Freakonomics Radio

https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

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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Website
http://www.wnyc.org/articles/freakonomics-podcast
Description
In their books "Freakonomics," "SuperFreakonomics" and "Think Like a Freak", Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explore "the hidden side of everything," telling stories about cheating schoolteachers and eating champions while teaching us all to think a bit more creatively, rationally, and productively. The Freakonomics Radio podcast, hosted by Dubner, carries on that tradition with weekly episodes. Prepare to be enlightened, engaged, perhaps enraged, and definitely surprised.
Language
🇬🇧 English
last modified
2019-08-15 05:05
last episode published
2019-08-15 03:00
publication frequency
7.18 days
Contributors
Stephen J. Dubner and WNYC Studios author  
Explicit
false
Number of Episodes
485
Rss-Feeds
Detail page
Categories
Society & Culture

Recommendations


Episodes

Date Thumb Title & Description Contributors
15.08.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Hello, My Name Is Marijuana Pepsi!

Research shows that having a distinctively black name doesn’t affect your economic future. But what is the day-to-day reality of living with such a name? Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck, a newly-minted Ph.D., is well-qualified to answer this question. Her verd...
8.08.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

How Much Does Your Name Matter? (Rebroadcast)

A kid’s name can tell us something about his parents — their race, social standing, even their politics. But is your name really your destiny?
1.08.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

How the Supermarket Helped America Win the Cold War

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...
25.07.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

America’s Hidden Duopoly (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 ar...
18.07.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

What Do Nancy Pelosi, Taylor Swift, and Serena Williams Have in Common?

They — along with a great many other high-achieving women — were all once Girl Scouts. So was Sylvia Acevedo. Raised in a poor, immigrant family, she was told that “girls like her” didn’t go to college. But she did, and then became a rocket scientist a...
11.07.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Abortion and Crime, Revisited

The controversial theory linking Roe v. Wade to a massive crime drop is back in the spotlight as several states introduce abortion restrictions. Steve Levitt and John Donohue discuss their original research, the challenges to its legitimacy, and their ...
4.07.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

A Better Way to Eat (Rebroadcast)

Takeru Kobayashi revolutionized the sport of competitive eating. What can the rest of us learn from his breakthrough?
27.06.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

The Zero-Minute Workout

There is strong evidence that exercise is wildly beneficial. There is even stronger evidence that most people hate to exercise. So if a pill could mimic the effects of working out, why wouldn’t we want to take it?
20.06.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

How Goes the Behavior-Change Revolution?

An all-star team of behavioral scientists discovers that humans are stubborn (and lazy, and sometimes dumber than dogs). We also hear about binge drinking, humblebragging, and regrets. Recorded live in Philadelphia with guests including Richard Thaler,...
13.06.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Long-Term Thinking in a Start-Up Town

Recorded live in San Francisco. Guests include the keeper of a 10,000-year clock, the co-founder of Lyft, a pioneer in male birth control, a specialist in water security, and a psychology professor who is also a puppy. With co-host Angela Duckworth, fa...
6.06.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Notes From an Imperfect Paradise

Recorded live in Los Angeles. Guests include Mayor Eric Garcetti, the “Earthquake Lady,” the head of the Port of L.A., and a scientist with NASA’s Planetary Protection team. With co-host Angela Duckworth, fact-checker Mike Maughan, and the worldwide de...
30.05.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

How to Change Your Mind

There are a lot of barriers to changing your mind: ego, overconfidence, inertia — and cost. Politicians who flip-flop get mocked; family and friends who cross tribal borders are shunned. But shouldn’t we be encouraging people to change their minds? And...
23.05.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Here’s Why All Your Projects Are Always Late — and What to Do About It (Rebroadcast)

Whether it’s a giant infrastructure plan or a humble kitchen renovation, it’ll inevitably take way too long and cost way too much. That’s because you suffer from “the planning fallacy.” (You also have an “optimism bias” and a bad case of overconfidence...
16.05.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

23andMe (and You, and Everyone Else)

The revolution in home DNA testing is giving consumers important, possibly life-changing information. It’s also building a gigantic database that could lead to medical breakthroughs. But how will you deal with upsetting news? What if your privacy is co...
9.05.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

The $1.5 Trillion Question: How to Fix Student-Loan Debt?

