Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers. The entire archive, going back to 2010, is available on the Stitcher podcast app and at freakonomics.com.
For the most part, Americans don't like the simple, boring act of putting money in a savings account. We do, however, love to play the lottery. So what if you combined the two, creating a new kind of savings account with a lottery payout?
The U.S. president is often called the "leader of free world." But if you ask an economist or a Constitutional scholar how much the occupant of the Oval Office matters, they won't say much. We look at what the data have to say about measuring leadership, and its impact on the economy and the country.
The NFL is very good at making money. So why on earth doesn't it sell ad space on the one piece of real estate that football fans can’t help but see: the players themselves? The explanation is trickier than you might think. It has to do with Peyton Manning, with Eli Manning, and with ... wait for it ... Tevye.
Government and the private sector often feel far apart. One is filled with compliance-driven bureaucracy. The other, with market-fueled innovation. But something is changing in a multi-billion dollar corner of the Department of Education. It's an experiment, which takes cues from the likes of Google and millionaires who hope to go to the moon.
It was a pretty good baseball season -- especially if you're a fan of the Yankees, Rays, Twins, Rangers, Reds, Braves, Phillies, or Giants, all of whom made the playoffs. But the post-season just opened with a telling event, a no-hitter pitched by the Phillies' Roy Halladay, which shows what's been missing all season: runs.