of them. In this week's EconTalk episode, Moe--a professor of political science at Stanford University and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution--talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book (co-authored with William Howell), Relic. Moe wants to give the President the power to propose legislation that Congress would have to approve or reject free of amendments. Moe argues this would improve legislation and reduce the cronyism and special interest influence on Congress.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Moeconstitution.mp3




Leo Katz on Why the Law is So Perverse

Mon, 29 Aug 2016 06:30:00 EST

Leo Katz, professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, Why the Law Is So Perverse. Katz argues that certain seemingly inexplicable features of the law are the result of conflicts between multiple objectives that the law or the courts must trade off against each other. Katz also argues that structure of the law and how it is enforced are analogous to certain inevitable ambiguities of collective choice and voting theory.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Katzlaw.mp3




Munger on Slavery and Racism

Mon, 22 Aug 2016 06:30:00 EST

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


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Mungerslavery.mp3




Chuck Klosterman on But What If We're Wrong

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 06:30:00 EST

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


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Klostermanwhatif.mp3




Adam D'Angelo on Knowledge, Experimentation, and Quora

Mon, 08 Aug 2016 06:30:00 EST

Adam D'Angelo, CEO of the question and answer website, Quora, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the history, evolution, and challenges of Quora. Along the way they discuss the aggregation of knowledge and the power of experiments for improving the day-to-day performance of the site.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/DAngeloquora.mp3




Matthew Futterman on Players and the Business of Sports

Mon, 01 Aug 2016 06:30:00 EST

Fifty years ago, many of the best players in the National Football League took jobs in the off-season to augment the salaries they earned playing football. Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal and author of Players talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how much football and so many aspects of sports--from tennis to golf to apparel to broadcasting to Olympics--has become incredibly more lucrative. Futterman shares the insights from his book and how all that money has changed sports, the athletes who compete, and the fans who watch.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Futtermansports.mp3




Angela Duckworth on Grit

Mon, 25 Jul 2016 06:30:00 EST

How important is grit relative to talent? Can grit be taught? Angela Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania and author of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance talks with with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the nature of success in work, play and life. How much does grit matter? Is grit malleable or something we're born with? Duckworth discusses her research on these questions and how to think about what it means for a child and an adult to thrive.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Duckworthgrit.mp3




Ryan Holiday on Ego is the Enemy

Mon, 18 Jul 2016 06:30:00 EST

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


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Holidayego.mp3




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

Mon, 11 Jul 2016 06:30:00 EST

Technology and innovation usually mean higher quality and lower prices. Is health care different? Jonathan Skinner of Dartmouth College talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how technology and innovation affect the cost and efficacy of health care. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the rise in mortality among middle-age white males--a surprising reversal of trend--that has been linked to use of opioid painkillers.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Skinnerhealth.mp3




Yuval Levin on The Fractured Republic

Mon, 04 Jul 2016 06:30:00 EST

Yuval Levin, author and editor of National Affairs, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his latest book, The Fractured Republic. Levin argues that both major political parties suffer from a misplaced nostalgia--a yearning for a time when things were better even though the policies that created those good times are no longer as relevant to today. Levin argues for a strengthening of the intermediate institutions--institutions between the individual and the government such as religious communities and other non-profits as a way toward a better life for Americans.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Levinrepublic.mp3




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

Mon, 27 Jun 2016 06:30:00 EST

How should we feel about cruise lines that offer special amenities for top-paying travelers, or first-class sections of airplanes? Do such consumption inequalities harm the social fabric or is there more to the story? Richard Epstein of New York University and the Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about these issues arguing that these kinds of unequal treatment provide benefits beyond those who receive the top-of-the-line option. The conversation then moves on to a general discussion of inequality, taxation, and redistribution.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Epsteincruises.mp3




Kevin Kelly on the Inevitable

Mon, 20 Jun 2016 06:30:00 EST

Futurist, author, and visionary Kevin Kelly talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, The Inevitable, Kelly's look at what the future might be like and the role of the human experience in a world increasingly filled with information, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the connecting of the planet's population.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Kellyinevitable.mp3




