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This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Do You Really Want to Know Your Future?” [MUSIC: Rob Bridgett, “ava”] Nancy WEXLER: I think for my mother and for our family, the whole family was very important. You know, she was very kind to us, and she was very loving, and very warm. I think […] Read More »
Alex Tabarrok explores the world of egg donation, which is heavily regulated by the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART) and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM). The two organizations effectively limit egg donor compensation to $5,000-$10,000, acting as a “buyer’s cartel,” in Tabarrok’s words:
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In 2011, Lindsay Kamakahi launched a class action suit against ASRM-SART challenging their horizontal price-fixing agreement as per se illegal under the Sherman Antitrust Act. ASRM-SART tried to have the case dismissed but a judge recently denied the dismissal in the process making it clear that the plaintiffs have a good case.
ASRM-SART argue that their maximum price is really about protecting women and that compensation “should not be so excessive as to constitute undue inducement.” Egg donation does involve extensive screening, time and some health risks. One would think, however, that the proper response for those interested in protecting women would be to ensure that the women are fully informed and that they are paid high wages not low wages.
In our podcast “100 Ways to Fight Obesity,” Steve Levitt and David Laibson discuss the possibility of using tapeworms to fight weight gain. (Seriously.) That prompted a reader named Scott Genevish to send us a real-seeming (?) old advertisement for “Sanitized Tapeworms, Jar Packed” (below). It was accompanied by a bunch of other old ads that are all, from the perspective of 2013, radically outdated for one reason or another. I have no idea if all the ads are real; I’m sure most of them have made the online rounds before. Still, it might be worth a look — especially when you think about how the line between repugnant and not repugnant can shift over time, sometimes faster and more dramatically than you’d ever predict. Read More »
This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “100 Ways to Fight Obesity.” [MUSIC: Jonathan Clay; “Carousel” (from Everything She Wants)] DUBNER: Steve Levitt is my Freakonomics friend and coauthor. He stands about 5-foot-11 and weighs 160 pounds. So he does not have a weight problem. But he has been thinking about our collective […] Read More »
This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “How to Think About Guns.” [MUSIC: The Wintermarket; “Thank You There Will Be No Encore” (from The Ballad of Artie Fufkin)] Stephen J. DUBNER: Steve Levitt is my Freakonomics friend and co-author. He’s an economist, at the University of Chicago. One topic he’s studied for lot of years, from a […] Read More »
A reader/listener named T.K. Keen writes from Salem, Or., having heard us talk about holiday gift-giving in our “Have a Very Homo Economicus Christmas” podcast:
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Guys, thought you might be interested in a couple of econ-related oddities from my family at Christmas time. The first occurred this year. I am single and my brother and step-sister are both in relationships. My parents bought gifts for the boyfriend and girlfriend, and once I found out that they were planning to do that, I asked for my “share” of the boyfriend/girlfriend pool. I just wanted to be sure my take was the same as what my brother and his girlfriend, and step-sister and her boyfriend were getting. My parents obliged, so even though I am single, a few more Christmas gifts under the tree for me:) Don’t know how other families handle this issue, but it’s working beautifully in my family.
From the inbox:
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I am a big fan — one who especially appreciates your willingness to (perhaps enjoyment in?) exploring solutions that many would consider repugnant. In that spirit, I would love to get your thoughts on a seemingly unconscionable idea that I recently became aware of.
Every year the U.S. euthanizes approximately 3 to 4 million companion animals (mostly dogs and cats). To put it bluntly, what do you think about using these carcasses as a meat source? We expend enormous resources — land, money, and energy – in producing animal feed and ultimately meat. Given this expense, as well as the world’s need for protein sources, I’d love for you to weigh in on this rather repugnant idea.
This is a transcript of the Freakonomics Radio podcast “Our 100th Episode!” Stephen J. DUBNER: Oh, hang on. Why don’t you say, why don’t you pretend that you’re introducing the episode of the one-hundredth anniversary. So be, like, over the top radio guy. I’m Steve Levitt from Freakonomics and I want to welcome you to […] Read More »