July 11, 2019
384. Abortion and Crime, Revisited
The controversial theory linking Roe v. Wade to a massive crime drop is back in the spotlight as several states introduce abortion restrictions. Steve Levitt and John Donohue discuss their original research, the challenges to its legitimacy, and their updated analysis. Also: what this means for abortion policy, crime policy, and having intelligent conversations about contentious topics.
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55 min
July 4, 2019
173. A Better Way to Eat (Rebroadcast)
Takeru Kobayashi revolutionized the sport of competitive eating. What can the rest of us learn from his breakthrough?
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26 min
June 27, 2019
383. The Zero-Minute Workout
There is strong evidence that exercise is wildly beneficial. There is even stronger evidence that most people hate to exercise. So if a pill could mimic the effects of working out, why wouldn’t we want to take it?
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37 min
June 20, 2019
382. How Goes the Behavior-Change Revolution?
An all-star team of behavioral scientists discovers that humans are stubborn (and lazy, and sometimes dumber than dogs). We also hear about binge drinking, humblebragging, and regrets. Recorded live in Philadelphia with guests including Richard Thaler, Angela Duckworth, Katy Milkman, and Tom Gilovich.
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51 min
June 13, 2019
381. Long-Term Thinking in a Start-Up Town
Recorded live in San Francisco. Guests include the keeper of a 10,000-year clock, the co-founder of Lyft, a pioneer in male birth control, a specialist in water security, and a psychology professor who is also a puppy. With co-host Angela Duckworth, fact-checker Mike Maughan, and the Freakonomics Radio Orchestra.
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49 min
June 6, 2019
380. Notes From an Imperfect Paradise
Recorded live in Los Angeles. Guests include Mayor Eric Garcetti, the “Earthquake Lady,” the head of the Port of L.A., and a scientist with NASA’s Planetary Protection team. With co-host Angela Duckworth, fact-checker Mike Maughan, and the worldwide debut of Luis Guerra and the Freakonomics Radio Orchestra.
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50 min
May 30, 2019
379. How to Change Your Mind
There are a lot of barriers to changing your mind: ego, overconfidence, inertia — and cost. Politicians who flip-flop get mocked; family and friends who cross tribal borders are shunned. But shouldn’t we be encouraging people to change their minds? And how can we get better at it ourselves?
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45 min
May 23, 2019
323. Here’s Why All Your Projects Are Always Late — and What to Do About It (Rebroadcast)
Whether it’s a giant infrastructure plan or a humble kitchen renovation, it’ll inevitably take way too long and cost way too much. That’s because you suffer from “the planning fallacy.” (You also have an “optimism bias” and a bad case of overconfidence.) But don’t worry: we’ve got the solution.
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41 min
May 16, 2019
378. 23andMe (and You, and Everyone Else)
The revolution in home DNA testing is giving consumers important, possibly life-changing information. It’s also building a gigantic database that could lead to medical breakthroughs. But how will you deal with upsetting news? What if your privacy is compromised? And are you prepared to have your DNA monetized? We speak with Anne Wojcicki, founder and C.E.O. of 23andMe.
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49 min
May 9, 2019
377. The $1.5 Trillion Question: How to Fix Student-Loan Debt?
As the cost of college skyrocketed, it created a debt burden that’s putting a drag on the economy. One possible solution: shifting the risk of debt away from students and onto investors looking for a cut of the graduates’ earning power.
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48 min
May 2, 2019
376. The Data-Driven Guide to Sane Parenting
Humans have been having kids forever, so why are modern parents so bewildered? The economist Emily Oster marshals the evidence on the most contentious topics — breastfeeding and sleep training, vaccines and screen time — and tells her fellow parents to calm the heck down.
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49 min
April 25, 2019
329. The Invisible Paw (Rebroadcast)
Humans, it has long been thought, are the only animal to engage in economic activity. But what if we've had it exactly backward?
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47 min
April 18, 2019
375. The Most Interesting Fruit in the World
The banana used to be a luxury good. Now it’s the most popular fruit in the U.S. and elsewhere. But the production efficiencies that made it so cheap have also made it vulnerable to a deadly fungus that may wipe out the one variety most of us eat. Scientists do have a way to save it — but will Big Banana let them?
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36 min
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