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

Mon, 13 Jun 2016 06:30:00 EST

You might think your tweets on Twitter belong to you. But in 2010, the Library of Congress acquired the entire archive of Twitter. Why would such a majestic library acquire such seemingly ephemeral material? Historian Abby Smith Rumsey, author of When We Are No More, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about this decision of the Library of Congress and the general challenge of how to cope with a world when so much of what we write and read is digital. Subjects discussed include what we can learn from the past, the power of collective memory, what is worth saving, and how we might archive our electronic lives so that we and those who come after us can find what we might be looking for.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Rumseynomore.mp3




Jason Zweig on Finance and the Devil's Financial Dictionary

Mon, 06 Jun 2016 06:30:00 EST

Jason Zweig of the Wall Street Journal and author of The Devil's Financial Dictionary talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about finance, financial journalism and Zweig's new book. Zweig discusses rationality and the investor's challenge of self-restraint, the repetitive nature of financial journalism, and the financial crisis of 2008.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Zweigfinance.mp3




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

Mon, 30 May 2016 06:30:00 EST

Was the Financial Crisis of 2008 caused by a crisis in the housing market? Or did the Federal Reserve turn a garden-variety recession into the Great Recession? David Beckworth of Western Kentucky University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the Fed's response to the recession that began in December of 2007 and worsened in 2008. Beckworth argues that the Fed failed to respond adequately to the drop in nominal GDP by keeping interest rates too high for too long. Beckworth describes what he thinks the Fed should have done and the lessons we should learn going forward to reduce the severity of future downturns.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Beckworthmoney.mp3




James Bessen on Learning by Doing

Mon, 23 May 2016 06:30:00 EST

Are workers being left behind when the economy grows? Is technology making the human workforce obsolete? James Bessen, author of Learning by Doing, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the role of learning on the job in the past and in the present. Bessen argues that during times of technological innovation, it often takes years before workers see higher wages from productivity increases. Bessen stresses the importance of the standardization of education on the job as workers adapt to new technology.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Bessenlearning.mp3




Leif Wenar on Blood Oil

Mon, 16 May 2016 06:30:00 EST

Should the United States allow its citizens to buy oil from countries run by bad men? Is this a case where morality trumps the usual case for free trade? Leif Wenar, professor of philosophy at King's College, London and author of Blood Oil, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the morality of buying resources from countries that use the resulting revenue to oppress their citizens. Based on the ideas in his book, Wenar argues that in many cases, importing oil is equivalent to buying stolen goods where the low prices cannot justify the purchase. The conversation discusses the possible outcomes from banning foreign oil from tyrannical regimes along with the resource curse and the case for fair trade.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Wenarbloodoil.mp3




Pedro Domingos on Machine Learning and the Master Algorithm

Mon, 09 May 2016 06:30:00 EST

What is machine learning? How is it transforming our lives and workplaces? What might the future hold? Pedro Domingos of the University of Washington and author of The Master Algorithm talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the present and future of machine learning. Domingos stresses the iterative and ever-improving nature of machine learning. He is fundamentally an optimist about the potential of machine learning with ever-larger amounts of data to transform the human experience.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Domingosalgorithm.mp3




Arnold Kling on Specialization and Trade

Mon, 02 May 2016 06:30:00 EST

Arnold Kling, economist and author, speaks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, Specialization and Trade: A Reintroduction to Economics. Kling argues that macroeconomics ignores the challenges of buyers and sellers working together in the real world of specialization and trade. Instead, most macroeconomic theories struggle to incorporate the differences across workers and products. Kling points the listener toward a different perspective on macroeconomics and the business cycle that focuses on those differences. Kling also lays out related insights on political economy as well as his take on G.A. Cohen's parable of the camping trip.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Klingspecialization.mp3




Alberto Alesina on Fiscal Policy and Austerity

Mon, 25 Apr 2016 06:30:00 EST

Alberto Alesina of Harvard University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research on fiscal policy and austerity. Alesina's research shows that spending cuts to reduce budget deficits are less harmful than tax increases. Alesina discusses the intuition behind this empirical finding and discusses other issues such as Greece's financial situation.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Alesinafiscalpolicy.mp3




