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Author: EconTalk: Russ Roberts, Library of Economics and Liberty

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EconTalk is an award-winning weekly talk show about economics in daily life. Featured guests include renowned economics professors, Nobel Prize winners, and exciting speakers on all kinds of topical matters related to economic thought. Topics include health care, business cycles, economic growth, free trade, education, finance, politics, sports, book reviews, parenting, and the curiosities of everyday decision-making. Russ Roberts, of the Library of Economics and Liberty (econlib.org) and the Hoover Institution, draws you in with lively guests and creative repartee. Look for related readings and the complete archive of previous shows at EconTalk.org, where you can also comment on the podcasts and ask questions.
708 Episodes
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Rory Sutherland on Alchemy

Rory Sutherland on Alchemy

2019-11-1101:24:064

Author and Advertising Executive Rory Sutherland of Ogilvy talks about his book Alchemy with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Sutherland makes the case for the magic (yes, magic!) of advertising and branding in helping markets work well. This is a wide-ranging conversation on consumer choice, public policy, travel, real estate, and corporate decision-making using insights from behavioral economics and decades of experience in the world of advertising.
Writer and management consultant Venkatesh Rao talks about Waldenponding with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Rao coined the term Waldenponding to describe various levels of retreating from technology akin to how Thoreau extolled the virtues of retreating from social contact and leading a quieter life at Walden Pond. Rao argues that the value of Waldenponding is overrated and that extreme Waldenponding is even somewhat immoral. Rao sees online intellectual life as a form of supercomputer, an intellectual ecosystem that produces new knowledge and intellectual discourse. He encourages all of us to contribute to that intellectual ecosystem even when it can mean losing credit for some of our ideas and potentially some of our uniqueness.
Psychologist Michele Gelfand talks about her book, Rule Makers, Rule Breakers, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Gelfand distinguishes between loose cultures and tight cultures--the degree to which culture and regulation restrict behavior or leave it alone. Gelfand explores the causes of why some cultures are tighter than others and the challenges societies face when culture is too tight or too loose. She also applies these ideas of cultural tightness and looseness to corporate mergers and family life.
Economist Susan Houseman of the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research talks about the manufacturing sector with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Houseman argues that the data surrounding both manufacturing output and employment have been misunderstood and misinterpreted. In particular, she argues that conclusions about the growth of manufacturing are driven overwhelmingly by computer production while the rest of manufacturing has been stagnant. She also argues that productivity has a small role in reducing manufacturing employment. Trade has been the main cause of employment reductions. These claims go against the standard narratives most economists have been telling for the last 20 years.
Andrew McAfee of MIT's Sloan School of Management talks about his book, More from Less, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. McAfee argues that technology is helping developed nations use fewer resources in producing higher levels of economic output. The improvement is not just a reduction in energy per dollar of GDP but less energy in total as economic growth progresses. This "dematerialization" portends a future that was unimaginable to the economists and pundits of the past. McAfee discusses the potential for dealing with climate change in a dematerialized world, the non-material aspects of economic progress, and the political repercussions of the current distribution of economic progress.
Ryan Holiday talks about his latest book, Stillness Is the Key, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Holiday explores how stillness--the cultivation of serenity and focus--can affect how we live and how we perceive life. Topics discussed include the performance artist Marina Abramovic, Winnie the Pooh, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Michael Jordan's Hall of Fame induction speech. Holiday also explains how he keeps track of information and how his system makes it easier for him to write his books.
Physicist Sabine Hossenfelder talks about her book Lost in Math with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Hossenfelder argues that the latest theories in physics have failed to find empirical confirmation. Particles that were predicted to be discovered by the mathematics have failed to show up. Whether or not there is a multiverse has no observable consequences. Hossenfelder argues that physicists have become overly enamored with the elegance and aesthetics of their theories and that using beauty to evaluate a model is unscientific. The conversation includes a discussion of similar challenges in economics.
Dani Rodrik on Neoliberalism

