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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
 



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




Philip Tetlock on Superforecasting

Mon, 21 Dec 2015 06:30:00 EST

Can you predict the future? Or at least gauge the probability of political or economic events in the near future? Philip Tetlock of the University of Pennsylvania and author of Superforecasting talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his work on assessing probabilities with teams of thoughtful amateurs. Tetlock finds that teams of amateurs trained in gathering information and thinking about it systematically outperformed experts in assigning probabilities of various events in a competition organized by IARPA, research agency under the Director of National Intelligence. In this conversation, Tetlock discusses the meaning, reliability, and usefulness of trying to assign probabilities to one-time events.


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




George Selgin on Monetary Policy and the Great Recession

Mon, 14 Dec 2015 06:30:00 EST

Did Ben Bernanke and the Fed save the U.S. economy from disaster in 2008 or did the Fed make things worse? Why did the Fed reward banks that kept reserves rather than releasing funds into the economy? George Selgin of the Cato Institute tries to answer these questions and more in this conversation with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Selgin argues that the Fed made critical mistakes both before and after the collapse of Lehman Brothers by lending to insolvent banks as well as by paying interest on reserves held at the Fed by member banks.


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




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

Mon, 07 Dec 2015 06:30:00 EST

If you have 250 million tons of food to give away every year to local food banks how should you do it? Canice Prendergast of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how he and a team of economists created an artificial currency and a daily auction for the national food bank Feeding America so that local food banks could bid on the types of food that were the most valuable to them. Prendergast explains the results of the new system and the cultural and practical challenges of bringing prices, even artificial ones, to a world accustomed to giving things away.


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




David Mindell on Our Robots, Ourselves

Mon, 30 Nov 2015 06:30:00 EST

Are we on the verge of driverless cars and other forms of autonomous robots and artificial intelligence? David Mindell of MIT and the author of Our Robots, Ourselves talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the robotic revolution. Mindell argues that much of the optimism for autonomous robots ignores decades of experience with semi-autonomous robots in deep-sea operation, space, air, and the military. In all of these areas, the role of human supervision remains at a high level with little full autonomy. Mindell traces some of the history of the human interaction with robots and artificial intelligence and speculates on what the future might hold.


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




Michael Munger on EconTalk's 500th Episode

Mon, 23 Nov 2015 06:30:00 EST

Michael Munger of Duke University makes his 29th appearance on the 500th episode of EconTalk alongside EconTalk host Russ Roberts. He talks about his personal intellectual journey, his interest in public choice, and Unicorn economics. Other topics include the origins of EconTalk, Roberts's intellectual roots, and the EconTalk theme music. The conversation closes with a brief reprise of a few highlights from past Munger appearances on EconTalk.


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




Brian Nosek on the Reproducibility Project

Mon, 16 Nov 2015 06:30:00 EST

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


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




Robert Aronowitz on Risky Medicine

Mon, 09 Nov 2015 06:30:00 EST

Should women get routine mammograms? Should men get regular PSA exams? Robert Aronowitz of the University of Pennsylvania and the author of Risky Medicine talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the increasing focus on risk reduction rather than health itself as a goal. Aronowitz discusses the social and political forces that push us toward more preventive testing even when those tests have not been shown to be effective. Aronowitz's perspective is a provocative look at the opportunity cost of risk-reduction.


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




Michael Matheson Miller on Poverty, Inc

Mon, 02 Nov 2015 06:30:00 EST

Michael Matheson Miller of the Acton Institute and the Director of the documentary Poverty, Inc., talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his award-winning documentary on the barriers facing the poor around the world. Topics discussed include the incentives facing poverty-fighting NGOs and their staff, the importance of secure and well-defined property rights, and the costs and benefits of agricultural aid.


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




Cesar Hidalgo on Why Information Grows

Mon, 26 Oct 2015 06:30:00 EST

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


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




Yuval Harari on Sapiens

Mon, 19 Oct 2015 06:30:00 EST

Yuval Harari of Hebrew University and author of Sapiens talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the history of humanity. Topics discussed include the move from hunting and gathering to agriculture, the role of fiction in sustaining imagination, the nature of money, the impact of empires and the synergies between empires and science.


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




Pete Boettke on Katrina, Ten Years After

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 06:30:00 EST

Pete Boettke of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the political and economic lessons he has learned as program director of research in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In this wide-ranging conversation, Boettke discusses the role of civil society, the barriers to recovery that have hampered New Orleans and what worked well as people and institutions responded to tragedy and devastation.


