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Episode 365

Not Just Another Labor Force

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…

(Kevin) Murphy’s Law

Here’s a nice article on my friend and colleague at University of Chicago Kevin Murphy. He doesn’t look the part, but he is the smartest human I have ever met….



Episode 193

Someone Else’s Acid Trip

As Kevin Kelly tells it, the hippie revolution and the computer revolution are nearly one and the same.

Becker and Murphy on the Stimulus Package

Gary Becker and Kevin Murphy write today in The Wall Street Journal about their concerns regarding the stimulus package. There are no two economists in the world who I respect…



Episode 21

Should We Pay People to Be Healthier?

Each year, millions of people get sick or die from diseases caused by their own unhealthy behavior. Getting people to change their bad habits – to quit smoking, eat better,…

Episode 507

103 Pieces of Advice That May or May Not Work

Kevin Kelly calls himself “the most optimistic person in the world.” And he has a lot to say about parenting, travel, A.I., being luckier — and why we should spend…

Episode 331

Why the Trump Tax Cuts Are Awesome/Terrible (Part 1)

Kevin Hassett, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, explains the thinking behind the controversial new Republican tax package — and why its critics are wrong. (Next week, we’ll hear…

Chicago Economists on the Stimulus Package

…video. (If you don’t have the patience for watching video, you can just look at Murphy’s PowerPoints.) It is vintage Kevin Murphy. He says that he can’t remember much from…



Episode 29

How to Save a Stranger’s Heart

Cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death globally. What if it doesn’t have to be that way? Bapu Jena walks us through some solutions that can help…

Episode 257

The Future (Probably) Isn’t as Scary as You Think

Internet pioneer Kevin Kelly tries to predict the future by identifying what’s truly inevitable. How worried should we be? Yes, robots will probably take your job — but the future…

Episode 419

68 Ways to Be Better at Life

The accidental futurist Kevin Kelly on why enthusiasm beats intelligence, how to really listen, and why the solution to bad technology is more technology.

Episode 302

Why Learn Esperanto? (Earth 2.0 Series) (Special Feature)

A language invented in the 19th century and meant to be universal, it never really caught on. So why does a group of Esperantists from around the world gather once…

Episode 23

Millionaires vs. Billionaires

Five things you don’t know about the N.F.L. labor standoff….

Episode 104

The Things They Taught Me

College, at its best, is about learning to think. Stephen Dubner chats up three of his former professors who made the magic happen.

Episode 31

How Much Do Your Friends Affect Your Future?

Also: Which professions have the happiest people?…

Episode 31

How Much Do Your Friends Affect Your Future? (Replay)

Also: which professions have the happiest people?…

Episode 332

Why the Trump Tax Cuts Are Terrible/Awesome (Part 2)

Three former White House economists weigh in on the new tax bill. A sample: “The overwhelming evidence is that the trickle-down, magic-beanstalk beans argument — that’s just nonsense.”

Episode 454

Should Traffic Lights Be Abolished?

Americans are so accustomed to the standard intersection that we rarely consider how dangerous it can be — as well as costly, time-wasting, and polluting. Is it time to embrace…

Episode 498

In the 1890s, the Best-Selling Car Was … Electric

After a huge false start, electric cars are finally about to flourish. We speak with a technology historian about this all-too-common story, and what it means for innovation everywhere….

Episode 101

Are You Really “Addicted” to Diet Coke?

Where’s the line between an addiction and a bad habit? Why do definitions of mental illnesses change over time? And what’s the most addictive thing in the world?…


An economist’s dream

Kevin Murphy, Andrei Shleifer, and (former Secretary of State) George Shultz. Combined, that adds up to 3 Nobel Prizes and 5 Clark medals. Never have I been so honored to…



A Quick Summary of the 21st Century So Far

From a reader named Kevin Murphy (alas, not the Kevin Murphy): The Economist just reported on what you covered in the “The Downside of More Miles Per Gallon” podcast in…



Episode 88

Freakonomics Goes to College, Part 2

College tends to make people happier, healthier, and wealthier. But how?

Episode 31

Peter Leeson on Why Trial-by-Fire Wasn’t Barbaric and Why Pirates Were Democratic

He’s an economist who studies even weirder things than Steve. They discuss whether economics is the best of the social sciences, and why it’s a good idea to get a…

Episode 493

Why Does the Most Monotonous Job in the World Pay $1 Million?

Adam Smith famously argued that specialization is the key to prosperity. In the N.F.L., the long snapper is proof of that argument. Just in time for the Super Bowl, here’s…

"Kevin Is Not a Name — It's a Diagnosis!"

…surveyed associate “traditional” names with positive character traits and non-traditional names with weak performance and bad behavior. The name Kevin has particularly negative connotations; as one teacher wrote, “Kevin is…