EconTalk: Conversations for the Curious is an award-winning weekly podcast hosted by Russ Roberts of Shalem College in Jerusalem. The eclectic guest list includes authors, doctors, psychologists, historians, philosophers, economists, and more. Learn how the health care system really works, the serenity that comes from humility, the challenge of interpreting data, how potato chips are made, what it's like to run an upscale Manhattan restaurant, what caused the 2008 financial crisis, the nature of consciousness, and more. EconTalk has been taking the Monday out of Mondays since 2006. All 750+ episodes are available in the archive. Go to EconTalk.org for transcripts, related resources, and comments.
Branko Milanovic talks with host Russ Roberts about the big questions in economics. He argues that the Nobel Prize Committee is missing an opportunity to encourage more ambitious work by awarding the prize to economists tackling questions China's economic rise and other challenging but crucial areas of scholarship. In the conversation, he lays out what those questions might be and discusses what we know and don't know in these areas.
Emily Oster talks with host Russ Roberts about the challenge of reopening schools in a pandemic. She has been collecting data from K-12 schools around the country. Her preliminary analysis finds little evidence that schools are super-spreaders of COVID. The conversation ends with a discussion of parenting.
Daniel Haybron talks about his book, Happiness, with host Russ Roberts. Happiness turns out to be a little more complicated than it sounds. Haybron discusses the good life and different philosophical perspectives on how to achieve happiness.
Virginia Postrel talks about her book, The Fabric of Civilization and How Textiles Made the World, with host Russ Roberts. She tells the story behind the clothes we wear and what goes into producing them. The history of textiles, she argues, is a good way of understanding the history of the world.
Steven Levitt of the University of Chicago and co-author of Freakonomics talks with host Russ Roberts about the book's surprising success, the controversy it generated, and how he thinks about economics.
Fredrik deBoer discusses his book The Cult of Smart with host Russ Roberts. He argues that there is little that can be done to change the distribution of success in K-12 education, and that educational reforms like charter schools and No Child Left Behind are doomed to fail. DeBoer, self-described Marxist, makes the case for a radical re-imagining of the U.S. economy.
Dwayne Betts talks about his time in prison and the power of reading with host Russ Roberts. Betts is the founder of the Million Book Project, which aims to put a small library of great books in U.S. prisons. He discusses his plans for the project and how reading helped him transform himself.
Anne Applebaum talks about her book, Twilight of Democracy, with host Russ Roberts. She discusses the rise of populist and nationalist movements in Eastern Europe and in the West, and the appeal of these movements even when they begin to erode or destroy democracy.
Zena Hitz talks about her book Lost in Thought with host Russ Roberts. She defends learning for its own sake--learning that has nothing to do with passing an exam or preparing for a career. For Hitz, learning is a refuge and an essential part of what makes us human.