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Freakonomics Radio

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Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers. Special features include series like “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.” as well as a live game show, “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.”

Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers. Special features include series like “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.” as well as a live game show, “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.”

Location:

New York, NY

Description:

Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers. Special features include series like “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.” as well as a live game show, “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.”

Language:

English

Contact:

160 Varick St. New York, NY 10013


Episodes

410. What Does COVID-19 Mean for Cities (and Marriages)?

3/25/2020
There are a lot of upsides to urban density — but viral contagion is not one of them. Also: a nationwide lockdown will show if familiarity really breeds contempt. And: how to help your neighbor.

Duration:00:43:12

409. The Side Effects of Social Distancing

3/18/2020
In just a few weeks, the novel coronavirus has undone a century’s worth of our economic and social habits. What consequences will this have on our future — and is there a silver lining in this very black pandemic cloud?

Duration:00:51:28

Why Rent Control Doesn’t Work (Ep. 373 Rebroadcast)

3/11/2020
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 disincentivizing new construction. So what happens next?

Duration:00:51:05

408. Does Anyone Really Know What Socialism Is?

3/4/2020
Trump says it would destroy us. Sanders says it will save us. 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.

Duration:00:46:41

407. Is There Really a “Loneliness Epidemic”?

2/26/2020
That’s what some health officials are saying, but the data aren’t so clear. We look into what’s known (and not known) about the prevalence and effects of loneliness — including the possible upsides.

Duration:00:36:47

406. Can You Hear Me Now?

2/19/2020
When he became chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai announced that he was going to take a “weed whacker” to Obama-era regulations. So far, he’s kept his promise, and earned the internet’s ire for reversing the agency’s position on net neutrality. Pai defends his actions and explains how the U.S. can “win” everything from the 5G race to the war on robocalls.

Duration:00:50:40

405. Policymaking Is Not a Science (Yet)

2/12/2020
Why do so many promising solutions — in education, medicine, criminal justice, etc. — fail to scale up into great policy? And can a new breed of “implementation scientists” crack the code?

Duration:00:47:05

404. Does the President Matter as Much as You Think?

2/5/2020
We asked this same question nearly a decade ago. The answer then: probably not. But a lot has changed since then, and we’re three years into one of the most anomalous presidencies in American history. So once again we try to sort out presidential signal from noise. What we hear from legal and policy experts may leave you surprised, befuddled — and maybe infuriated.

Duration:00:55:16

How the San Francisco 49ers Stopped Being Losers (Ep. 350 Update)

1/29/2020
One of the most storied (and valuable) sports franchises in the world had fallen far. So they decided to do a full reboot — and it worked: this week, they are headed back to the Super Bowl. Before the 2018 season, we sat down with the team’s owner, head coach, general manager, and players as they were plotting their turnaround. Here’s an update of that episode.

Duration:01:01:43

403. The Opioid Tragedy, Part 2: “It’s Not a Death Sentence”

1/22/2020
One prescription drug is keeping some addicts from dying. So why isn’t it more widespread? A story of regulation, stigma, and the potentially fatal faith in abstinence.

Duration:00:49:01

402. The Opioid Tragedy, Part 1: “We’ve Addicted an Entire Generation”

1/15/2020
How pharma greed, government subsidies, and a push to make pain the “fifth vital sign” kicked off a crisis that costs $80 billion a year and has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Duration:00:49:57

5 Psychology Terms You’re Probably Misusing (Ep. 334 Rebroadcast)

1/8/2020
We all like to throw around terms that describe human behavior — “bystander apathy” and “steep learning curve” and “hard-wired.” Most of the time, they don’t actually mean what we think they mean. But don’t worry — the experts are getting it wrong, too.

Duration:00:48:49

The Zero-Minute Workout (Ep. 383 Rebroadcast)

1/1/2020
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?

Duration:00:40:09

401. How Many Prince Charleses Can There Be in One Room?

12/25/2019
In a special holiday episode, Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth take turns asking each other questions about charisma, wealth vs. intellect, and (of course) grit.

Duration:00:37:09

Why Is This Man Running for President? (Ep. 362 Update)

12/18/2019
A year ago, nobody was taking Andrew Yang very seriously. Now he is America’s favorite entrepre-nerd, with a candidacy that keeps gaining momentum. This episode includes our Jan. 2019 conversation with the leader of the Yang Gang and a fresh interview recorded from the campaign trail in Iowa.

Duration:01:00:49

400. How to Hate Taxes a Little Bit Less

12/11/2019
Every year, Americans short the I.R.S. nearly half a trillion dollars. Most ideas to increase compliance are more stick than carrot — scary letters, audits, and penalties. But what if we gave taxpayers a chance to allocate how their money is spent, or even bribed them with a thank-you gift?

Duration:00:45:15

Honey, I Grew the Economy

12/4/2019
Innovation experts have long overlooked where a lot of innovation actually happens. The personal computer, the mountain bike, the artificial pancreas — none of these came from some big R&D lab, but from users tinkering in their homes. Acknowledging this reality — and encouraging it — would be good for the economy (and the soul too).

Duration:00:46:05

How to Change Your Mind (Ep. 379 Rebroadcast)

11/27/2019
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 how can we get better at it ourselves?

Duration:00:47:38

The Truth About the Vaping Crisis

11/20/2019
A recent outbreak of illness and death has gotten everyone’s attention — including late-to-the-game regulators. But would a ban on e-cigarettes do more harm than good? We smoke out the facts.

Duration:00:47:52

How to Save $32 Million in One Hour

11/13/2019
For nearly a decade, governments have been using behavioral nudges to solve problems — and the strategy is catching on in healthcare, firefighting, and policing. But is that thinking too small? Could nudging be used to fight income inequality and achieve world peace? Recorded live in London, with commentary from Andy Zaltzman (The Bugle).

Duration:00:47:19