As the cost of college skyrocketed, it created a debt burden that’s putting a drag on the economy. One possible solution: shifting the risk of debt away from students and onto investors looking for a cut of the graduates’ earning power.
2.05.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

The Data-Driven Guide to Sane Parenting

Humans have been having kids forever, so why are modern parents so bewildered? The economist Emily Oster marshals the evidence on the most contentious topics — breastfeeding and sleep training, vaccines and screen time — and tells her fellow parents to...
25.04.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

The Invisible Paw (Rebroadcast)

Humans, it has long been thought, are the only animal to engage in economic activity. But what if we've had it exactly backward?
18.04.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

The Most Interesting Fruit in the World

The banana used to be a luxury good. Now it’s the most popular fruit in the U.S. and elsewhere. But the production efficiencies that made it so cheap have also made it vulnerable to a deadly fungus that may wipe out the one variety most of us eat. Scie...
11.04.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

How Spotify Saved the Music Industry (But Not Necessarily Musicians)

Daniel Ek, a 23-year-old Swede who grew up on pirated music, made the record labels an offer they couldn’t refuse: a legal platform to stream all the world’s music. Spotify reversed the labels’ fortunes, made Ek rich, and thrilled millions of music fan...
4.04.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Why Rent Control Doesn’t Work

As cities become ever-more expensive, politicians and housing advocates keep calling for rent control. Economists think that’s a terrible idea. They say it helps a small (albeit noisy) group of renters, but keeps overall rents artificially high by disi...
28.03.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Freakonomics Radio Live: “Would You Eat a Piece of Chocolate Shaped Like Dog Poop?”

What your disgust level says about your politics, how Napoleon influenced opera, why New York City’s subways may finally run on time, and more. Five compelling guests tell Stephen Dubner, co-host Angela Duckworth, and fact-checker Jody Avirgan lots of ...
21.03.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Why You Shouldn’t Open a Restaurant (Ep. 347 Update)

Kenji Lopez-Alt became a rock star of the food world by bringing science into the kitchen in a way that everyday cooks can appreciate. Then he dared to start his own restaurant — and discovered problems that even science can’t solve.
14.03.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

A Free-Trade Democrat in the Trump White House

For years, Gary Cohn thought he’d be the next C.E.O. of Goldman Sachs. Instead, he became the “adult in the room” in a chaotic administration. Cohn talks about the fights he won, the fights he lost, and the fights he was no longer willing to have. Also...
7.03.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

How to Fail Like a Pro

The road to success is paved with failure, so you might as well learn to do it right. (Ep. 5 of the “How to Be Creative” series.)
28.02.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

A Good Idea Is Not Good Enough

Whether you’re building a business or a cathedral, execution is everything. We ask artists, scientists, and inventors how they turned ideas into reality. And we find out why it’s so hard for a group to get things done — and what you can do about it. (E...
21.02.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Where Do Good Ideas Come From?

Whether you’re mapping the universe, hosting a late-night talk show, or running a meeting, there are a lot of ways to up your idea game. Plus: the truth about brainstorming. (Ep. 3 of the “How to Be Creative” series.)
14.02.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

The Future of Meat

Global demand for beef, chicken, and pork continues to rise. So do concerns about environmental and other costs. Will reconciling these two forces be possible — or, even better, Impossible™?
7.02.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

This Economist Predicted the Last Crisis. What’s the Next One?

In 2005, Raghuram Rajan said the financial system was at risk “of a catastrophic meltdown.” After stints at the I.M.F. and India’s central bank, he sees another potential crisis — and he offers a solution. Is it stronger governments? Freer markets? Raj...
2.02.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Extra: Domonique Foxworth Full Interview

Stephen Dubner’s conversation with the former N.F.L. player, union official, and all-around sports thinker, recorded for our “Hidden Side of Sports” series.
31.01.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Not Just Another Labor Force

If you think talent and hard work give top athletes all the leverage to succeed, think again. As employees in the Sports-Industrial Complex, they’ve got a tight earnings window, a high injury rate, little choice in where they work — and a very early fo...
26.01.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Extra: Mark Cuban Full Interview

A conversation with the Shark Tank star, entrepreneur, and Dallas Mavericks owner recorded for the Freakonomics Radio series “The Hidden Side of Sports.”
24.01.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Inside the Sports-Industrial Complex

For most of us, the athletes are what make sports interesting. But if you own the team or run the league, your players are essentially very expensive migrant workers who eat into your profits. We talk to N.F.L., N.B.A., and U.F.C. executives about labo...
19.01.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Extra: Mark Teixeira Full Interview

A conversation with former Major League Baseball player and current ESPN analyst Mark Teixeira, recorded for the Freakonomics Radio series “The Hidden Side of Sports.”
17.01.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Think Like a Winner

Great athletes aren’t just great at the physical stuff. They’ve also learned how to handle pressure, overcome fear, and stay focused. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be an athlete to use what they know. (Ep. 4 of “The Hidden Side of Sports” ser...
12.01.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Hacking the World Bank (Ep. 197 Update)

Jim Yong Kim has an unorthodox background for a World Bank president — and his reign has been just as unorthodox. He has just announced he’s stepping down, well before his term is over; we recorded this interview with him in 2015.
10.01.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Why Is This Man Running for President?

