Freakonomics Radio show

Freakonomics Radio

Summary: Have fun discovering the hidden side of everything with host Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the best-selling "Freakonomics” books. Each week, hear surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. Dubner talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs — and his “Freakonomics” co-author Steve Levitt. After just a few episodes, this podcast will have you too thinking like a Freak. Produced by WNYC Studios, home of other great podcasts such as “Radiolab," "Death, Sex & Money," and "On the Media."

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  • Artist: Stephen J. Dubner and WNYC Studios
  • Copyright: Stephen J. Dubner and WNYC


 Who Needs Handwriting? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 39:33

The digital age is making pen and paper seem obsolete. But what are we giving up if we give up on handwriting?

 How to Fix a Broken High Schooler, in Four Easy Steps (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 29:13

Okay, maybe the steps aren't so easy. But a program run out of a Toronto housing project has had great success in turning around kids who were headed for trouble.

 Is America’s Education Problem Really Just a Teacher Problem? (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:36

If U.S. schoolteachers are indeed "just a little bit below average," it's not really their fault. So what should be done about it?

 Do Boycotts Work? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:23

The Montgomery Bus Boycott, the South African divestment campaign, Chick-fil-A! Almost anyone can launch a boycott, and the media loves to cover them. But do boycotts actually produce the change they're fighting for?

 How to Be Less Terrible at Predicting the Future | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 46:52

Experts and pundits are notoriously bad at forecasting, in part because they aren't punished for bad predictions. Also, they tend to be deeply unscientific. The psychologist Philip Tetlock is finally turning prediction into a science -- and now even you could become a superforecaster.

 The True Story of the Gender Pay Gap | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:23

Discrimination can't explain why women earn so much less than men. If only it were that easy.

 When Willpower Isn’t Enough (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 30:59

Sure, we all want to make good personal decisions, but it doesn't always work out. That's where "temptation bundling" comes in.

 Fixing the World, Bang-for-the-Buck Edition (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 41:56

A team of economists has been running the numbers on the U.N.'s development goals. They have a different view of how those billions of dollars should be spent.

 Is Migration a Basic Human Right? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 60:53

The argument for open borders is compelling -- and deeply problematic.

 The Cheeseburger Diet | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 32:04

One woman's quest to find the best burger in town can teach all of us to eat smarter.

 Ben Bernanke Gives Himself a Grade | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 47:01

He was handed the keys to the global economy just as it started heading off a cliff. Fortunately, he'd seen this movie before.

 Why Do People Keep Having Children? (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 40:00

Even a brutal natural disaster doesn't diminish our appetite for procreating. This surely means we're heading toward massive overpopulation, right? Probably not.

 Does “Early Education” Come Way Too Late? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:53

In our collective zeal to reform schools and close the achievement gap, we may have lost sight of where most learning really happens -- at home.

 Should Everyone Be in a Rock Band? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:28

Lessons from Tom Petty's rise and another rocker's fall.

 Food + Science = Victory | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 38:20

A kitchen wizard and a nutrition detective talk about the perfect hamburger, getting the most out of garlic, and why you should use vodka in just about everything.


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