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Freakonomics Radio

Author: ​Dubner Productions and Stitcher

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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.” 

13 Episodes
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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 verdict: the data don’t tell the whole story.
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?
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.R. Our farm policies were built to dominate, not necessarily to nourish — and we are still living with the consequences.
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 are you going to do about it?
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 and tech executive. Now she’s C.E.O. of the very organization she credits with shaping her life. Acevedo tells us how the Girl Scouts are trying to stay relevant, why they’re suing the Boy Scouts, and how they sell so many cookies.
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 updated analysis. Also: what this means for abortion policy, crime policy, and having intelligent conversations about contentious topics.
Takeru Kobayashi revolutionized the sport of competitive eating. What can the rest of us learn from his breakthrough?
383. The Zero-Minute Workout

383. The Zero-Minute Workout

2019-06-2700:38:1646

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?
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, Angela Duckworth, Katy Milkman, and Tom Gilovich.
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, fact-checker Mike Maughan, and the Freakonomics Radio Orchestra.
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Comments (133)

Tyler Hoerschgen

Wow, what an interesting name!

Aug 17th
Reply

Sean Wooten

Tyler Hoerschgen I was thinking the same about your photo. LoL

Aug 18th
Reply

Linda Susan Erickson

CA's single primary always comes down to 2 Dems, leaving me for no one to vote for in the general election. 😞

Aug 11th
Reply

Catherine M

I love the show. In this one however, I got ticked off by the simplistic view of unwanted pregnancy being a problem of not loving the child. Unwanted pregnancy has to do with not having some of the means (financial, physical, intellectual and emotional) to be able to successfully raise the child.

Aug 8th
Reply

Derrick Preslar

Catherine M If the ppl aren't willing to be adults and become a parent then they shouldn't be doing the things that create a child. But ppl are to selfish and self absorbed assholes.

Aug 8th
Reply

Mae Lee Arant

agree with concept of expansion but in realitu, expansion will primarily hurt the democrats. i also take exception to the categorization that the democrats are equally responsible for present day animus between the two parties. the gop is dead. this neogop party has been rebranded- a barely disguised fascist regime is what we are fighting. Plenty of conservative pundits have left because it isnt about dems versus repubs. it's saving our republic .

Jul 29th
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James Averkamp

Mae Lee Arant The only thing you forgot to include in your comment was "ORANGE MAN BAD!!"

Jul 30th
Reply

Wyatt Hayes

Mae Lee Arant Agree with your view

Jul 30th
Reply

James Averkamp

The speakers fret about where is that"new participant" and "disruptor", and easily dismiss Trump as not that guy, using two reasons why he's not, while I can just as easily argue that those reasons are why he IS the guy who's not of the duopoly they speak of. Top two candidate primaries $uck. I get to pick between 2 candidates, neither of whom come close to representing me,. They just vary in the degree of how much I disagree with their ideas. Here's an alternate idea. How about a version of an electoral college at the state level, since popular vote just gives the large urban area the power to dominate state policy at the expense of 95% of the rest of the counties in the state.

Jul 28th
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Teresa Ellis

James Averkamp Yes! I would love that. And changing the winner take all. I heard the idea of voting for a first, second, third, fourth choice. Where if no candidate gets enough votes, the officials look at vote rankings and remove the candidate who got the most fourth ranking and see who won at that point. No more problems with a third party running.

Aug 9th
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Quanna Diaz

James Averkamp 🤔🤔🤔

Jul 29th
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Rick Donaldson

texas election code is very 'party that holds a primary ' enforcement policy. I used both DnR when neither had a county judge candidate (Democrats didn't field one and R candidate elevated due to appointing co judge to district judge, leaving only the Libertarian candidate on the ballot, and Rs screwing up their own procedures to replace candidate already on the ballot.

Jul 26th
Reply

Chris Horton

Wow! Mind blowing but completely logical when you think about it. Would be interesting to see if data from Europe and other countries corroborates the findings.

