Podcast

Freakonomics Radio

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. Special features include series l...more

Episodes

  • 367. The Future of Meat

    Feb 14 2019

    Global demand for beef, chicken, and pork continues to rise. So do concerns about environmental and other costs. Will reconciling these two forces be possible — or, even better, Impossible™?

  • 366. This Economist Predicted the Last Crisis. What’s the Next One?

    Feb 07 2019

    In 2005, Raghuram Rajan said the financial system was at risk “of a catastrophic meltdown.” After stints at the I.M.F. and India’s central bank, he sees another potential crisis — and he offers a solution. Is it stronger governments? Freer markets? Rajan’s answer: neither.

  • Extra: Domonique Foxworth Full Interview

    Feb 02 2019

    Stephen Dubner’s conversation with the former N.F.L. player, union official, and all-around sports thinker, recorded for our “Hidden Side of Sports” series.

  • 365. Not Just Another Labor Force

    Jan 31 2019

    If you think talent and hard work give top athletes all the leverage to succeed, think again. As employees in the Sports-Industrial Complex, they’ve got a tight earnings window, a high injury rate, little choice in where they work — and a very early forced retirement. (Ep. 6 of “The Hidden Side of Sports” series.)

  • Extra: Mark Cuban Full Interview

    Jan 26 2019

    A conversation with the Shark Tank star, entrepreneur, and Dallas Mavericks owner recorded for the Freakonomics Radio series “The Hidden Side of Sports.”

  • 364. Inside the Sports-Industrial Complex

    Jan 24 2019

    For most of us, the athletes are what make sports interesting. But if you own the team or run the league, your players are essentially very expensive migrant workers who eat into your profits. We talk to N.F.L., N.B.A., and U.F.C. executives about labor costs, viewership numbers, legalized gambling, and the rise of e-sports. (Ep. 5 of “The Hidden Side of Sports” series.)

  • Extra: Mark Teixeira Full Interview

    Jan 19 2019

    A conversation with former Major League Baseball player and current ESPN analyst Mark Teixeira, recorded for the Freakonomics Radio series “The Hidden Side of Sports.”

  • 363. Think Like a Winner

    Jan 17 2019

    Great athletes aren’t just great at the physical stuff. They’ve also learned how to handle pressure, overcome fear, and stay focused. Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be an athlete to use what they know. (Ep. 4 of “The Hidden Side of Sports” series.)

  • Hacking the World Bank (Ep. 197 Update)

    Jan 12 2019

    Jim Yong Kim has an unorthodox background for a World Bank president — and his reign has been just as unorthodox. He has just announced he’s stepping down, well before his term is over; we recorded this interview with him in 2015.

  • 362. Why Is This Man Running for President?

    Jan 10 2019

    In the American Dream sweepstakes, Andrew Yang was a pretty big winner. But for every winner, he came to realize, there are thousands upon thousands of losers — a “war on normal people,” he calls it. Here’s what he plans to do about it.

  • How to Be Happy (Ep. 345 Rebroadcast)

    Jan 03 2019

    The U.N.’s World Happiness Report — created to curtail our unhealthy obsession with G.D.P. — is dominated every year by the Nordic countries. We head to Denmark to learn the secrets of this happiness epidemic (and to see if we should steal them).

  • How to Win Games and Beat People (Ep. 247 Rebroadcast)

    Dec 27 2018

    Games are as old as civilization itself, and some people think they have huge social value regardless of whether you win or lose. Tom Whipple is not one of those people. That’s why he consulted an army of preposterously overqualified experts to find the secret to winning any game.

  • People Aren’t Dumb. The World Is Hard. (Ep. 340 Rebroadcast)

    Dec 20 2018

    You wouldn’t think you could win a Nobel Prize for showing that humans tend to make irrational decisions. But that’s what Richard Thaler has done. The founder of behavioral economics describes his unlikely route to success; his reputation for being lazy; and his efforts to fix the world — one nudge at a time.

  • Freakonomics Radio Live: “Where Does Fear Live in the Brain?”

    Dec 15 2018

    Our co-host is comedian Christian Finnegan, and we learn: the difference between danger and fear; the role of clouds in climate change; and why (and when) politicians are bad at math. Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri is our real-time fact-checker.

  • Freakonomics Radio Live: “We Thought of a Way to Manipulate Your Perception of Time.”

    Dec 15 2018

    We learn how to be less impatient, how to tell fake news from real, and the simple trick that nurses used to make better predictions than doctors. Journalist Manoush Zomorodi co-hosts; our real-time fact-checker is the author and humorist A.J. Jacobs.

  • Freakonomics Radio Live: “The World’s a Mess. But Oysters, They Hold it Down.”

    Dec 15 2018

    Celebrity chef Alex Guarnaschelli joins us to co-host an evening of delicious fact-finding: where a trillion oysters went, whether a soda tax can work, and how beer helped build an empire. Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri is our real-time fact-checker.

  • 361. Freakonomics Radio Live: “Jesus Could Have Been a Pigeon.”

    Dec 13 2018

    Our co-host is Grit author Angela Duckworth, and we learn fascinating, Freakonomical facts from a parade of guests. For instance: what we all get wrong about Darwin; what an iPod has in common with the “hell ant”; and how a “memory athlete” memorizes a deck of cards. Mike Maughan is our real-time fact-checker.

  • 360. Is the Protestant Work Ethic Real?

    Dec 06 2018

    In the early 20th century, Max Weber argued that Protestantism created wealth. Finally, there are data to prove if he was right. All it took were some missionary experiments in the Philippines and a clever map-matching trick that goes back to 16th-century Germany.

  • 359. Should America Be Run by … Trader Joe’s?

    Nov 29 2018

    The quirky little grocery chain with California roots and German ownership has a lot to teach all of us about choice architecture, efficiency, frugality, collaboration, and team spirit.