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EconTalk

Library of Economics and Liberty, Russ Roberts
788 episodes
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.

Disclaimer: the content and artwork of this podcast are the property of its owner and are not affiliated with nor endorsed by Audiotrails.

Agnes Callard on Anger

Philosopher Agnes Callard of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about anger. Is anger something we should vilify and strive to eradicate in ourselves? Or should we accept it as a necessary and appropriate human emotion? Callard takes a fresh look at anger and has much t…
1h 25min

Katy Milkman on How to Change

Behavioral scientist Katy Milkman of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania talks about her book How to Change with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. What can we learn from research in psychology and behavioral economics about breaking the habits we want to change? Is that research reliab…
1h 8min

Roya Hakakian on A Beginner's Guide to America

Author and poet Roya Hakakian talks about her latest book, A Beginner's Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Hakakian was born in Iran and came to the United States as a 19 year-old, not speaking any English, and carrying only the things she could s…
1h 10min

Mark Rank on Poverty and Poorly Understood

Sociologist and author Mark Rank talks about his book, Poorly Understood , with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Rank looks at a wide variety of aspects of poverty. He argues that many widely-held views on poverty are inaccurate, and in particular he argues that most Americans will be poor at some poin…
1h 9min

Emiliana Simon-Thomas on Happiness

Psychologist Emiliana Simon-Thomas of the University of California, Berkeley talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the science of happiness--what research can teach us about happiness.
1h 32min

Tyler Cowen on the Pandemic, Revisited

Blogger, author, podcaster, economist Tyler Cowen of George Mason University discusses the lessons learned from the pandemic with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Appearing roughly one year after his first conversation on the pandemic, Cowen revisits the predictions he made then and what he has learned …
1h 15min

Max Kenner on Crime, Education, and the Bard Prison Initiative

Max Kenner, founder and executive director of the Bard Prison Initiative--which offers college degrees to prisoners--talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the program, which replicates the coursework of students at Bard College. The Bard Prison Initiative was profiled in a four-part PBS docum…
1h 7min

Megan McArdle on Catastrophes and the Pandemic

Whether it's a pandemic or a Texas-sized ice storm that leaves millions of people without power, we'd like to avoid a repetition. Megan McArdle of the Washington Post talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenge of learning the right lessons from the current crisis in order to prevent …
1h 19min

Sherry Turkle on Family, Artificial Intelligence, and the Empathy Diaries

Psychologist and author Sherry Turkle of MIT talks about her book, T he Empathy Diaries , with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. The Empathy Diaries is a memoir about Turkle's secretive family and how that secrecy turned Turkle into an acute observer, skilled at revealing the story behind the story. Sh…
1h 28min

Leon Kass on Human Flourishing, Living Well, and Aristotle

Leon Kass, long-time teacher of classic works at the University of Chicago and now Dean of Faculty at Shalem College in Jerusalem, talks about human flourishing with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Drawing on an essay from his book, Leading a Worthy Life , Kass gives a broad overview of Aristotle's id…
1h 16min

Michael Munger on Desires, Morality, and Self-Interest

Economist and author Michael Munger of Duke University talks about human wants and desires with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Human beings have desires about our desires. Can we change what we want? And how should economists and normal human beings think about doing the right thing, what we often cal…
1h 14min

John Cochrane on the Pandemic

Would the impact of the pandemic have been different if government and policymakers had been more open to more market-based responses and less committed to a top-down approach? Economist John Cochrane of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the pandem…
1h 8min

Dana Gioia on Learning, Poetry, and Studying with Miss Bishop

Poet and author Dana Gioia talks about his book Studying with Miss Bishop with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. They talk about the craft of being a poet, the business world, mentorship, loss, why poetry no longer seems to matter, and how it might begin to matter again.
1h 36min

Lamorna Ash on Dark, Salt, Clear

Lamorna Ash talks about her book Dark, Salt, Clear with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Ash leaves London and moves to the small fishing village of Newlyn, near where her mother grew up on the Cornish coast. In Newlyn, everything revolves around fishing. Ash gets herself a bunk on a trawler and quick…
1h 14min

