Russ Roberts

July 2015

A Monthly Archive (7 entries)

If a nation sends all its children to school, can it count on greater economic growth? Does putting bottoms in seats generate human capital? This week, Russ welcomed back the Hoover Institution's Eric Hanushek.

What did you think of this week's episode? What did it make you think more about? Share with us your thoughts and reactions, helping us make EconTalk ever better. As always, we learn from you and we love to hear from you.

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1. What additional question(s) would you have asked Hanushek?

2. Hanushek suggests a causal relationship between academic achievement and economic growth in a nation, What is the nature of Russ's concern about "reverse causation?" To what extent do you find Hanushek's claim plausible?


Podcast episode Eric Hanushek on the Education, Skills, and the Millennium Development Goals

EconTalk Episode with Eric Hanushek
Hosted by Russ Roberts

How important are basic skills for economic success and growth? Eric Hanushek of Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the importance of basic education in math and literacy and their relationship to economic growth. Hanushek argues that excellence in educating people in basic skills leads to economic growth, especially in poorer countries where years of education may be a poor proxy for learning. He argues that the U.N.'s Millennium Development Goals should emphasize outputs rather than inputs--performance on skill-based exams rather than years of education.

Size:32.6 MB
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Podcast episode Wences Casares on Bitcoin and Xapo

EconTalk Episode with Wences Casares
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Wences Casares, bitcoin evangelist and founder and CEO of Xapo, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how bitcoin works, the genius of bitcoin's creator, and how Xapo is structured to create security for bitcoin banking.

Size:27.9 MB
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If the Magna Carta sowed the seeds of freedom and prosperity 800 years ago, what should we look forward to in the next 800 years? This week's episode, recorded before a live audience at the Hoover Institution, asks three EconTalk favorites to offer their thoughts.

And now it's time to share yours. Are you more of an optimist or pessimist about the future of freedom? Help us continue the conversation.


1. After listening to the opening statements of each guest, which guest do you find most compelling? Explain.

2. The speakers were critical of the role of regulation or the size of government in holding back the US economy. Yet as Russ Roberts pointed out, the economy has grown fairly steadily in the post-WWII United States. How might defenders of regulation or those who support larger government answer critics of regulation and the growth of government?

3. If you had been a member of the live audience, what would you have asked during the Q&A? (Please note if your question would be a general one or directed to a particular speaker.)


Podcast episode Lee Ohanian, Arnold Kling, and John Cochrane on the Future of Freedom, Democracy, and Prosperity

EconTalk Episode with Lee Ohanian, Arnold Kling, and John Cochrane
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Lee Ohanian, Arnold Kling, and John Cochrane talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the future of freedom, democracy, and prosperity. Recorded in front of a live audience at Stanford University's Hoover Institution as part of a conference on Magna Carta, the three guests give their perspective on the future of the American economy and the interaction between politics and economics. Each guest makes a brief presentation at the start followed by a moderated conversation.

Size:26.1 MB
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Can economists save lives? It seems Nobel laureate Alvin Roth can...In this week's episode, Roth talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about matching markets and social support for markets. The conversation ranges over indirect kidney donations, (public) school choice, financial market trading, and more.

As always, we'd like to take this chance to enrich the experience of this week's conversation. Use the prompts below to respond in the comments, and use them to spark you own conversations offline. We love to hear from you!

1. What were your top takeaways from this week's episode?

2. Roth asserts that in matching markets, prices function differently than they do in commodities markets? How would you describe this difference?

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Podcast episode Alvin Roth on Matching Markets

EconTalk Episode with Alvin Roth
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Nobel Laureate Alvin Roth of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his work on matching markets. Examples include marriage, matching kidney donors to kidney recipients, and students to schools in cities that allow choice in their public school systems. Roth also discusses repugnance--the unease some people have with allowing buying and selling of some goods and what it's like to watch a kidney transplant knowing your research has helped make the surgery possible.

Size:29.0 MB
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