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




Tim O'Reilly on Technology and Work

Mon, 05 Oct 2015 06:30:00 EST

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


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




Pete Geddes on the American Prairie Reserve

Mon, 28 Sep 2015 06:30:00 EST

When Lewis and Clark crossed through Montana, they encountered an extraordinary cornucopia of wildlife. Most of that ecosystem and the animals that once thrived there are gone. But a non-profit wants to bring it all back. Pete Geddes, Managing Director of the American Prairie Reserve talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about creating the Serengeti of the Americas--a 3.3 million acre prairie that would allow bison, pronghorn antelope, prairie dogs and their friends to inhabit a Wildlife Reserve in Montana, the size of Connecticut. Geddes discusses the goals of the American Prairie Reserve and how they're using a for-profit company, Wild Sky Beef, to gather support and help from local ranchers for the project.


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




Tina Rosenberg on the Kidney Market in Iran

Mon, 21 Sep 2015 06:30:00 EST

There is only one country in the world where a person can sell a kidney to another citizen who buys it. That country is Iran. Tina Rosenberg of The New York Times talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the Iranian kidney market--how it works, its strengths and weaknesses, and whether its lessons apply to the United States or elsewhere.


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




Mitch Weiss on the Business of Broadway

Mon, 14 Sep 2015 06:30:00 EST

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes at a Broadway show? This week's EconTalk lifts the curtain on the magical world of Broadway: Mitch Weiss, co-author of The Business of Broadway, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book and what it's like to manage the production of a blockbuster musical in New York City. Topics discussed include the eight-performance-per-week grind, the how and why of creating a Broadway set, the challenges of wardrobes (domestic and international) and the pluses and minuses of unions which are a central part of the Broadway workplace.


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




William MacAskill on Effective Altruism and Doing Good Better

Mon, 07 Sep 2015 06:30:00 EST

How much care do you take when you make a donation to a charity? What careers make the biggest difference when it comes to helping others? William MacAskill of Oxford University and the author of Doing Good Better talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the book and the idea of effective altruism. MacAskill urges donors to spend their money more effectively and argues that the impact on human well-being can be immense. MacAskill wants donors to rely on scientific assessments of effectiveness. Roberts pushes back on the reliability of such assessments. Other topics include sweatshops, choosing a career to have the biggest impact on others, and the interaction between private philanthropy and political action.


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




Paul Robinson on Cooperation, Punishment and the Criminal Justice System

Mon, 31 Aug 2015 06:30:00 EST

Are human beings naturally cooperative or selfish? Can people thrive without government law? Paul Robinson of the University of Pennsylvania and author of Pirates, Prisoners and Lepers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts the ideas in his book. Robinson argues that without government sanctions or legislation, there is an evolutionary drive to cooperate even in life-and-death situations. In such situations private punishment and norms play a crucial role in sustaining cooperative solutions. The last part of the conversation deals with the criminal justice system and how attitudes toward the system affect society-wide cooperation and crime.


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




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

Mon, 24 Aug 2015 06:30:00 EST

Thousands of bears in New Jersey. Humpback whales near New York City. Acres devoted to farming stable or declining even as food production soars. Jesse Ausubel of the Rockefeller University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the return of nature. Ausubel shows how technology has reduced many of the dimensions of the human footprint even as population rises and why this trend is likely to continue into the future. The conversation concludes with Ausubel's cautious optimism about the impact of climate change.


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




Rachel Laudan on the History of Food and Cuisine

Mon, 17 Aug 2015 06:30:00 EST

Rachel Laudan, visiting scholar at the University of Texas and author of Cuisine and Empire, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the history of food. Topics covered include the importance of grain, the spread of various styles of cooking, why French cooking has elite status, and the reach of McDonald's. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the appeal of local food and other recent food passions.


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




Summer Brennan on Wilderness, Politics and the Oyster War

Mon, 10 Aug 2015 06:30:00 EST

Summer Brennan, author of The Oyster War, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her book and the fight between the Drakes Bay Oyster Company and the federal government over farming oysters in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Along the way they discuss the economics of oyster farming, the nature of wilderness, and the challenge of land use in national parks and seashores.


