EconTalk
Russ Roberts

Podcast episode Elizabeth Green on Education and Building a Better Teacher

EconTalk Episode with Elizabeth Green
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Elizabeth Green, author of the new book Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach it to Anyone), talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the art of teaching and the history of various reforms, mostly failed, trying to improve teaching in America. Specific topics include the theoretical focus of undergraduate education programs and various techniques being used in charter schools and elsewhere to improve teaching performance.

Size:29.6 MB
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Podcast episode Paul Pfleiderer on the Misuse of Economic Models

EconTalk Episode with Paul Pfleiderer
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Paul Pfleiderer, C.O.G. Miller Distinguished Professor of Finance at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his recent paper critiquing what Pfleiderer calls "Chameleon Models," economic models that are thought to explain the real world with little analysis of the accuracy of their assumptions. Also discussed are Akerlof's market for lemons model, Friedman's idea that assumptions do not have to be reasonable as long as the model predicts what happens in the real world, and the dangers of leaping from a model's results to making policy recommendations.

Size:27.8 MB
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Podcast episode Nathan Blecharczyk on Airbnb and the Sharing Economy

EconTalk Episode with Nathan Blecharczyk
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and chief technology officer of Airbnb, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Airbnb, one of the earliest companies to use technology to allow individuals to share underused resources, and in the case of Airbnb, housing. Blecharczyk and Roberts discuss how a design conference and the Democratic National Convention got Airbnb started, how the company aligns incentives to overcome the trust problem of house-sharing, and the rise of technology and online social networks to make a new business model possible. Along the way, Blecharczyk gives his take on the role of luck vs. skill in entrepreneurial success and how Airbnb plans to expand its product offerings in the future.

Size:27.2 MB
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This week, Russ Roberts chatted with former Stanford professor and Coursera co-founder Daphne Koller about the present and future of online education.

We'd like to hear your thoughts about blended learning and/or online education. Use the prompts below and post your response in the comments, or start your own conversation offline and let us know how it goes. We love to hear from you.

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Podcast episode Daphne Koller on Education, Coursera, and MOOCs

EconTalk Episode with Daphne Koller
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Daphne Koller of Coursera talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about online educational website Coursera and the future of education both online and via bricks-and-mortar. Koller, co-founder of Coursera with Andrew Ng, explains how Coursera partners with universities, how they try to create community and interaction, and the likely impact of widespread digital education on universities and those who want to learn. The conversation includes a discussion of why Koller left a chaired position in computer science at Stanford University to run a for-profit start-up in a crowded field.

Size:28.6 MB
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This week Roberts discussed free-market environmentalism with Terry Anderson, of the Property and Environment Research Center and the Hoover Institution.

FME's unique combination of free-market principles and environmental stewardship may not be as radical as when it was introduced, yet still is not mainstream. Let us know your thoughts on its potential. We hope you find the prompts below useful. As always, we love to hear from you!

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Podcast episode Terry Anderson on the Environment and Property Rights

EconTalk Episode with Terry Anderson
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Terry Anderson, Distinguished Fellow at the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) and Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about free-market environmentalism, the dynamics of the Yellowstone ecosystem, and how property rights can protect natural resources.

Size:29.2 MB
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This week, Roberts returned to a political-economy topic, law, with guest Barry Weingast of Stanford.

As always, we'd like to hear what you thought. So use the prompts below to share your thoughts and spark some conversation.

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Podcast episode Barry Weingast on Law

EconTalk Episode with Barry Weingast
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Barry Weingast, professor of political science at Stanford University and senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the nature of law. Weingast takes issue with some of the standard views of law, and proposes a better way to understand law. The two discuss the fundamental principles of law, how it can emerge in a decentralized way to resolve disputes over property and other commercial and social interactions. Examples include Iceland, Ancient Greece, and California during the gold rush. Also considered are how laws coordinate expectations and the way that social pressure can be used to enforce law in a decentralized fashion.

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Size:29.8 MB

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This week's episode featured two guests, Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha of LinkedIn and co-authors of The Alliance and The Start-Up of You.

Whether you're looking to improve your own employment prospects, build a better team at work, or interested in the newest in tech and V.C., we'd love to hear from you. Use the prompts below the fold to join the conversation in this forum, or start your own conversation offline, and let us know how it goes.

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