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 ( 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, where you can also comment on the podcasts and ask questions.

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Janine Barchas on the Lost Books of Jane Austen

Janine Barchas talks about her book, The Lost Books of Jane Austen, with host Russ Roberts. She explores Austen's enduring reputation and how cheap reprints of her work allowed it to thrive, the links between Shakespeare and Austen, Austen's popularity despite the old-fashioned nature of her content, Colin Firth's shirt, and the virtue of studying literature.



Adam Minter on Secondhand

Adam Minter talks about his book Secondhand with host Russ Roberts. He explores the strange and fascinating world of secondhand stuff--the downsizing that the elderly do when they move to smaller quarters, the unseen side of Goodwill Industries, and the global market for rags.



Melanie Mitchell on Artificial Intelligence

Melanie Mitchell talks about her book Artificial Intelligence with host Russ Roberts. She explains where we are today in the world of AI and where we might be going. She argues that much of what is called learning and intelligence done by machines is not analogous to human capabilities. The capabilities of machines are highly limited to explicit, narrow tasks with little transfer to similar but different challenges...



Kimberly Clausing on Open and the Progressive Case for Free Trade

Kimberly Clausing talks about her book Open with host Russ Roberts. Clausing, a self-described progressive, argues that the U.S. should continue to embrace free trade but she argues for other interventions to soften the impact of trade on workers and communities.



Joe Posnanski on the Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini

Joe Posnanski talks about his book The Life and Afterlife of Harry Houdini with host Russ Roberts. He explores Houdini's enduring fame. Topics include the nature of celebrity, the nature of ambition, parenting, magic, and using public relations to create and sustain reputation and celebrity.


 2019-12-23  1h25m

Binyamin Appelbaum on the Economists' Hour

Binyamin Appelbaum talks about his book The Economists' Hour with host Russ Roberts. He blames the triumph of free-market ideology for the rise in inequality and the decline in growth rates over the last half-century. They discuss economic events over that time period and the role of economists in changing economic policy.


 2019-12-16  1h9m

Terry Moe on Educational Reform, Katrina, and Hidden Power

Terry Moe talks about his book The Politics of Institutional Reform with host Russ Roberts. He explores educational reform in New Orleans public schools in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. When policy-makers turned to charter schools for pragmatic reasons, students enjoyed dramatic improvements in educational outcomes as a result...


 2019-12-09  1h10m

Gerd Gigerenzer on Gut Feelings

Gerd Gigerenzer talks about his book Gut Feelings with host Russ Roberts. He argues for heuristics--rules of thumb--over more complex models when making real-world decisions, and that many behavioral economics results that appear irrational can be understood as sensible ways of coping with complexity.


 2019-12-02  1h8m

Susan Mayer on What Money Can't Buy

Susan Mayer talks about her book What Money Can't Buy with host Russ Roberts. Her research found that giving poor parents money had little measured effect on improving their children's lives. Also discussed is the role of education and parenting practices to help children in poor families.


 2019-11-25  1h14m

Keith Smith on Free Market Health Care

Keith Smith talks with Russ Roberts about what it's like to run a surgery center that posts prices on the internet and that does not take insurance. He discusses the distortions in the market for healthcare and how a real market for healthcare might function if government took a smaller role.


 2019-11-18  1h23m