Freakonomics Podcast

Here are latest Freakonomics Podcasts.

427. Many Businesses Thought They Were Insured for a Pandemic. They Weren’t.

Listen to 427. Many Businesses Thought They Were Insured for a Pandemic. They Weren’t.A fine reading of most policies for “business interruption” reveals that viral outbreaks aren’t covered. Some legislators are demanding that insurance firms pay up anyway. Is it time to rethink insurance entirely?

436. Forget Everything You Know About Your Dog

Listen to 436. Forget Everything You Know About Your DogAs beloved and familiar as they are, we rarely stop to consider life from the dog’s point of view. That stops now. In this latest installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, we discuss Inside of a Dog with the cognitive scientist (and dog devotee) Alexandra Horowitz.

435. Why Are Cities (Still) So Expensive?

Listen to 435. Why Are Cities (Still) So Expensive? It isn’t just supply and demand. We look at the complicated history and skewed incentives that make “affordable housing” more punch line than reality in cities from New York and San Francisco to Flint, Michigan (!).

434. Is New York City Over?

Listen to 434. Is New York City Over?The pandemic has hit America's biggest city particularly hard. Amidst a deep fiscal hole, rising homicides, and a flight to the suburbs, some people think the city is heading back to the bad old 1970s. We look at the history — and the data — to see why that’s probably not the case.

“Don’t Neglect the Thing That Makes You Weird” | People I (Mostly) Admire: Ken Jennings

Listen to “Don’t Neglect the Thing That Makes You Weird” | People I (Mostly) Admire: Ken JenningsIt was only in his late twenties that America’s favorite brainiac began to seriously embrace his love of trivia. Now he holds the “Greatest of All Time” title on Jeopardy! Steve Levitt digs into how he trained for the show, what it means to have a "geographic memory," and why we lie to our children.

433. How Are Psychedelics and Other Party Drugs Changing Psychiatry?

Listen to 433. How Are Psychedelics and Other Party Drugs Changing Psychiatry?Three leading researchers from the Mount Sinai Health System discuss how ketamine, cannabis, and ecstasy are being used (or studied) to treat everything from severe depression to addiction to PTSD. We discuss the upsides, downsides, and regulatory puzzles.

432. When Your Safety Becomes My Danger

Listen to 432. When Your Safety Becomes My DangerThe families of U.S. troops killed and wounded in Afghanistan are suing several companies that did reconstruction there. Why? These companies, they say, paid the Taliban protection money, which gave them the funding — and opportunity — to attack U.S. soldiers instead. A look at the messy, complicated, and heart-breaking tradeoffs of conflict-zone economies.

“One Does Not Know Where an Insight Will Come From” | People I (Mostly) Admire: Kerwin Charles

Listen to “One Does Not Know Where an Insight Will Come From” | People I (Mostly) Admire: Kerwin CharlesThe dean of Yale’s School of Management grew up in a small village in Guyana. During his unlikely journey, he has researched video-gaming habits, communicable disease, and why so many African-Americans haven’t had the kind of success he’s had. Steve Levitt talks to Charles about his parents’ encouragement, his love of Sports Illustrated, and how he talks to his American-born kids about the complicated history of Blackness in America. 

Does Anyone Really Know What Socialism Is? (Ep. 408 Rebroadcast)

Listen to Does Anyone Really Know What Socialism Is? (Ep. 408 Rebroadcast)Trump says it would destroy us. Biden needs the voters who support it (especially the Bernie voters). The majority of millennials would like it to replace capitalism. But what is “it”? We bring in the economists to sort things out and tell us what the U.S. can learn from the good (and bad) experiences of other (supposedly) socialist countries.

What if Your Company Had No Rules?

Listen to What if Your Company Had No Rules?Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings came to believe that corporate rules can kill creativity and innovation. In this latest edition of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, guest host Maria Konnikova talks to Hastings about his new book, No Rules Rules, and why for some companies the greatest risk is taking no risks at all.