Jul 20th
Reply

Joseph Hawkins

There are huge swaths of the economy that are stagnating due to a currency deficit. When there are residential solarpanels to install, industrial hemp to commoditize, thorium reactors to build, waste materials to recycle, electric vehicles to subsidize and much much more, our government seems compelled only to spend tens of trillions of dollars on bank failures and endless war. Religiously bankrolling these illicit and corrosive schemes breed an economy where the military industrial sector consumes ever more resources and the financial sector extracts ever more liquidity, placing the overall economy at ever greater risk. Rather than providing bombs to drop on others and austerity for us, our government needs to provide meaningful wages for those willing to work on what has to get done, translating into a more productive and sustainable economy for everyone.

Jul 20th
Reply

Joseph Hawkins

For all those who still insist on microeconomics masquerading as Macroeconomics, here is a quick primer of Macro 101 below. Money is a social unit of account having a fiscal/tax relation between the issuer of the currency and it's users, where spending precedes taxation. Government expenditures and not taxes pay for entitlement/discretionary spending and interest on the debt. Demanding that taxes be paid, and in dollars, insures the validity of the dollar as the means of exchange. Deficit Spending is the government spending more money into the economy then it taxes back out. Government deficits provide the liquidity necessary for the economy to function. Taxes are vital for restraining concentrations of wealth and include capital gains, dividend, corporate, inheritance, estate and a progressive income tax. The National Debt is the amount in dollars spent into the economy that the government buys back in exchange for Treasury securities, essentially transferring money from checking to savings. Inflation is a rise in prices across the economy due to a shortage of resources and/or productive capacity. Hyperinflation is a collapsing value of the currency across the economy due to a collapse in resources and/or no productive capacity. Stagflation is a rise in prices, compounded with a decline in economic activity across the economy due to the scarcity of a vital resource. Recessions are cyclical contractions of liquidity across the economy that cause a corresponding decline in economic activity. Depressions occur when the government runs a surplus, starving the economy of liquidity that cause deep and systemic unemployment, and an unsustainable escalation in private debt. Depressions are avoidable, so long as the government spends the necessary money to actualize full employment, which can include a job guarantee, student debt forgiveness and a Green New Deal.

Jul 20th
Reply

Kurben Nnm

A lot of leading questions

Jul 20th
Reply

Rachelle Bedell

Kurben Nnm 77777

Jul 23rd
Reply

David Brault

nbkvonn n mjh,,hv

Jul 16th
Reply

David Brault

nbkvonn n mjh,,hv

Jul 16th
Reply

Tonje Finne

l

Jul 11th
Reply

Janet Graham-Russell

In marketing we look for removing barriers to do something. for example I signed up for water aerobics at the pool on my way home. I had no reason to not do it.

Jul 6th
Reply

Anna Kochetkova

What a great idea(first speakers)! However, I'm curious to look into people's motivations to go to the gym before trying to change their behaviour aka create a solid gym work out that sticks. I am wondering if knowing different motivations maybe why your experiment had the result it had. For example, for some people gym may not be the solution and they silently hate it (thus reminders may not work), others may be worsening their silent injuries by going to the gym (this is what happened to me) or maybe some were using the gym as a part of their social status not exercise regiment. I can name a few dozens more. I'm wondering if gym is something that has to many variables and doesn't allow for the true motivation to come out rather than say that they didn't have self control. What do you think?

Jul 1st
Reply

Jin ZhiYan

so the steroid guy was one of the founders of GSK?

Jun 28th
Reply

James Morgan

I can't believe that more people aren't horrified by the thought of giving their genetic information to a corporation. At best this is opening the doors for insurance companies to discriminate on the basis of what health problems you MIGHT develop. But far more malevolent outcomes are easily imaginable. Anybody heard of eugenics?

Jun 26th
Reply

Jldubz

condoms work just fine!!

Jun 13th
Reply

Jldubz

Sarina Grey fair point!!

Jun 16th
Reply

Sarina Grey

Jldubz Perverts obsessed with personal pleasure than their own safety. This is what Jesus predicted.

Jun 16th
Reply

Nima Hooshmand

wash your eyes, see differently

Jun 4th
Reply

Patrick Scanlan

You let her off the hook on the privacy question. Same with the monetization issue. Seemed like you wanted to push harder, but didn't for whatever reason. A voluntary policy to never share your data is obviously conditional. And the condition in question is whether this GSK deal will keep an unprofitable firm in business.

May 29th
Reply
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