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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
Jill Lepore talks about nationalism, populism, and the state of America with host Russ Roberts. She argues that we need a new Americanism, a common story we share and tell ourselves. Topics include the rise of globalization and the challenge of knowing what is true and what is false in the internet era.
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...
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...
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.