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




Roger Berkowitz on Fish, Food, and Legal Sea Foods

Mon, 03 Aug 2015 06:30:00 EST

Seafood is highly perishable and supply is often uncertain. Roger Berkowitz, CEO of Legal Sea Foods talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of running 34 seafood restaurants up and down the east coast. Berkowitz draws on his 22 year tenure as CEO and discusses how his business works day-to-day and the question of sustainability.


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




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

Mon, 27 Jul 2015 06:30:00 EST

How important are basic skills for economic success and growth? Eric Hanushek of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the importance of basic education in math and literacy and their relationship to economic growth. Hanushek argues that excellence in educating people in basic skills leads to economic growth, especially in poorer countries where years of education may be a poor proxy for learning. He argues that the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals should emphasize outputs rather than inputs--performance on skill-based exams rather than years of education.


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




Wences Casares on Bitcoin and Xapo

Mon, 20 Jul 2015 06:30:00 EST

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


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




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

Mon, 13 Jul 2015 06:30:00 EST

Lee Ohanian, Arnold Kling, and John Cochrane talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the future of freedom, democracy, and prosperity. Recorded in front of a live audience at Stanford University's Hoover Institution as part of a conference on Magna Carta, the three guests give their perspective on the future of the American economy and the interaction between politics and economics. Each guest makes a brief presentation at the start followed by a moderated conversation.


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




Alvin Roth on Matching Markets

Mon, 06 Jul 2015 06:30:00 EST

Nobel Laureate Alvin Roth of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his work on matching markets. Examples include marriage, matching kidney donors to kidney recipients, and students to schools in cities that allow choice in their public school systems. Roth also discusses repugnance--the unease some people have with allowing buying and selling of some goods and what it's like to watch a kidney transplant knowing your research has helped make the surgery possible.


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




Matt Ridley on Climate Change

Mon, 29 Jun 2015 06:30:00 EST

Science writer and author Matt Ridley discusses climate change with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Based on his reading of the scientific evidence, Ridley describes himself as a "lukewarmer." While Ridley agrees that humans have made the climate warmer, he argues that the impact is small or positive over some temperature ranges and regions. He rejects the catastrophic scenarios that some say are sufficiently likely to justify dramatic policy responses, and he reflects on the challenges of staking out an unpopular position on a contentious policy issue.


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




Morten Jerven on African Economic Growth

Mon, 22 Jun 2015 06:30:00 EST

Morten Jerven of Simon Frasier University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong. Jerven, who will be joining Noragric at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences this fall, argues that economists have misread the economic history of Africa, ignoring successful episodes of economic growth while trying to explain a perpetual malaise that does not exist. Jerven is critical of many of the attempts to explain growth using econometric techniques and suggests that a richer approach is necessary that is aware of the particular circumstances facing poor countries.


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




Adam Davidson on Hollywood and the Future of Work

Mon, 15 Jun 2015 06:30:00 EST

What's it like to hang out with Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, and Steve Carell for two months? Adam Davidson, who writes for the New York Times Sunday Magazine, was the technical advisor to the upcoming movie, The Big Short. Besides rubbing shoulders with celebrities, he noticed what he calls the Hollywood model where highly talented workers come together temporarily in project-based employment. Davidson discusses the costs and benefits of this approach and its potential emergence as a more common phenomenon throughout the economy.


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




Nathaniel Popper on Bitcoin and Digital Gold

Mon, 08 Jun 2015 06:30:00 EST

Nathaniel Popper of the New York Times and the author of Digital Gold talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Bitcoin. Can Bitcoin make it? What went wrong with Mt. Gox? Why did Ross Ulbricht, the creator of Silk Road, just get sentenced to life in prison? Why are venture capital firms pouring millions of dollars into companies promising easier ways to use Bitcoin? Popper discusses these questions along with the technical side of Bitcoin to help listeners understand why so many investors are excited about the potential of Bitcoin.


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




Martin Weitzman on Climate Change

Mon, 01 Jun 2015 06:30:00 EST

Is climate change the ultimate Black Swan? Martin Weitzman of Harvard University and co-author of Climate Shock talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the risks of climate change. Weitzman argues that climate change is a fat-tailed phenomenon--there is a non-trivial risk of a catastrophe. Though Weitzman concedes that our knowledge of the climate is quite incomplete, he suggests that it is prudent to take serious measures, including possibly geo-engineering, to reduce the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


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




Bent Flyvbjerg on Megaprojects

Mon, 25 May 2015 06:30:00 EST

Bent Flyvbjerg of Oxford University speaks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the political economy of megaprojects--massive investments of a billion dollars or more in infrastructure or technology. Flyvbjerg argues that such projects consistently end up costing more with smaller benefits than projected and almost always end up with costs that exceed the benefits. Flyvbjerg explores the reasons for the poor predictions and poor performance of giant investment projects and what might be done to improve their effectiveness.