In the American Dream sweepstakes, Andrew Yang was a pretty big winner. But for every winner, he came to realize, there are thousands upon thousands of losers — a “war on normal people,” he calls it. Here’s what he plans to do about it.
3.01.2019 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

How to Be Happy (Ep. 345 Rebroadcast)

The U.N.’s World Happiness Report — created to curtail our unhealthy obsession with G.D.P. — is dominated every year by the Nordic countries. We head to Denmark to learn the secrets of this happiness epidemic (and to see if we should steal them).
27.12.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

How to Win Games and Beat People (Ep. 247 Rebroadcast)

Games are as old as civilization itself, and some people think they have huge social value regardless of whether you win or lose. Tom Whipple is not one of those people. That’s why he consulted an army of preposterously overqualified experts to find th...
20.12.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

People Aren’t Dumb. The World Is Hard. (Ep. 340 Rebroadcast)

You wouldn’t think you could win a Nobel Prize for showing that humans tend to make irrational decisions. But that’s what Richard Thaler has done. The founder of behavioral economics describes his unlikely route to success; his reputation for being laz...
15.12.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Freakonomics Radio Live: “The World’s a Mess. But Oysters, They Hold it Down.”

Celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli joins us to co-host an evening of delicious fact-finding: where a trillion oysters went, whether a soda tax can work, and how beer helped build an empire. Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri is our real-time fact...
15.12.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Freakonomics Radio Live: “We Thought of a Way to Manipulate Your Perception of Time.”

We learn how to be less impatient, how to tell fake news from real, and the simple trick that nurses used to make better predictions than doctors. Journalist Manoush Zomorodi co-hosts; our real-time fact-checker is the author and humorist A.J. Jacobs.
15.12.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Freakonomics Radio Live: “Where Does Fear Live in the Brain?”

Our co-host is comedian Christian Finnegan, and we learn: the difference between danger and fear; the role of clouds in climate change; and why (and when) politicians are bad at math. Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri is our real-time fact-chec...
13.12.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Freakonomics Radio Live: “Jesus Could Have Been a Pigeon.”

Our co-host is Grit author Angela Duckworth, and we learn fascinating, Freakonomical facts from a parade of guests. For instance: what we all get wrong about Darwin; what an iPod has in common with the “hell ant”; and how a “memory athlete” memorizes a...
6.12.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Is the Protestant Work Ethic Real?

In the early 20th century, Max Weber argued that Protestantism created wealth. Finally, there are data to prove if he was right. All it took were some missionary experiments in the Philippines and a clever map-matching trick that goes back to 16th-cent...
29.11.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Should America Be Run by … Trader Joe’s?

The quirky little grocery chain with California roots and German ownership has a lot to teach all of us about choice architecture, efficiency, frugality, collaboration, and team spirit.
22.11.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

There’s a War on Sugar. Is It Justified? (Ep. 285 Rebroadcast)

Some people argue that sugar should be regulated, like alcohol and tobacco, on the grounds that it’s addictive and toxic. How much sense does that make? We hear from a regulatory advocate, an evidence-based skeptic, a former F.D.A. commissioner — and t...
15.11.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Yes, the Open Office Is Terrible — But It Doesn’t Have to Be

It began as a post-war dream for a more collaborative and egalitarian workplace. It has evolved into a nightmare of noise and discomfort. Can the open office be saved, or should we all just be working from home?
8.11.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Can an Industrial Giant Become a Tech Darling?

The Ford Motor Company is ditching its legacy sedans, doubling down on trucks, and trying to steer its stock price out of a long skid. But C.E.O. Jim Hackett has even bigger plans: to turn a century-old automaker into the nucleus of a “transportation o...
1.11.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

America’s Hidden Duopoly

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 ar...
27.10.2018 https://media2.wnyc.org/i/1400/1400/l/80/1/wn16_wnycstudios_freakonomics-rev3.png

Extra: Elvis Costello Full Interview

A conversation with the iconic singer-songwriter, recorded for the Freakonomics Radio series “How to Be Creative.”