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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Eric Topol on Deep Medicine

Eric Topol talks about his book Deep Medicine with host Russ Roberts. He argues that doctors spend too little face-to-face time with patients, and using artificial intelligence and machine learning is a chance to emphasize the human side of medicine and expand the power of human connection in healing. Topol surveys the current applications of technology to health care showing where its promise has been overstated and where it has the most impact...



Anja Shortland on Kidnap

Anja Shortland talks about her book Kidnap with host Russ Roberts. Kidnapping is relatively common in parts of the world where government authority is weak. Shortland explores this strange, frightening, but surprisingly orderly world. The interaction between kidnappers, victims, and insurance companies creates a somewhat predictable set of prices for ransom and creates a relatively high chance of the safe return of those who are kidnapped.



Bjorn Lomborg on the Costs and Benefits of Attacking Climate Change

Bjorn Lomborg talks with host Russ Roberts about the costs and benefits of attacking climate change. He argues that we should always be aware of tradeoffs and effectiveness when assessing policies to reduce global warming. He advocates for realistic solutions that consider the potential to improve human life in other ways. He is skeptical of the potential to move away from fossil fuels and argues that geo-engineering and adaptation may be the most effective ways to cope with climate change.



Alain Bertaud on Cities, Planning, and Order Without Design

Alain Bertaud talks about his book Order Without Design with host Russ Roberts. He explores the role of zoning and planning alongside the emergent factors that affect the growth of cities. He emphasizes cities as places for people to work and looks at how preferences and choices shape cities. He also reflects upon the differing perspectives of urban planners and economists.



David Epstein on Mastery, Specialization, and Range

David Epstein talks about his book Range with host Russ Roberts. He explores the costs of specialization and the value of breadth in helping to create mastery in our careers and lives...



Mary Hirschfeld on Economics, Culture, and Aquinas and the Market

Mary Hirschfeld talks about her book, Aquinas and the Market, with host Russ Roberts. She looks at the nature of our economic activity as buyers and sellers and whether our pursuit of economic growth and material wellbeing comes at a cost. She encourages a skeptical stance about the ability of more stuff to produce true happiness and/or satisfaction. The conversation includes a critique of economic theory and the aspect of human satisfaction outside the domain of economists.


 2019-05-20  1h16m

Robert Burton on Being Certain

Robert Burton talks about his book, On Being Certain, with host Russ Roberts. He explores our need for certainty and the challenge of being skeptical about what our brain tells us must be true. Where does what Burton calls "the feeling of knowing" come from? Why can memory lead us astray? Burton claims that our reaction to events emerges from competition among different parts of the brain operating below our level of awareness...


 2019-05-13  1h20m

Mauricio Miller on Poverty, Social Work, and the Alternative

Mauricio Miller talks about his book The Alternative with host Russ Roberts. He argues that we have made poverty tolerable when we should be trying to make it more escapable. This is possible, he argues, if we invest in the poor and encourage them to leverage their skills and social networks. Miller emphasizes the importance of self-determination and self-respect as keys to helping the poor improve their own lives.


 2019-05-06  1h18m

Emily Oster on Cribsheet

Emily Oster talks about her book Cribsheet with host Russ Roberts. She explores what data and evidence can tell us about parenting in areas such as breastfeeding, sleep habits, discipline, vaccination, and food allergies. She finds that some commonly held views are not well supported by the evidence while in other cases the evidence appears decisive. Oster thoughtfully explores the challenges of using empirical work and balances our sometimes ignorance with common sense.


 2019-04-29  1h6m

Paul Romer on Growth, Cities, and the State of Economics

Nobel Laureate Paul Romer talks with host Russ Roberts about the nature of growth, the role of cities in the economy, and the state of economics. Romer also reflects on his time at the World Bank and why he left his position there as Chief Economist.


 2019-04-22  1h26m