Russ Roberts

Your Favorite Episodes of 2014

EconTalk Extra
by Russ Roberts
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Michael Munger on Choosing in ... Continuing Education... Mike M...

I want to thank everyone who completed the survey--almost 1200 people responded from over 60 countries. Here are the top ten episodes of 2014 as voted by you. Every episode got at least 3% of the vote. The top episode got 25%. I especially want to thank you for your comments. Your interest in EconTalk and your appreciation for our efforts is deeply satisfying to me. I hope 2015 can be even better as we try to add ways for you to deepen your learning if that interests you.

1. Michael Munger on the Sharing Economy
2. Marc Andreessen on Venture Capital and the Digital Future
3. Bryan Caplan on College, Signaling and Human Capital
4. Russ Roberts and Mike Munger on How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life
5. Sam Altman on Start-ups, Venture Capital, and the Y Combinator
6. Nina Munk on Poverty, Development, and the Idealist
7. D. G. Myers on Cancer, Dying, and Living
8. Daron Acemoglu on Inequality, Institutions, and Piketty
9. William Easterly on the Tyranny of Experts
10. Jonathan Haidt on the Righteous Mind
10. Thomas Piketty on Inequality and Capital in the 21st Century

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COMMENTS (7 to date)
Lorena Miller writes:

Would love to see the comments in the survey. How about publishing them?

Greg G writes:

Would love to hear why you chose voting as a method of rating the podcasts.

After all, we just heard this week about all the possible problems that can happen when there are more than 2 options. Why was voting best for choosing among 52 options?

Michael Munger writes:

Interesting question, about voting.

What Russ actually used was approval voting, because you could vote for multiples. (Or am I wrong about that?)

That's not a bad way of doing a choice of a list from a longer list. It may have problems choosing a single choice from a longer list. But with approval voting you don't have the problem with "splitting" a vote if there are two similar choices either of which would beat the "winner" if compared alone. Here, you could vote for all your favorites.

Finally, the best argument for the procedure actually used is the obvious merit of ranking it produced....Well, okay, no. But approval voting is a pretty good to choose a short list from a longer list.

Greg G writes:

Yes, Russ produced the top 10 list by having people choose their top five.

As it happens, if Russ was to show the comments as Lorena requests, it would be revealed that I commented that I found it hard to narrow my list to a top five and would have preferred to name a top six.

Guess you just can't ever make everybody happy. You guys do come about as close to that as it is reasonable to expect though. Thanks for this one and for all of them.

Kyle writes:

Can't believe the Hansen episode didn't make the top 10. Far and away my all time favorite.

Arde writes:

Would be interesting to see if there are differences in favourite episodes, say, between American listeners and non-Americans (divided by Europeans/Asians/Latin Americans), between men and women, between those below 30 and those above.

Quena writes:

Michael, after listening to your latest episode re. choosing in groups, I wonder how much winning influences our positive view of processes, and how much losing influences influences our perception of unfairness.

Kyle raises a good point re. intensity. I suppose you could measure that in the future by allowing folks to vote for the same episode(s) more than once.

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