Gary Belsky on the Origins of Sports

Mon, 18 Apr 2016 06:30:00 EST

Gary Belsky, co-author of On the Origins of Sports and former editor-in-chief of ESPN the Magazine, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the origins of sports--how various sports evolved and emerged into their current incarnations. Along the way he discusses the popularity of American football, the written (and unwritten) rules of sports, and the focus on replay and fairness in modern sports.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Belskysports.mp3




Robert Frank on Success and Luck

Mon, 11 Apr 2016 06:30:00 EST

Is your success in life your own doing? Robert Frank of Cornell University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, Success and Luck. Frank argues that we underestimate the role that luck plays in our success and makes the case for a progressive consumption tax as a way to improve even the welfare of the wealthy.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Franksuccess.mp3




Richard Jones on Transhumanism

Mon, 04 Apr 2016 06:30:00 EST

Will our brains ever be uploaded into a computer? Will we live forever? Richard Jones, physicist at the University of Sheffield and author of Against Transhumanism, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about transhumanism--the effort to radically transform human existence via technology. Jones argues that the grandest visions of the potential of technology--uploading of brains and the ability to rearrange matter via nanotechnology are much more limited and unlikely than proponents of these technologies suggest. The conversation closes with the role of government in innovation and developing technology.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/JonesRtranshumanism.mp3




Jayson Lusk on Food, Technology, and Unnaturally Delicious

Mon, 28 Mar 2016 06:30:00 EST

How bad is pink slime? Are free-range chickens happier? Can robots cook? Jayson Lusk of Oklahoma State University and the author of Unnaturally Delicious talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about these questions and more from his new book. Lusk explores the wide-ranging application of technology to farming, cooking, protein production, and more.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Luskdelicious.mp3




Marina Krakovsky on the Middleman Economy

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 06:30:00 EST

Why would anyone want to hire a middleman, like a wedding planner, especially if you have time to take care of the planning yourself? Marina Krakovsky, author of The Middleman Economy talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about middlemen in the modern economy. Despite predictions that the internet would destroy the need for middlemen, Krakovsky argues they're more valuable than ever though their roles have changed. Krakovsky looks at the different roles middlemen play today and how their value added can justify their existence.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Krakovskymiddlemen.mp3




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

Mon, 14 Mar 2016 06:30:00 EST

David Autor of MIT talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the fundamentals of trade and his research on the impact on workers and communities from trade with China. Autor's research finds large and persistent effects on manufacturing jobs and communities where those jobs once were. Autor and Roberts discuss whether these results capture the full impact of increased trade with China and what the policy response might be that could help workers hurt by trade.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Autortrade.mp3




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

Mon, 07 Mar 2016 06:30:00 EST

Will Davies of Goldsmith's, University of London and author of The Limits of Neoliberalism talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his book. Davies argues that the free-market vision of economists like Milton Friedman and Friedrich Hayek has de-romanticized politics and ensconced competition at the heart of our economy and culture. Davies argues for the value of a completely different perspective and pushes for a reduction in the influence and status of economists as policymakers and influencers. Along the way he gives his perspective on the role of economists in the financial crisis and in antitrust policy.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Daviesneoliberalism.mp3




Alison Wolf on Women, Inequality and the XX Factor

Mon, 29 Feb 2016 06:30:00 EST

Alison Wolf author of The XX Factor, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the changing roles of women in the family and the workplace. Wolf argues that highly educated women are increasingly similar to highly educated men in their lifestyles and choices while becoming very different from less educated women. Wolf traces the origins of these changes and the interaction between economic and cultural factors affecting men, women, the family, and the workplace.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Wolfinequality.mp3




Matt Ridley on the Evolution of Everything

Mon, 22 Feb 2016 06:30:00 EST

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


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Ridleyevolution.mp3




Adam Cifu on Ending Medical Reversal

Mon, 15 Feb 2016 06:30:00 EST

Why do so many medical practices that begin with such promise and confidence turn out to be either ineffective at best or harmful at worst? Adam Cifu of the University of Chicago's School of Medicine and co-author (with Vinayak Prasad) of Ending Medical Reversal explores this question with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Cifu shows that medical reversal--the discovery that prescribed medical practices are ineffective or harmful--is distressingly common. He contrasts the different types of evidence that support or discourage various medical practices and discusses the cultural challenges doctors face in turning away from techniques they have used for many years. [...]