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




Nicholas Vincent on the Magna Carta

Mon, 18 May 2015 06:30:00 EST

Did an 800-year old piece of parchment really change the world? Nicholas Vincent of the University of East Anglia talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the Magna Carta, the founding document of English law and liberty. The Magna Carta was repudiated just ten weeks after King John issued it. Yet, its impact is still with us today. In this conversation, Vincent explains what led to the Magna Carta and how its influence remains with us today in England and elsewhere.


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




Eric Topol on the Power of Patients in a Digital World

Mon, 11 May 2015 06:30:00 EST

We're in the middle of a healthcare revolution but it's about more than marvelous life-saving and life-enhancing apps on our smartphone. Eric Topol of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and author of The Patient Will See You Now argues that the digital revolution will give us more control of our health information and data. More powerful patients will transform the doctor-patient interaction. Topol talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book giving us a glimpse of the changes coming to medicine from the digital revolution.


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




Michael O'Hare on Art Museums

Mon, 04 May 2015 06:30:00 EST

Michael O'Hare of the University of California, Berkeley talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the management of art museums. O'Hare suggests a number of changes that would allow museums to be more effective and to justify their non-profit status--lower admission prices, selling part of their substantial unseen inventory to other museums, and broadening the activities of the museum to include educational exhibits on the creation of art and the commercial side of art. He encourages trustees of museums to see their job more as tough-minded advisors and less as financiers of museum budgets.


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




Leonard Wong on Honesty and Ethics in the Military

Mon, 27 Apr 2015 06:30:00 EST

Leonard Wong of the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about honesty in the military. Based on a recent co-authored paper, Wong argues that the paperwork and training burden on U.S. military officers requires dishonesty--it is simply impossible to comply with all the requirements. This creates a tension for an institution that prides itself on honesty, trust, and integrity. The conversation closes with suggestions for how the military might reform the compliance and requirement process.


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




Scott Sumner on Interest Rates

Mon, 20 Apr 2015 06:30:00 EST

Scott Sumner, of Bentley University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about interest rates. Sumner suggests that professional economists sometimes confuse cause and effect with respect to prices and quantities. Low interest rates need not encourage investment for example, if interest rates are low because of a decrease in demand. Sumner also talk about possible explanations for the historically low real rates of interest in today's economy along with other aspects of monetary policy, interest rates, and investment.


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




Phil Rosenzweig on Leadership, Decisions, and Behavioral Economics

Mon, 13 Apr 2015 06:30:00 EST

Phil Rosenzweig, professor of strategy and international business at IMD in Switzerland and author of the book Left Brain, Right Stuff: How Leaders Make Winning Decisions talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book. The focus of the conversation is on the lessons from behavioral economics--when do those lessons inform and when do they mislead when applied to real-world business decisions. Topics discussed include overconfidence, transparency, the winner's curse, evaluating leaders, and the role of experimental findings in thinking about decision-making.


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




Vernon Smith and James Otteson on Adam Smith

Mon, 06 Apr 2015 06:30:00 EST

Vernon Smith and James Otteson talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Adam Smith in front of a live audience at Ball State University. Topics discussed include Smith's view of human nature, the relevance of Smith for philosophy and economics today, and the connection between Smith's two books, The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations.


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




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

Mon, 30 Mar 2015 06:30:00 EST

David Skarbek of King's College London and author of The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern The American Penal System talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the written and unwritten rules in America's prisons for the most violent and dangerous criminals. Skarbek explains how and why prison gangs emerged in the last half of the 20th century, their influence both inside and outside of prisons, and how their governance structure is maintained.


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




Campbell Harvey on Randomness, Skill, and Investment Strategies

Mon, 23 Mar 2015 06:30:00 EST

Campbell Harvey of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research evaluating various investment and trading strategies and the challenge of measuring their effectiveness. Topics discussed include skill vs. luck, self-deception, the measures of statistical significance, skewness in investment returns, and the potential of big data.


