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Freakonomics Radio

Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher

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Freakonomics co-author Stephen J. Dubner uncovers the hidden side of everything. Why is it safer to fly in an airplane than drive a car? How do we decide whom to marry? Why is the media so full of bad news? Also: things you never knew you wanted to know about wolves, bananas, pollution, search engines, and the quirks of human behavior. Join the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program for weekly member-only episodes of Freakonomics Radio. You’ll also get every show in our network without a ...
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The Freakonomics Radio Book Club

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From the podcast that explores the hidden side of everything, hear authors like you’ve never heard them before. Stephen Dubner and a stable of Freakonomics friends talk with the writers of mind-bending books, and we hear the best excerpts as well. You’ll learn about skill versus chance, the American discomfort with death, the secret life of dogs, and much more. Join the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program for weekly member-only episodes of Freakonomics Radio. You’ll also get every sho ...
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It used to feel like magic. Now it can feel like a set of cheap tricks. Is the problem with Google — or with us? And is Google Search finally facing a real rival, in the form of A.I.-powered “answer engines”? SOURCES: Marissa Mayer, co-founder of Sunshine; former C.E.O. of Yahoo! and vice president at Google. Ryan McDevitt; professor of economics a…
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A wide-open conversation with three women who guided Richard Feynman through some big adventures at the Esalen Institute. (Part of our Feynman series.) SOURCES: Barbara Berg, friend of Richard Feynman. Cheryl Haley, friend of Richard Feynman. Debby Harlow, friend of Richard Feynma Sam Stern, content creator at the Esalen Institute. EXTRAS: Richard …
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In his final years, Richard Feynman's curiosity took him to some surprising places. We hear from his companions on the trips he took — and one he wasn’t able to. (Part three of a three-part series.) SOURCES: Alan Alda, actor and screenwriter. Barbara Berg, friend of Richard Feynman. Helen Czerski, physicist and oceanographer at University College L…
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What happens when an existentially depressed and recently widowed young physicist from Queens gets a fresh start in California? We follow Richard Feynman out west, to explore his long and extremely fruitful second act. (Part two of a three-part series.) SOURCES: Seamus Blackley, video game designer and creator of the Xbox. Carl Feynman, computer sc…
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They’re heading to the Super Bowl for the second time in five years. But back in 2018, they were coming off a long losing streak — and that’s the year we sat down with 49ers players, coaches, and executives to hear their turnaround plans. It’s probably time to consider the turnaround a success. SOURCES: Jimmy Garoppolo, quarterback for the Las Vega…
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From the Manhattan Project to the Challenger investigation, the physicist Richard Feynman loved to shoot down what he called “lousy ideas.” Today, the world is awash in lousy ideas — so maybe it’s time to get some more Feynman in our lives? (Part one of a three-part series.) SOURCES: Helen Czerski, physicist and oceanographer at University College …
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Michael Roth of Wesleyan University doesn’t hang out with other university presidents. He also thinks some of them have failed a basic test of good sense and decency. It’s time for a conversation about college, and courage. SOURCE: Michael S. Roth, president of Wesleyan University. RESOURCES: "Opinion: College Presidents Are Supposed to Be Moral Le…
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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. SOURCES: Sharon Begley, senior science writer for Stat at The Boston Globe. Jerome Kagan, emerit…
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Probably not — the incentives are too strong. Scholarly publishing is a $28 billion global industry, with misconduct at every level. But a few reformers are gaining ground. (Part 2 of 2) SOURCES: Max Bazerman, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. Leif Nelson, professor of business administration at the University of Cali…
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Some of the biggest names in behavioral science stand accused of faking their results. Last year, an astonishing 10,000 research papers were retracted. We talk to whistleblowers, reformers, and a co-author who got caught up in the chaos. (Part 1 of 2) SOURCES: Max Bazerman, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School. Leif Nelso…
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In a special episode of The Economics of Everyday Things, host Zachary Crockett explains what millennials do to show they care, how corrugated cardboard keeps your food warm, and why every city has a billboard for a guy who calls himself “The Hammer.” SOURCES: Jason Abraham, managing partner of Hupy & Abraham. Nora Engstrom, professor at Stanford L…
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In a special episode of People I (Mostly) Admire, Steve Levitt talks to Cat Bohannon about her new book Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution. SOURCE: Cat Bohannon, researcher and author. RESOURCES: Eve: How the Female Body Drove 200 Million Years of Human Evolution, by Cat Bohannon (2023). "Genomic Inference of a Seve…