Dani Rodrik on Neoliberalism

2019-09-2301:08:416

Dani Rodrik of Harvard University talks about neoliberalism with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Rodrik argues that a dogmatic embrace of markets has increased inequality and limited who benefits from economic growth. He argues for a more interventionist approach to the economy with the goal of better-paying jobs and more widely shared prosperity.
George Will talks about his new book, The Conservative Sensibility, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Will argues for a conservative vision that embraces the dynamic nature of life. Topics discussed include the current political landscape, the American founding, James Madison's vision of government vs. Woodrow Wilson's, Friedrich Hayek, and of course, a little baseball.
Economist and author Daron Acemoglu of MIT discusses with EconTalk host Russ Roberts the challenge of shared prosperity and the policies that could bring about a more inclusive economy. Acemoglu argues for the importance of good jobs over redistribution and makes the case for the policies that could lead to jobs and opportunities across skill levels.
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Comments (49)

Gary Haase

Definitely in the Top 5 for 2019.

Nov 11th
Reply (1)

Frank Castle

'Climate Change' is a globalist money grab.

Oct 14th
Reply (1)

stinky rex

great discussion, brings up a lot of things new parents think about! will look for her book at my local library.

Aug 28th
Reply (1)

S D

Great guests, interviewer asks good questions, each episode offers insightful conclusions. One of my favourite podcast. I suggest you to search into older episodes, there is excellent stuff there.

Aug 15th
Reply

stinky rex

excellent conversation, really gives you hope about the homeless situation.

Aug 10th
Reply

stinky rex

this is my favorite kind of econ talk episode!

Aug 3rd
Reply

Dan Kaiser

Rude guest, ignored all the questions. Just trying to sell a book based on technological boogeymen.

Jul 29th
Reply (1)

stinky rex

fascination conversation on a very important subject!

Jul 29th
Reply (1)

Tom Garundazoo

The presenter just let any discussion of the moral hazard of the insurers be dismissed. Of course their is a huge one, without more ransoms there is no more business for them. THATS why government's generally don't pay randoms as a rule and why it's often made ilegal to pay randoms. You want to destroy the market, if the money stops the kidnapping stops. Loyds of London and their insurers don't want to see that, government's and populaces do. of course as an individual you want insurance and the experts with existing relationships with kidnappers in your corner, but that's a different issue. I'm not saying the insurers are all bad but they have an interest in maintaining the market, that should be acknowledged.

Jun 19th
Reply (1)

ScarSonic

Awesome episode. Very insightful.

Jun 12th
Reply

Philip-Alexander Jach

Get Alex Epstein on

Jun 12th
Reply

Josh Blanchette

This was such a thought-provoking episode. I can't wait to read more of Mary's thoughts!

Jun 11th
Reply

Philip-Alexander Jach

have more Austrians

Jun 2nd
Reply

Shay Keinan

I'm surprised that at no point have you confronted her with some real data. the scientific consensus is that breast feeding is better than formula for various reasons. There is an abundance of medical research showing the benefits breast milk plays in infancy that carry over in later life. you can't let someone argue against the scientific consensus without asking some hard questions.

May 3rd
Reply

Dan Kaiser

Stick to interviewing intellectuals, not feminists.

Mar 21st
Reply

Dennis Peabody

Oh, god. This was interesting until Pinker's cataloguing of enlightenment progress was described as "more washing machines". Another idiot is determined to own "spirituality". OF COURSE there's more to life than material improvement, and if you think Pinker doesn't say the same then you're pig-headedly determined to misrepresent him.

Jan 22nd
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ed mason

How can they not mention the treatment of factory farmed animals?

Jan 17th
Reply

Philippe St-Pierre

new drinking game: one shot everytime this guy says "so forth"

Dec 18th
Reply

Sahan Shrestha

the personal review system is exactly the basis for a black mirror episode lmao

Nov 13th
Reply

Papa Bear

wow, someone that gets it...he is so right.. but of course the school systems law...was just to get the people away from the bible!

Nov 10th
Reply
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