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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Jesse Ausubel on Agriculture, Technology, and the Return of Nature

Jesse Ausubel talks with host Russ Roberts about the return of nature. Ausubel shows how technology has reduced many of the dimensions of the human footprint even as population rises and why this trend is likely to continue into the future. The conversation concludes with Ausubel's cautious optimism about the impact of climate change.


 2015-08-24  1h2m

Rachel Laudan on the History of Food and Cuisine

Rachel Laudan talks with host Russ Roberts about the history of food. Topics include the importance of grain, the spread of various styles of cooking, why French cooking has elite status, and the reach of McDonald's. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the appeal of local food and other recent food passions.


 2015-08-17  1h6m

Summer Brennan on Wilderness, Politics and the Oyster War

Summer Brennan talks with host Russ Roberts about her book, The Oyster War, and the fight between the Drakes Bay Oyster Company and the federal government over farming oysters in the Point Reyes National Seashore. Along the way they discuss the economics of oyster farming, the nature of wilderness, and the challenge of land use in national parks and seashores.


 2015-08-10  1h4m

Roger Berkowitz on Fish, Food, and Legal Sea Foods

Seafood is highly perishable and supply is often uncertain. Roger Berkowitz, CEO of Legal Sea Foods talks with host Russ Roberts about the challenges of running 34 seafood restaurants up and down the east coast. He discusses how his business works day-to-day and the question of sustainability.


 2015-08-03  1h3m

Eric Hanushek on the Education, Skills, and the Millennium Development Goals

Eric Hanushek talks with host Russ Roberts about the importance of basic education in math and literacy and their relationship to economic growth. He argues that excellence in educating people in basic skills leads to economic growth, especially in poorer countries where years of education may be a poor proxy for learning. He argues that the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals should emphasize outputs rather than inputs--performance on skill-based exams rather than years of education.


 2015-07-27  1h11m

Wences Casares on Bitcoin and Xapo

Wences Casares, bitcoin evangelist and founder and CEO of Xapo, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how bitcoin works, the genius of bitcoin's creator, and how Xapo is structured to create security for bitcoin banking.


 2015-07-20  1h0m

Lee Ohanian, Arnold Kling, and John Cochrane on the Future of Freedom, Democracy, and Prosperity

Lee Ohanian, Arnold Kling, and John Cochrane talk with host Russ Roberts about the future of freedom, democracy, and prosperity. Recorded in front of a live audience at Stanford University's Hoover Institution as part of a conference on Magna Carta, the guests give their perspective on the future of the U.S. economy and the interaction between politics and economics. Each guest makes a brief presentation at the start followed by a moderated conversation.


 2015-07-13  56m

Alvin Roth on Matching Markets

Nobel Laureate Alvin Roth talks with host Russ Roberts about his work on matching markets. Examples include marriage, matching kidney donors to kidney recipients, and students to schools in cities that allow public school choice. Roth also discusses repugnance--the unease some people have with allowing buying and selling of some goods and what it's like to watch a kidney transplant knowing your research has helped make the surgery possible.


 2015-07-06  1h3m

Matt Ridley on Climate Change

Matt Ridley discusses climate change with host Russ Roberts. Based on his reading of the scientific evidence, Ridley describes himself as a "lukewarmer." He agrees that humans have made the climate warmer but argues that the impact is small or positive over some temperature ranges and regions. He rejects the catastrophic scenarios some say justify dramatic policy responses and reflects on the challenges of staking out an unpopular position on a contentious policy issue.


 2015-06-29  1h7m

Morten Jerven on African Economic Growth

Morten Jerven talks with host Russ Roberts about his new book, Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong. He argues that economists have misread the economic history of Africa, ignoring successful episodes of economic growth while trying to explain a malaise that does not exist. He is critical of many of the attempts to explain growth using econometric techniques and suggests that a richer approach is necessary that is aware of the particular circumstances facing poor countries.


 2015-06-22  1h12m