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In a special episode of No Stupid Questions, Angela Duckworth and Mike Maughan talk about unfinished tasks, recurring arguments, and Irish goodbyes. SOURCES: Roy Baumeister, social psychologist and visiting scholar at Harvard University. Daniel Gilbert, professor of psychology at Harvard University. John Gottman, professor emeritus of psychology at…
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Lewis got incredible access to Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire behind the spectacular FTX fraud. His book is a bestseller, but some critics say he went too easy on S.B.F. Lewis tells us why the critics are wrong — and what it’s like to watch your book get turned into a courtroom drama. SOURCES: Michael Lewis, author. RESOURCES: Going Infinite: T…
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Lewis got incredible access to Sam Bankman-Fried, the billionaire behind the spectacular FTX fraud. His book is a bestseller, but some critics say he went too easy on S.B.F. Lewis tells us why the critics are wrong — and what it’s like to watch your book get turned into a courtroom drama. SOURCES: Michael Lewis, author. RESOURCES: Going Infinite: T…
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In policing, as in most vocations, the best employees are often promoted into leadership without much training. One economist thinks he can address this problem — and, with it, America’s gun violence. SOURCES Kenneth Corey, director of outreach and engagement for the Policing Leadership Academy at the University of Chicago and retired chief of depa…
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It boosts economic opportunity and social mobility. It’s good for the environment. So why do we charge people to use it? The short answer: it’s complicated. Also: We talk to the man who gets half the nation’s mass-transit riders where they want to go (most of the time). SOURCES: Marcus Finbom, traffic planner in Stockholm, Sweden. Robbie Makinen, f…
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Most industries have become more productive over time. But not construction! We identify the causes — and possible solutions. (Can you say ... “prefab”?) RESOURCES: "The Strange and Awful Path of Productivity in the US Construction Sector," by Austan Goolsbee and Chad Syverson (BFI Working Paper, 2023). "Infrastructure Costs," by Leah Brooks and Za…
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Pro footballer and star podcaster Jason Kelce is ubiquitous right now (almost as ubiquitous as his brother and co-host Travis, who's been in the limelight for his relationship with Taylor Swift). After you hear this wide-ranging interview, you might want even more Kelce in your life. RESOURCES: “N.F.L. Player Team Report Cards,” by the National Foo…
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They say they make companies more efficient through savvy management. Critics say they bend the rules to enrich themselves at the expense of consumers and employees. Can they both be right? (Probably not.) RESOURCES: Plunder: Private Equity's Plan to Pillage America, by Brendan Ballou (2023). Two and Twenty: How the Masters of Private Equity Always…
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Evidence from Nazi Germany and 1940’s America (and pretty much everywhere else) shows that discrimination is incredibly costly — to the victims, of course, but also the perpetrators. One modern solution is to invoke a diversity mandate. But new research shows that’s not necessarily the answer. RESOURCES: "Discrimination, Managers, and Firm Performa…
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Everyone makes mistakes. How do you learn from them? Lessons from the classroom, the Air Force, and the world’s deadliest infectious disease. RESOURCES: Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well, by Amy Edmondson (2023). "You Think Failure Is Hard? So Is Learning From It," by Lauren Eskreis-Winkler and Ayelet Fishbach (Perspectives on Psycho…
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Giving up can be painful. That's why we need to talk about it. Today: stories about glitchy apps, leaky paint cans, broken sculptures — and a quest for the perfect bowl of ramen. RESOURCES "Data Snapshot: Tenure and Contingency in US Higher Education," by Glenn Colby (American Association of University Professors, 2023). Grit: The Power of Passion …
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In medicine, failure can be catastrophic. It can also produce discoveries that save millions of lives. Tales from the front line, the lab, and the I.T. department. RESOURCES: Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well, by Amy Edmondson (2023). "Reconsidering the Application of Systems Thinking in Healthcare: The RaDonda Vaught Case," by Conno…
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We tend to think of tragedies as a single terrible moment, rather than the result of multiple bad decisions. Can this pattern be reversed? We try — with stories about wildfires, school shootings, and love. RESOURCES Right Kind of Wrong: The Science of Failing Well, by Amy Edmondson (2023). "Michigan School Shooter Is Found Eligible for Life Sentenc…
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Claudia Goldin is the newest winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. We spoke with her in 2016 about why women earn so much less than men — and how it’s not all explained by discrimination. SOURCES: Claudia Goldin, professor of economics at Harvard University.Freakonomics Radio + Stitcher tarafından oluşturuldu
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