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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Adam Davidson on Hollywood and the Future of Work

What's it like to hang out with Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, and Ryan Gosling for two months? Journalist Adam Davidson was the technical advisor to the upcoming movie, The Big Short. He noticed what he calls the Hollywood model: highly talented workers come together temporarily in project-based employment. Davidson discusses the costs and benefits of this approach and its potential emergence as a more common phenomenon throughout the economy.


 2015-06-15  1h14m

Nathaniel Popper on Bitcoin and Digital Gold

Author Nathaniel Popper talks with host Russ Roberts about Bitcoin. Can Bitcoin make it? What went wrong with Mt. Gox? Why did Ross Ulbricht, creator of Silk Road, just get sentenced to life in prison? Why are venture capital firms pouring millions of dollars into companies promising easier ways to use Bitcoin? Popper discusses these questions along with the technical side of Bitcoin to help listeners understand why so many investors are excited about the potential of Bitcoin.


 2015-06-08  1h7m

Martin Weitzman on Climate Change

Martin Weitzman talks with host Russ Roberts about the risks of climate change. Weitzman argues that climate change is fat-tailed--there is a non-trivial risk of a catastrophe. He concedes that our knowledge of the climate is quite incomplete but suggests that it is prudent to take serious measures, including possibly geo-engineering, to reduce the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


 2015-06-01  1h8m

Bent Flyvbjerg on Megaprojects

Bent Flyvbjerg speaks with host Russ Roberts about megaprojects--massive investments of a billion dollars or more in infrastructure or technology. Flyvbjerg argues that such projects consistently end up costing more with smaller benefits than projected and almost always end up with costs that exceed the benefits.


 2015-05-25  1h4m

Nicholas Vincent on the Magna Carta

Did an 800-year old piece of parchment change the world? Nicholas Vincent talks with host Russ Roberts about the Magna Carta, the founding document of English law and liberty. Vincent explains what led to the Magna Carta and how its influence remains with us today.


 2015-05-18  1h10m

Eric Topol on the Power of Patients in a Digital World

We're in the middle of a healthcare revolution but it's about more than life-saving, life-enhancing smartphone apps. Eric Topol talks with host Russ Roberts arguing that the digital revolution will give us more control of our health information and data.


 2015-05-11  1h7m

Michael O'Hare on Art Museums

Michael O'Hare talks with host Russ Roberts about the management of art museums. O'Hare suggests a number of changes that would allow museums to be more effective and to justify their non-profit status--lower admission prices, selling part of their substantial unseen inventory to other museums, and broadening the activities of the museum to include educational exhibits on the creation of art and the commercial side of art...


 2015-05-04  1h3m

Leonard Wong on Honesty and Ethics in the Military

Leonard Wong talks with host Russ Roberts about honesty in the military. Based on a recent co-authored paper, Wong argues that the paperwork and training burden on U.S. military officers requires dishonesty--it is simply impossible to comply with all the requirements. This creates a tension for an institution that prides itself on honesty, trust, and integrity. The conversation closes with suggestions for how the military might reform the compliance and requirement process.


 2015-04-27  1h2m

Scott Sumner on Interest Rates

Scott Sumner talks with host Russ Roberts about interest rates. Sumner suggests that professional economists sometimes confuse cause and effect with respect to prices and quantities. Low interest rates need not encourage investment for example, if interest rates are low because of a decrease in demand. Sumner also talk about possible explanations for the historically low real rates of interest in today's economy along with other aspects of monetary policy, interest rates, and investment.


 2015-04-20  1h5m

Phil Rosenzweig on Leadership, Decisions, and Behavioral Economics

Phil Rosenzweig talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, Left Brain, Right Stuff. When do the lessons from behavioral economics inform and when do they mislead when applied to real-world business decisions? Topics discussed include overconfidence, transparency, the winner's curse, evaluating leaders, and the role of experimental findings in thinking about decision-making.


 2015-04-13  1h2m