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


 Not Your Grandmother’s I.M.F. | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 38:18

The International Monetary Fund has long been the "lender of last resort" for economies in crisis. Christine Lagarde, who runs the institution, would like to prevent those crises from ever happening. She tells us her plans.

 Why Is the Live-Event Ticket Market So Screwed Up? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 48:22

The public has almost no chance to buy good tickets to the best events. Ticket brokers, meanwhile, make huge profits on the secondary markets. Here's the story of how this market got so dysfunctional, how it can be fixed – and why it probably won't be.

 Are We Running Out of Ideas? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 37:04

Economists have a hard time explaining why productivity growth has been shrinking. One theory: true innovation has gotten much harder – and much more expensive. So what should we do next?

 Is America Ready for a “No-Lose Lottery”? (Update) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 45:13

Most people don't enjoy the simple, boring act of putting money in a savings account. But we do love to play the lottery. So what if you combine the two, creating a new kind of savings account with a lottery payout?

 Nurses to the Rescue! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 57:43

They are the most-trusted profession in America (and with good reason). They are critical to patient outcomes (especially in primary care). Could the growing army of nurse practitioners be an answer to the doctor shortage? The data say yes but —  big surprise — doctors' associations say no.

 How Can I Do the Most Social Good With $100? And Other FREAK-quently Asked Questions | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:24

Dubner and his Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt answer your questions about crime, traffic, real-estate agents, the Ph.D. glut, and how to not get eaten by a bear.

 Why Is There So Much Ground Beef in the World? (Special Feature) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:22

In this live episode of "Tell Me Something I Don't Know," you'll learn about carcass balancing, teen sleeping, and brand naming. Joining Stephen J. Dubner as co-host is Alex Wagner (CBS This Morning Saturday); author A.J. Jacobs (It's All Relative) is the live fact-checker.

 Thinking Is Expensive. Who’s Supposed to Pay for It? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 38:49

Corporations and rich people donate billions to their favorite think tanks and foundations. Should we be grateful for their generosity — or suspicious of their motives?

 How to Launch a Behavior-Change Revolution | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 44:40

Academic studies are nice, and so are Nobel Prizes. But to truly prove the value of a new idea, you have to unleash it to the masses. That's what a dream team of social scientists is doing — and we sat in as they drew up their game plan.

 The Demonization of Gluten | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 43:55

Celiac disease is thought to affect roughly one percent of the population. The good news: it can be treated by quitting gluten. The bad news: many celiac patients haven't been diagnosed. The weird news: millions of people without celiac disease have quit gluten – which may be a big mistake.

 What Are the Secrets of the German Economy — and Should We Steal Them? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 57:03

Smart government policies, good industrial relations, and high-end products have helped German manufacturing beat back the threats of globalization.

 Time to Take Back the Toilet (Rebroadcast) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:45

Public bathrooms are noisy, poorly designed, and often nonexistent. What to do?

 “Tell Me Something I Don't Know” on the topic of Behavior Change (Special Feature) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 55:16

Stephen J. Dubner hosts an episode full of the world’s most renowned behavior change experts, including Colin Camerer, Ayelet Fishbach, David Laibson, Max Bazerman, Katy Milkman, and Kevin Volpp. Angela Duckworth (psychologist and author of Grit) is our special guest co-host, with Mike Maughan (head of global insights at Qualtrics) as real-time fact-checker.

 Why Larry Summers Is the Economist Everyone Hates to Love | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 50:29

He's been U.S. Treasury Secretary, a chief economist for the Obama White House and the World Bank, and president of Harvard. He's one of the most brilliant economists of his generation (and perhaps the most irascible). And he thinks the Trump Administration is wrong on just about everything.

 Why Learn Esperanto? (Special Feature) | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 31:49

A language invented in the 19th century, and meant to be universal, it never really caught on. So why does a group of Esperantists from around the world gather once a year to celebrate their bond?


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