Michael McCullough on the Kindness of Strangers

Author and psychologist Michael McCullough of the University of California, San Diego talks about his book  The Kindness of Strangers  with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. McCullough traces the history of human empathy and tries to explain why we care about the welfare of people we don't even know.
1h 21min

Scott Newstok on How to Think Like Shakespeare

Author Scott Newstok of Rhodes College talks about his book, How to Think Like Shakespeare , with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Newstok draws on Shakespeare and other great writers and thinkers to explore the nature of education and the life well-lived.
1h 9min

Gary Shiffman on the Economics of Violence

Economist and author Gary Shiffman of Georgetown University talks about his book, The Economics of Violence , with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Shiffman argues that we should view terrorism, insurgency, and crime as being less about ideology and more about personal expression and entrepreneurship. …
59min

Don Boudreaux on Buchanan

Economist and author Don Boudreaux of George Mason University discusses the life and work of the economist James Buchanan with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Buchanan received the Nobel Prize in 1986 for his work creating and developing public choice--the field which applies the tools of economics to …
1h 16min

Matthew Crawford on Why We Drive

Author Matthew Crawford talks about his book Why We Drive with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. The conversation is about driving but also much more: how human beings interact with technology and what we gain and give up when we embrace technology driven by corporate profit-seeking.
1h 15min

Michael Blastland on the Hidden Half

Author Michael Blastland talks about his book The Hidden Half with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Blastland argues that the deeper you delve into science, medicine, astrophysics--pick a topic--the more you realize there is a lot we don't understand. Things we can't explain. Blastwood believes we would…
1h 15min

Jay Bhattacharya on the Pandemic

Economist and physician Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford University talks about the pandemic with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Bhattacharya, along with Sunetra Gupta of the University of Oxford and Martin Kulldorff of Harvard University, authored The Great Barrington Declaration, which advocates a very …
1h 21min

Katherine Levine Einstein on Neighborhood Defenders

Why is affordable housing in such short supply? Author and political scientist Katherine Levine Einstein of Boston University talks about her book Neighborhood Defenders with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Einstein focuses on the ability of local residents to use the zoning and permit process to preve…
1h 3min

Branko Milanovic on the Big Questions of Economics

Author and economist Branko Milanovic of CUNY talks about the big questions in economics with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Milanovic argues that the Nobel Prize Committee is missing an opportunity to encourage more ambitious work by awarding the prize to economists tackling questions like the rise o…
1h 23min

Emily Oster on the Pandemic

Economist and author Emily Oster of Brown University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenge of reopening schools in a pandemic. Oster has been collecting data from K-12 schools around the country. Her preliminary analysis finds little evidence that schools are super-spreaders of …
1h 4min

Daniel Haybron on Happiness

Philosopher and author Daniel Haybron of St. Louis University talks about his book, Happiness, with EconTalk 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.
1h 24min

Virginia Postrel on Textiles and the Fabric of Civilization

Author and journalist Virginia Postrel talks about her book The Fabric of Civilization and How Textiles Made the World with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Postrel tells the fascinating story behind the clothes we wear and everything that goes into producing them throughout history. The history of text…
1h 7min

Steven Levitt on Freakonomics and the State of Economics

Author and economist Steven Levitt is the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and host of the podcast "People I (Mostly) Admire." He is best known as the co-author, with Stephen Dubner, of Freakonomics. The book, published in 2005, became a phe…
1h 34min

Rob Wiblin and Russ Roberts on Charity, Science, and Utilitarianism

Rob Wiblin, host of the 80,000 Hours podcast, interviews EconTalk host Russ Roberts about charity, the reliability of data to inform decision-making, and utilitarianism.
1h 47min

Fredrik deBoer on the Cult of Smart

Author and journalist Fredrik deBoer discusses his book The Cult of Smart with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. DeBoer argues that there is little that can be done to change the distribution of success in K-12 education. He argues that educational reforms like charter schools and No Child Left Behind ar…
1h 17min

Dwayne Betts on Reading, Prison, and the Million Book Project

Author, lawyer, and poet Dwayne Betts talks about his time in prison and the power of reading with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Betts is the founder of the Million Book Project, which aims to put a small library of great books in 1,000 U.S. prisons. Betts discusses his plans for the project and how …
1h 33min