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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Benn Steil on the Battle of Bretton Woods

Benn Steil of the Council on Foreign Relations talks with host Russ Roberts about his book, The Battle of Bretton Woods, and the conference that resulted in the IMF, the World Bank, and the post-war international monetary system. Topics include conflicting interests during and after World War II between Britain and America, the relative instability of the post-war system, and the personalities and egos of the individuals at Bretton Woods, including John Maynard Keynes and Harry Dexter White.


 2015-02-16  1h5m

Daniel Sumner on the Political Economy of Agriculture

Daniel Sumner talks with host Russ Roberts about U.S. agricultural subsidies, the winners and losers from those subsidies, and how the structure of subsidies has changed from the New Deal to the present. Sumner also explains how American policies have affected foreign farmers.


 2015-02-09  1h9m

Luigi Zingales on the Costs and Benefits of the Financial Sector

Luigi Zingales talks with host Russ Roberts on whether the financial sector is good for society and about difference between how banks and bankers are perceived by the public vs. finance professors. He discusses the costs and benefits of financial innovation, compares the finance sector to the health sector, and suggests how business education should talk about finance to create better behavior.


 2015-02-02  1h1m

Alex Tabarrok on Private Cities

Alex Tabarrok talks to host Russ Roberts about a recent paper he co-authored with Shruti Rajagopalan on Gurgaon, a city in India that until recently had little or no municipal government. They discuss the successes and failures of this private city, the tendency to romanticize the outcomes of market and government action, and the potential for private cities to meet growing demand for urban living in India and China.


 2015-01-26  1h8m

Nassim Nicholas Taleb on the Precautionary Principle and Genetically Modified Organisms

Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a recent co-authored paper on the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the use of the Precautionary Principle. Taleb contrasts harm with ruin and explains how the differences imply different rules of behavior when dealing with the risk of each. He argues that when considering the riskiness of GMOs, the right understanding of statistics is more valuable than expertise in biology or genetics...


 2015-01-19  1h7m

Greg Page on Food, Agriculture, and Cargill

Greg Page, former Cargill CEO, talks to host Russ Roberts about the global food supply and the challenges of running a company with employees and activity all over the world. He talks about the role of prices in global food markets in signaling information and prompting changes in response. Other topics include government's role in agriculture, the locavore movement and genetically modified organisms (GMOs).


 2015-01-12  1h2m

Joshua Greene on Moral Tribes, Moral Dilemmas, and Utilitarianism

Joshua Greene talks with host Russ Roberts about morality and the challenges we face when our morality conflicts with that of others. Topics discussed include the difference between what Greene calls automatic and manual thinking, the moral dilemma known as "the trolley problem," and the difficulties of identifying and solving problems in a society that has a plurality of values. Greene defends utilitarianism as a way of adjudicating moral differences.


 2015-01-05  1h10m