431. Why Can’t Schools Get What the N.F.L. Has?

Listen to 431. Why Can’t Schools Get What the N.F.L. Has?Thanks to daily Covid testing and regimented protocols, the new football season is underway. Meanwhile, most teachers, students, and parents are essentially waiting for the storm to pass. And school isn’t even a contact sport (usually).

"I Started Crying When I Realized How Beautiful the Universe Is” | People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 2: Mayim Bialik

Listen to "I Started Crying When I Realized How Beautiful the Universe Is” | People I (Mostly) Admire Ep. 2: Mayim BialikShe’s best known for playing neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory, but the award-winning actress has a rich life outside of her acting career, as a teacher, mother — and a real-life neuroscientist.  Steve Levitt tries to learn more about this one-time academic and Hollywood non-conformist, who is both very similar to him and also quite his opposite.

America’s Hidden Duopoly (Ep. 356 Rebroadcast)

Listen to America’s Hidden Duopoly (Ep. 356 Rebroadcast)We all know our political system is “broken” — but what if that’s not true? Some say the Republicans and Democrats constitute a wildly successful industry that has colluded to kill off competition, stifle reform, and drive the country apart. So what are you going to do about it?

430. Will a Covid-19 Vaccine Change the Future of Medical Research?

Listen to 430. Will a Covid-19 Vaccine Change the Future of Medical Research?We explore the science, scalability, and (of course) economics surrounding the global vaccine race. Guests include the chief medical officer of the first U.S. firm to go to Phase 3 trials with a vaccine candidate; a former F.D.A. commissioner who’s been warning of a pandemic for years; and an economist who thinks Covid-19 may finally change how diseases are cured.

Introducing “People I (Mostly) Admire"

Listen to Introducing “People I (Mostly) Admire"A new interview show with host Steve Levitt. Today he speaks with the Harvard psychologist and linguist Steven Pinker. By cataloging the steady march of human progress, the self-declared “polite Canadian” has managed to enrage people on opposite ends of the political spectrum. Levitt tries to understand why. 

The Economics of Sports Gambling (Ep. 388 Rebroadcast)

Listen to The Economics of Sports Gambling (Ep. 388 Rebroadcast)What happens when tens of millions of fantasy-sports players are suddenly able to bet real money on real games? We’re about to find out. A recent Supreme Court decision has cleared the way to bring an estimated $300 billion in black-market sports betting into the light. We sort out the winners and losers.

429. Is Economic Growth the Wrong Goal?

Listen to 429. Is Economic Growth the Wrong Goal?The endless pursuit of G.D.P., argues the economist Kate Raworth, shortchanges too many people and also trashes the planet. Economic theory, she says, “needs to be rewritten” — and Raworth has tried, in a book called Doughnut Economics. It has found an audience among reformers, and now the city of Amsterdam is going whole doughnut.

How the Supermarket Helped America Win the Cold War (Ep. 386 Rebroadcast)

Listen to How the Supermarket Helped America Win the Cold War (Ep. 386 Rebroadcast)Aisle upon aisle of fresh produce, cheap meat, and sugary cereal — a delicious embodiment of free-market capitalism, right? Not quite. The supermarket was in fact the endpoint of the U.S. government’s battle for agricultural abundance against the U.S.S.R. Our farm policies were built to dominate, not necessarily to nourish — and we are still living with the consequences.

428. The Simple Economics of Saving the Amazon Rain Forest

Listen to 428. The Simple Economics of Saving the Amazon Rain ForestEveryone agrees that massive deforestation is an environmental disaster. But most of the standard solutions — scolding the Brazilians, invoking universal morality — ignore the one solution that might actually work

427. The Pros and Cons of Reparations

Listen to 427. The Pros and Cons of ReparationsMost Americans agree that racial discrimination has been, and remains, a big problem. But that is where the agreement ends.

Freakonomics Podcast

Author Stephen J. Dubner

 

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