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Economics

EconTalk: Conversations for the Curious is an award-winning weekly podcast hosted by Russ Roberts of Shalem College in Jerusalem and Stanford's Hoover Institution. The eclectic guest list includes authors, doctors, psychologists, historians, philosophers, economists, and more. Learn how the health care system really works, the serenity that comes from humility, the challenge of interpreting data, how potato chips are made, what it's like to run an upscale Manhattan restaurant, what caused the 2008 financial crisis, the nature of consciousness, and more. EconTalk has been taking the Monday out of Mondays since 2006. All 800+ episodes are available in the archive. Go to EconTalk.org for transcripts, related resources, and comments.

EconTalk: Conversations for the Curious is an award-winning weekly podcast hosted by Russ Roberts of Shalem College in Jerusalem and Stanford's Hoover Institution. The eclectic guest list includes authors, doctors, psychologists, historians, philosophers, economists, and more. Learn how the health care system really works, the serenity that comes from humility, the challenge of interpreting data, how potato chips are made, what it's like to run an upscale Manhattan restaurant, what caused the 2008 financial crisis, the nature of consciousness, and more. EconTalk has been taking the Monday out of Mondays since 2006. All 800+ episodes are available in the archive. Go to EconTalk.org for transcripts, related resources, and comments.

Location:

Indianapolis, IN

Description:

EconTalk: Conversations for the Curious is an award-winning weekly podcast hosted by Russ Roberts of Shalem College in Jerusalem and Stanford's Hoover Institution. The eclectic guest list includes authors, doctors, psychologists, historians, philosophers, economists, and more. Learn how the health care system really works, the serenity that comes from humility, the challenge of interpreting data, how potato chips are made, what it's like to run an upscale Manhattan restaurant, what caused the 2008 financial crisis, the nature of consciousness, and more. EconTalk has been taking the Monday out of Mondays since 2006. All 800+ episodes are available in the archive. Go to EconTalk.org for transcripts, related resources, and comments.

Twitter:

@EconTalker

Language:

English

Contact:

8335 Allison Pointe Trail Indianapolis, IN 46250 (317) 842-0880


Episodes

Annie Duke on the Power of Quitting

11/28/2022
Annie Duke is angry that quitting gets such a bad rap. Instead of our relentless focus on grit and "going for it," the former professional poker player, decision strategist, and author of Quit wants us to recognize the costs associated with sticking to a losing outcome. Listen as she explains to EconTalk host Russ Roberts how society's conflation of grit with character has made quitting unnecessarily hard, and why our desire for certainty harms our decision-making ability. Additional topics...

Duration:01:22:19

Johnathan Bi on Mimesis and René Girard

11/21/2022
When the 20-year-old overachiever Johnathan Bi's first startup crashed and burned, he headed to a Zen retreat in the Catskills to "debug himself." He discovered René Girard and his mimetic theory--the idea that imitation is a key and often unconscious driver of human behavior. Listen as entrepreneur and philosopher Bi shares with EconTalk host Russ Roberts what he learned from Girard and Girard's insights into how we meet our primal need for money, fame, and power. The conversation includes...

Duration:01:11:46

Agnes Callard on Meaning, the Human Quest, and the Aims of Education

11/14/2022
Suppose all of humanity was infected by a virus that left us all infertile--no one will come along after us. How would you react to such a world? Agnes Callard of the University of Chicago says she would be filled with despair. But why does this seem worse than our own inevitable deaths? Callard speaks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the meaning of life, and what exactly about the end of humanity is so demoralizing. The conversation concludes with a discussion of whether humanity is...

Duration:01:21:08

Jessica Todd Harper on Beauty, Family, and Photography

11/7/2022
When everyone is carrying a camera in their pocket, what raises the act of taking pictures to the level of fine art photography? Jessica Todd Harper, the award-winning portrait photographer, says that it's equal parts mindset and technique--and lots of setting the stage to seize that perfect light. Listen as Harper speaks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her desire to capture the complexity of life in a single image, why family relationships and home life are her chosen subjects, and...

Duration:01:22:16

Michael Munger on Industrial Policy

10/31/2022
Economist and political scientist Michael Munger of Duke University talks about industrial policy with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Munger argues that in a democracy, the default outcome for industrial policy is crony capitalism--attempts to improve on that outcome either by appointing experts or eliminating cronyism are going to fail for political reasons. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the reliability of Munger's claim and what options are left for dissatisfied reformers.

Duration:01:09:36

Ryan Holiday on Discipline Is Destiny

10/24/2022
Author Ryan Holiday talks about his book, Discipline Is Destiny, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Holiday discusses the mentor who taught him discipline, the self-control of Queen Elizabeth, the world-champion boxer who counseled the man who defeated him in the ring, and the forgotten Roman emperor who helped make Marcus Aurelius the man he would become.

Duration:01:11:00

Devon Zuegel on Inflation, Argentina, and Crypto

10/17/2022
Devon Zuegel talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the crazy world of money and finance in Argentina. When inflation is often high and unpredictable, people look for unusual ways to hold their savings. And when banks are unreliable because of public policy, people look for unusual ways to keep their savings safe and to make financial transactions. Welcome to Argentina, where Zuegel finds surprising applications of cryptocurrency for solving problems.

