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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Robin Feldman on Drugs, Money, and Secret Handshakes

Robin Feldman talks about her book Drugs, Money, and Secret Handshakes with host Russ Roberts. She argues that the legal and regulatory environment for drug companies encourages them to seek drugs that extend their monopoly often with insufficient benefit for consumers. The prices for those drugs are then protected from new competition via the patent system. She also argues that the pharmacy benefit management system allows drug companies to exploit consumers...


 2019-04-08  n/a

Jacob Stegenga on Medical Nihilism

Jacob Stegenga talks about his book Medical Nihilism with host Russ Roberts. He argues that many medical treatments either fail to achieve their intended goals or achieve them with many negative side effects; and that the approval process for pharmaceuticals exaggerates benefits and underestimates costs. He criticizes the FDA approval process for approving too many drugs that are not sufficiently helpful relative to their side effects...


 2019-04-01  1h18m

Daniel Hamermesh on Spending Time

Daniel Hamermesh talks about his latest book, Spending Time, with host Russ Roberts. He explores how we treat time relative to money, how much we work and how that has changed over time, and the ways economists look at time, work, and leisure.


 2019-03-25  1h2m

Amy Tuteur on Birth, Natural Parenting, and Push Back

Amy Tuteur talks with host Russ Roberts about her book, Push Back. She argues that natural parenting--the encouragement to women to give birth without epidurals or caesarians and to breastfeed--is bad for women's health and has little or no benefit for their children.


 2019-03-18  1h2m

Amy Webb on Artificial Intelligence, Humanity, and the Big Nine

Amy Webb talks about her book, The Big Nine, with host Russ Roberts. She observes that AI is evolving in a handful of U.S. and Chinese companies. She worries that in the U.S., innovation may lead to social changes we may not ultimately like; in China, innovation may end up serving the geopolitical goals of the Chinese government with some uncomfortable foreign policy implications...


 2019-03-11  1h24m

Jacob Vigdor on the Seattle Minimum Wage

Jacob Vigdor talks with host Russ Roberts about the impact of Seattle's minimum wage increases in recent years. Vigdor has tried to measure the change in employment, hours worked, and wages for low-skilled Seattle workers. Some or all of the gains were offset by reductions in hours worked and a reduction in the rate of job creation especially for low-skilled workers.


 2019-03-04  1h13m

Michael Munger on Crony Capitalism

Michael Munger talks with host Russ Roberts about whether real capitalism is unstable and leads inevitably to crony capitalism. They also discuss ways to prevent the descent into cronyism and speculate on their own blind spots.


 2019-02-25  1h10m

Catherine Semcer on Poaching, Preserves, and African Wildlife

Catherine Semcer talks with host Russ Roberts about the role of incentives in preserving wildlife in Africa. They discuss how allowing limited hunting of big game such as elephants, using revenue from hunting licenses to reward communities for habitat stewardship, has improved both habitat and wildlife populations while reducing poaching...


 2019-02-18  1h7m

Jessica Riskin on Life, Machinery, and the Restless Clock

Jessica Riskin talks talks about her book The Restless Clock with host Russ Roberts. How do human beings and machines differ? How has science thought about this distinction? When do we have agency and when are we constrained? She also discusses the implications for how we think about ourselves and the growth of artificial intelligence.


 2019-02-11  1h4m

Gary Greenberg on the Placebo Effect

Gary Greenberg talks with host Russ Roberts about the placebo effect. Is it real? How does the placebo effect influence drug testing? Why does it work? Might it be harnessed to improve health care? The conversation concludes with a discussion of how knowledge of the placebo effect has influenced Greenberg's psychotherapy practice.


 2019-02-04  1h1m