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Freakonomics

Who Decides How Much a Life Is Worth? (Ep. 344)

Who Decides How Much a Life Is Worth? (Ep. 344)

After every mass shooting or terrorist attack, victims and survivors receive a huge outpouring of support — including a massive pool of compensation money. How should that money be allocated? We speak
A Conversation With PepsiCo C.E.O. Indra Nooyi (Ep. 316 Update)

A Conversation With PepsiCo C.E.O. Indra Nooyi (Ep. 316 Update)

One of the world’s biggest and best-known companies just announced that its C.E.O. would be stepping down in the fall. We interviewed her as part of our series “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.," and we
An Astronaut, a Catalan, and Two Linguists Walk Into a Bar…

An Astronaut, a Catalan, and Two Linguists Walk Into a Bar…

In this live episode of “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” we learn why New York has skinny skyscrapers, how to weaponize water, and what astronauts talk about in space. Joining Stephen J. Dubner as
Has Lance Armstrong Finally Come Clean?

Has Lance Armstrong Finally Come Clean?

He was once the most lionized athlete on the planet, with seven straight Tour de France wins and a victory over cancer too. Then the doping charges caught up with him. When he finally confessed to
Why We Choke Under Pressure (and How Not To)

Why We Choke Under Pressure (and How Not To)

It happens to just about everyone, whether you’re going for Olympic gold or giving a wedding toast. We hear from psychologists, economists, and the golfer who some say committed the greatest choke of

FULL TRANSCRIPT: Interview With Jean Van de Velde

Here is the full transcript of our interview with the golfer Jean Van de Velde as featured in the Freakonomics Radio episode “Why We Choke Under Pressure (and How Not To).” The post FULL TRANSCRIPT:
People Aren’t Dumb. The World Is Hard.

People Aren’t Dumb. The World Is Hard.

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
The Future of Freakonomics Radio

The Future of Freakonomics Radio

After 8 years and more than 300 episodes, it was time to either 1) quit, or 2) make the show bigger and better. We voted for number 2. Here’s a peek behind the curtain and a preview of what you’ll be
In Praise of Incrementalism (Rebroadcast)

In Praise of Incrementalism (Rebroadcast)

What do Renaissance painting, civil-rights movements, and Olympic cycling have in common? In each case, huge breakthroughs came from taking tiny steps. In a world where everyone is looking for the
In Praise of Maintenance (Rebroadcast)

In Praise of Maintenance (Rebroadcast)

Has our culture’s obsession with innovation led us to neglect the fact that things also need to be taken care of? The post In Praise of Maintenance (Rebroadcast) appeared first on Freakonomics.

How to Catch World Cup Fever

For soccer fans, it’s easy. For the rest of us? Not so much, especially since the U.S. team didn't qualify. So here's what to watch for even if you have no team to root for. Because the World Cup
How to Build a Smart City

How to Build a Smart City

We are in the midst of a historic (and wholly unpredicted) rise in urbanization. But it’s hard to retrofit old cities for the 21st century. Enter Dan Doctoroff. The man who helped modernize New York

How Stupid Is Our Obsession With Lawns? (Rebroadcast)

Nearly two percent of America is grassy green. Sure, lawns are beautiful and useful and they smell great. But are the costs — financial, environmental and otherwise — worth the benefits? The post How
The Most Vilified Industry in America Is Also the Most Charitable

The Most Vilified Industry in America Is Also the Most Charitable

Pharmaceutical firms donate an enormous amount of their products (and some cash too). But it doesn’t seem to be helping their reputation. We ask Pfizer’s generosity chief why the company gives so
Does Doing Good Give You License to Be Bad?

Does Doing Good Give You License to Be Bad?

Corporate Social Responsibility programs can attract better job applicants who'll work for less money. But they also encourage employees to misbehave. Don’t laugh — you too probably engage in “moral

5 Psychology Terms You’re Probably Misusing

We all like to throw around terms that describe human behavior — “bystander apathy” and “steep learning curve” and “hard-wired.” Most of the time, they don’t actually mean what we think they mean. But

Evolution, Accelerated (Rebroadcast)

A breakthrough in genetic technology has given humans more power than ever to change nature. It could help eliminate hunger and disease; it could also lead to the sort of dystopia we used to only read
The Most Ambitious Thing Humans Have Ever Attempted

The Most Ambitious Thing Humans Have Ever Attempted

Sure, medical progress has been astounding. But today the U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country, with so-so outcomes. Atul Gawande — cancer surgeon, public-health researcher, and
Why the Trump Tax Cuts Are Terrible/Awesome (Part 2)

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.” The post Why
Why the Trump Tax Cuts Are Awesome/Terrible (Part 1)

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 from the