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Russ Roberts

Podcast episode Chris Blattman on Cash, Poverty, and Development

EconTalk Episode with Chris Blattman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Chris Blattman of Columbia University talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a radical approach to fighting poverty in desperately poor countries: giving cash to aid recipients and allowing them to spend it as they please. Blattman shares his research and cautious optimism about giving cash and discusses how infusions of cash affect growth, educational outcomes, and political behavior (including violence). The conversation concludes with a discussion of the limits of aid and the some of the moral issues facing aid activists and researchers.

Size: 32.6 MB
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Podcast episode D. G. Myers on Cancer, Dying, and Living

EconTalk Episode with D. G. Myers
Hosted by Russ Roberts

D.G. Myers, literary critic and cancer patient, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the lessons he has learned from receiving a cancer diagnosis six years ago. Myers emphasizes the importance of dealing with cancer honestly and using it as a way to focus attention on what matters in life. The conversation illuminates the essence of opportunity cost and the importance of allocating our time, perhaps our scarcest resource, wisely. The last part of the conversation discusses a number of literary issues including the role of English literature and creative writing in American universities.

Size:31.9 MB
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This week, Russ welcomed back Mike Munger for his 26th appearance on EconTalk! Their topic of conversation- the rise of the sharing economy.

We're interested in your experiences in the sharing economy, as well as your reaction to our Extra prompts this week. Respond to them here at EconTalk, start a conversation over dinner...it's up to you. As always, we love to hear from you.

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Podcast episode Michael Munger on the Sharing Economy

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Mike Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the sharing economy--companies like Uber, AirBnB, FlightApp, and DogVacay that let people share their houses, cars, or other assets with strangers in exchange for money. These companies dramatically increase the use of resources that would otherwise be idle and disrupt existing services such as hotels and taxis. Topics discussed include the regulatory response to these companies, the politics of that response, and the significance of these new products. The conversation closes with the potential impact of Uber combining with driverless cars to change the automobile industry and cities.

Size:28.9 MB
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In this week's episode, Roberts talks about risk and uncertainty with 2013 Nobel laureate, Lars Peter Hansen.

What are your thoughts on this topic? Use the prompts below the fold to join our conversation online, or start your own offline. Let us know what you think. We love to hear from you!

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Podcast episode Hansen on Risk, Ambiguity, and Measurement

EconTalk Episode with Lars Peter Hansen
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Lars Peter Hansen of the University of Chicago and Nobel Laureate in economics, talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the power and limits of economic models and quantitative methods. Hanson defends the value of models while recognizing their limitations. The two also discuss quantifying systemic financial risk, how our understanding of financial markets has changed, the nature of risk, and areas of economics that Hanson believes are ripe for further research.

Size:27.7 MB
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Again, I want to thank everyone who responded to the Easterly Essay questions I asked. The last question was:

Roberts challenges Easterly to respond to those who claim that Finland in education or China in economic growth are models that policymakers should emulate. What is the strongest version of this claim that Roberts provides? How would you respond?

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In the Easterly Essay questions I asked:

What role can (and should) data play in development? How does Easterly answer this question? How would Jeffrey Sachs answer this question? Morten Jerven discusses the quality of data collected by African nations in this 2013 episode. Given some of these challenges, how should Easterly and Sachs revise their approaches?

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How Important are the Rights of the Poor?

EconTalk Extra
by Russ Roberts

In the Easterly Essay questions, I asked:

Easterly maintains that one of the biggest problems in the development world is that the rights of the poor are not respected. What does he mean by this? What are the implications for development policy?

Read on for two very different answers to this question.

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The Best Easterly Essays

EconTalk Extra
by Russ Roberts

I want to thank the people (39 in all) who submitted essays in response to the questions I posed about the Easterly episode. I thought the best essays were submitted by Luke Edwards, Conor Lennon, Alex Ruch, and Michael Tew. Their essays will be posted here over the next few days. Please comment on their essays and watch this space for another opportunity to write for EconTalk.


   


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