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




Paul Romer on Urban Growth

Mon, 16 Mar 2015 06:30:00 EST

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


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




Lawrence H. White on Monetary Constitutions

Mon, 09 Mar 2015 06:30:00 EST

Lawrence H. White of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the possibility of a monetary constitution. Based on a new book, Renewing the Search for a Monetary Constitution, White explores different constitutional constraints that might be put on the government's role in money and monetary policy. Topics discussed include cryptocurrencies, the gold standard, the Taylor Rule, the performance of the Fed, free banking, and private currency.


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




David Zetland on Water

Mon, 02 Mar 2015 06:30:00 EST

David Zetland of Leiden University College in the Netherlands and author of Living with Water Scarcity talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of water management. Issues covered include the sustainability of water supplies, the affordability of water for the poor, the incentives water companies face, and the management of water systems in the poorest countries. Also discussed are the diamond and water paradox, campaigns to reduce water usage, and the role of prices in managing a water system.


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




Michael Munger on Choosing in Groups

Mon, 23 Feb 2015 06:30:00 EST

Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book (co-authored with Kevin Munger), Choosing in Groups. Munger lays out the challenges of group decision-making and the challenges of agreeing on constitutions or voting rules for group decision-making. The conversation highlights some of the challenges of majority rule and uses the Lewis and Clark expedition as an example.


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




Benn Steil on the Battle of Bretton Woods

Mon, 16 Feb 2015 06:30:00 EST

Benn Steil of the Council on Foreign Relations and author of The Battle of Bretton Woods: John Maynard Keynes, Harry Dexter White, and the Making of a New World Order talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Bretton Woods, the conference that resulted in the IMF, the World Bank, and the post-war international monetary system. Topics discussed include America and Britain's conflicting interests during and after World War II, the relative instability of the post-war system, and the personalities and egos of the individuals at Bretton Woods, including John Maynard Keynes and Harry Dexter White.


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




Daniel Sumner on the Political Economy of Agriculture

Mon, 09 Feb 2015 06:30:00 EST

Daniel Sumner of the University of California talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about agricultural subsidies in the United States, the winners and losers from those subsidies, and how the structure of subsidies has changed from the New Deal to the present. Sumner also explains how American policies have affected foreign farmers.


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




Luigi Zingales on the Costs and Benefits of the Financial Sector

Mon, 02 Feb 2015 06:30:00 EST

Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts on whether the financial sector is good for society and about the gap between how banks and bankers are perceived by the public vs. finance professors. Zingales discusses the costs and benefits of financial innovation, compares the finance sector to the health sector, and suggests how business education should talk about finance to create better behavior.


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




Alex Tabarrok on Private Cities

Mon, 26 Jan 2015 06:30:00 EST

Alex Tabarrok of George Mason University talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a recent paper Tabarrok co-authored with Shruti Rajagopalan on Gurgaon, a city in India that until recently had little or no municipal government. The two discuss the successes and failures of this private city, the tendency to romanticize the outcomes of market and government action, and the potential for private cities to meet growing demand for urban living in India and China.


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




Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Precautionary Principle and Genetically Modified Organisms

Mon, 19 Jan 2015 06:30:00 EST

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of Antifragile, Black Swan, and Fooled by Randomness, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a recent co-authored paper on the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the use of the Precautionary Principle. Taleb contrasts harm with ruin and explains how the differences imply different rules of behavior when dealing with the risk of each. Taleb argues that when considering the riskiness of GMOs, the right understanding of statistics is more valuable than expertise in biology or genetics. The central issue that pervades the conversation is how to cope with a small non-negligible risk of catastrophe.


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




Greg Page on Food, Agriculture, and Cargill

Mon, 12 Jan 2015 06:30:00 EST

Greg Page, former CEO of Cargill, the largest privately-held company in America, talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the global food supply and the challenges of running a company with employees and activity all over the world. Page talks about the role of prices in global food markets in signaling information and prompting changes in response to those signals. Other topics include government's role in agriculture, the locavore movement and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).


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




Joshua Greene on Moral Tribes, Moral Dilemmas, and Utilitarianism

Mon, 05 Jan 2015 06:30:00 EST

Joshua Greene, of Harvard University and author of Moral Tribes: Emotion, Reason, and the Gap Between Us and Them, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about morality and the challenges we face when our morality conflicts with that of others. Topics discussed include the difference between what Greene calls automatic thinking and manual thinking, the moral dilemma known as "the trolley problem," and the difficulties of identifying and solving problems in a society that has a plurality of values. Greene defends utilitarianism as a way of adjudicating moral differences.


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