Duration:01:03:48

Roland Fryer on Educational Reform

10/10/2022
The good news about educational reform, says Harvard economist Roland Fryer, is that we know what it takes to turn a school around. The bad news is that it's hard work--and implementing it won't win you any popularity contests. Listen as the MacArthur Genius Award Winner and John Bates Clark medalist speaks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how pizza parties revealed the potential of incentives to improve students' test scores, and why he's far more concerned about closing the racial...

Duration:01:13:14

Sonat Birnecker Hart on Whiskey

10/3/2022
Scholar and distiller Sonat Birnecker Hart of the Koval Distillery talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her career move from academia to whiskey-making. She explains that the heart is the key to great flavor--when making whiskey, and when making the right choices in life.

Duration:01:24:26

Erik Hoel on Effective Altruism, Utilitarianism, and the Repugnant Conclusion

9/26/2022
Neuroscientist Erik Hoel talks about why he is not an "effective altruist" with EconTalk host, Russ Roberts. Hoel argues that the utilitarianism that underlies effective altruism--a movement co-founded by Will MacAskill and Peter Singer--is a poison that inevitably leads to repugnant conclusions and thereby weakens the case for the strongest claims made by effective altruists.

Duration:01:17:01

Kieran Setiya on Midlife

9/19/2022
John Stuart Mill's midlife crisis came at 20 when he realized that if he got what he desired he still wouldn't be happy. Art and poetry (and maybe love) saved the day for him. In this week's episode, philosopher Kieran Setiya of MIT talks about his book Midlife with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Setiya argues we can learn from Mill to help deal with the ennui to which so many midlifers succumb--along with regrets for roads not taken and wistfulness for what could have been. Setiya argues that...

Duration:01:39:44

David McRaney on How Minds Change

9/12/2022
To the Founding Fathers it was free libraries. To the 19th century rationalist philosophers it was a system of public schools. Today it's access to the internet. Since its beginnings, Americans have believed that if facts and information were available to all, a democratic utopia would prevail. But missing from these well-intentioned efforts, says author and journalist David McRaney, is the awareness that people's opinions are unrelated to their knowledge and intelligence. In fact, he...

Duration:01:25:41

Will MacAskill on Longtermism and What We Owe the Future

9/5/2022
Philosopher William MacAskill of the University of Oxford and a founder of the effective altruism movement talks about his book What We Owe the Future with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. MacAskill advocates "longtermism," giving great attention to the billions of people who will live on into the future long after we are gone. Topics discussed include the importance of moral entrepreneurs, why it's moral to have children, and the importance of trying to steer the future for better outcomes.

Duration:01:03:46

Amor Towles on A Gentleman in Moscow and the Writer's Craft

8/29/2022
Author Amor Towles talks about his book, A Gentleman in Moscow, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Along the way they discuss the craft of writing, the wellsprings of persistence, and Towles's reading habits.

Duration:01:19:28

Raj Chetty on Economic Mobility

8/22/2022
Economist Raj Chetty of Harvard University talks about his work on economic mobility with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. The focus is on Chetty's recent co-authored study in Nature where he finds that poor people in America who are only connected to other poor people do dramatically worse financially than poor people who are connected to a wider array of economic classes. The discussion includes the policy implications of this result as well as a discussion of Chetty's earlier work on the...

Duration:01:13:09

Tyler Cowen on Talent

8/15/2022
How do you hone your craft on an everyday basis? It could be writing, meeting with experts, even listening to podcasts, just so long, argues economist and blogger Tyler Cowen, as it makes you better at what you already do. Perhaps more than anything else, he believes, it's practice that divides middle managers from founders, and mere good hires from the creative obsessives who end up transforming the world. Join Cowen and EconTalk host Russ Roberts for a conversation about Talent, Cowen's...

Duration:01:01:00

Russ Roberts and Mike Munger on Wild Problems

8/8/2022
Waze and Google Maps tell us the best way to get to where we're going. But no app or algorithm can tell us whether we should head there in the first place. To economist Russ Roberts, the reason is simple: Humans are dynamic and aspirational beings. When it comes to making life's big decisions, from what to study to whom to marry or whether to have a child, it's not always us doing the deciding, he argues, but rather the people we want to be. Join the host of EconTalk, the president of Shalem...

Duration:01:17:19

Gerd Gigerenzer on How to Stay Smart in a Smart World

8/1/2022
IBM's super-computer Watson was a runaway success on Jeopardy! But it wasn't nearly as good at diagnosing cancer. This came as no surprise to Max Planck Institute psychologist Gerd Gigerenzer, who argues that when it comes to life-and-death decisions, we'll always need real, not artificial, brains. Listen as the author of How to Stay Smart in a Smart World tells EconTalk host Russ Roberts why computers aren't nearly as smart as we think. But, Gigerenzer says, human beings need to get smarter...

Duration:01:08:32

John List on Scale, Uber, and the Voltage Effect

7/25/2022
Economist John List of the University of Chicago talks about his book, The Voltage Effect, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. He discusses what determines scalability and argues that the only good ideas that count are those that scale. Along the way, he draws on his experiences as chief economist of Uber and Lyft to peer inside the black box of ride sharing.

Duration:01:00:22

Vinay Prasad on the Pandemic

7/18/2022
When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccination, is the risk of myocarditis greater than the benefit to a healthy male teen? Is natural immunity really better than vaccination--and were we right to mask the kids? Dr. Vinay Prasad of the University of California San Francisco talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about what we learned and didn't learn from COVID so far and how we should handle a pandemic going forward.

Duration:01:27:11