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Cifumedical.mp3




Adam Ozimek on the Power of Econometrics and Data

Mon, 08 Feb 2016 06:30:00 EST

Adam Ozimek of Moody's Analytics and blogger at Forbes talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about why economists change their minds or don't. Ozimek argues that economists make erratic but steady progress using econometrics and other forms of evidence to understand the impact of public policies such as the minimum wage or government stimulus. Roberts pushes back and discusses the role of ideology, the complexity of where our views come from and the potential for confirmation bias.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Ozimekeconometrics.mp3




Timothy Taylor on Government vs. Business

Mon, 01 Feb 2016 06:30:00 EST

Timothy Taylor, blogger at the Conversable Economist and editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the role of government and business in taking care of workers and creating economic growth. Taylor discusses the paradox that the political process seems to expect firms to take care of workers and government to create growth. The conversation then turns to a wide array of related issues including how Wal-Mart treats its workers. The conversation closes with a discussion of Taylor's role as founding editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives. [...]


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/TaylorTgovernment.mp3




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

Mon, 25 Jan 2016 06:30:00 EST

Nobel Laureate James Heckman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the state of econometrics and the challenges of measurement in assessing economic theories and public policy. Heckman gives us his take on natural experiments, selection bias, randomized control trials and the reliability of sophisticated statistical analysis. The conversation closes with Heckman reminiscing about his intellectual influences throughout his career.


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Heckmaneconometrics.mp3




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

Mon, 18 Jan 2016 06:30:00 EST

How many pairs of sneakers do you own? Josh Luber of Campless and StockX talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the world of sneakerheads--people passionate for collecting and trading sneakers. Each week people line up to buy classic sneaker models Nike re-releases. Luber has collected millions of transactions from Ebay on these sneakers and others and has analyzed the return to investing in various sneaker models. The conversation includes a discussion of how Nike has helped to create this market and Luber's work creating a stock market for sneakers and other goods. [...]


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Lubersneakers.mp3




Greg Ip on Foolproof

Mon, 11 Jan 2016 06:30:00 EST

When does the pursuit of safety lead us into danger? Greg Ip, of the Wall Street Journal and author of Foolproof talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his book--the way we publicly and privately try to cope with risk and danger and how those choices can create unintended consequences. While much of the conversation focuses on the financial crisis of 2008, there are also discussions of football injuries, damage from natural disasters such as hurricanes, car accidents, and Herbert Hoover. Along the way, Herman Melville's insights into the mesmerizing nature of water make an appearance. [...]


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Ipfoolproof.mp3




Robert Frank on Dinner Table Economics

Mon, 04 Jan 2016 06:30:00 EST

How can you learn to think like an economist? One way is to think about what might be called dinner table economics--puzzles or patterns that arise in everyday life that would be good to understand. Robert Frank of Cornell University and author of The Economic Naturalist talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a number of these puzzles including why grooms typically rent tuxedos but the bride usually buys her gown, why bicycles can be more expensive to rent than cars, the effects of the price of corn on the price of pork, and why scammers who invoke Nigeria keep using the same old story. [...]


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2016/Frankdinnertable.mp3




Noah Smith on Whether Economics is a Science

Mon, 28 Dec 2015 06:30:00 EST

Noah Smith of Stony Brook University and writer at Bloomberg View talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about whether economics is a science in some sense of that word. How reliable are experiments in economics? What about the statistical analysis that underlies much of the empirical work in modern economics? Additional topics include the reliability of the empirical analysis of the minimum wage, the state of macroeconomics, and the role of prejudice or prior beliefs in the interpretation of data and evidence. [...]


Media Files:
http://files.libertyfund.org/econtalk/y2015/SmithNscience.mp3