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


 How Do We Know What Really Works in Healthcare? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 41:53

A lot of the conventional wisdom in medicine is nothing more than hunch or wishful thinking. A new breed of data detectives is hoping to change that.

 The Perfect Crime (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 29:35

If you are driving and kill a pedestrian, there's a good chance you'll barely be punished. Why?

 What You Don’t Know About Online Dating (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 40:11

Thick markets, thin markets, and the triumph of attributes over compatibility.

 When Willpower Isn’t Enough | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 33:11

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

 This Idea Must Die | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 54:33

Every year, asks its salon of big thinkers to answer one big question. This year's question borders on heresy: what scientific idea is ready for retirement?

 The Maddest Men of All | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 32:56

Advertisers have always been adept at manipulating our emotions. Now they're using behavioral economics to get even better.

 Hacking the World Bank | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:33

Jim Yong Kim has an unorthodox background for a World Bank president -- and his reign thus far is just as unorthodox.

 Is There a Better Way to Fight Terrorism? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 42:35

The White House is hosting an anti-terror summit next week. Summits being what they are, we try to offer some useful advice.

 How Efficient Is Energy Efficiency? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 32:36

It's a centerpiece of U.S. climate policy and a sacred cow among environmentalists. Does it work?

 How Safe Is Your Job? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 33:38

Economists preach the gospel of "creative destruction," whereby new industries -- and jobs -- replace the old ones. But has creative destruction become too destructive?

 Someone Else’s Acid Trip | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 29:15

As Kevin Kelly tells it, the hippie revolution and the computer revolution are nearly one and the same.

 That’s a Great Question! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 25:24

Verbal tic or strategic rejoinder? Whatever the case: it’s rare to come across an interview these days where at least one question isn’t a “great” one.

 Why Doesn’t Everyone Get the Flu Vaccine? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 36:17

Influenza kills, but you’d never know it by how few of us get the vaccine.

 What’s the “Best” Exercise? (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 15:21

Most people blame lack of time for being out of shape. So maybe the solution is to exercise more efficiently.

 What’s More Dangerous: Marijuana or Alcohol? (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 25:23

Imagine that both substances were undiscovered until today. How would we think about their relative risks?


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