Russ Roberts

January 2016

A Monthly Archive (8 entries)
 

There's No Such Thing as an Objective Fact

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

In a fascinating and far-ranging conversation with Nobel Laureate James Heckman (who was also one of his teachers), EconTalk host Russ Roberts explored the progress, problems, and limits of econometric analysis--the application of statistics to economic data.

There's a lot to learn this week's episode, and lots to think about as well. We hope you'll use the prompts below to continue our conversation in the comments. As you know, we love to hear from you!
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1. Why might there be a difference between measured and real progress? Why is it important to recognize this distinction, and in what additional areas have policy makers failed to account for this?

CONTINUE READING...




Podcast episode James Heckman on Facts, Evidence, and the State of Econometrics

EconTalk Episode with James Heckman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

U. of Chicago, chicago2.jpg Nobel Laureate James Heckman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the state of econometrics and the challenges of measurement in assessing economic theories and public policy. Heckman gives us his take on natural experiments, selection bias, randomized control trials and the reliability of sophisticated statistical analysis. The conversation closes with Heckman reminiscing about his intellectual influences throughout his career.

Size:29.5 MB
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Selling Sneakers and Swooshes

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

Are you a sneakerhead? Have you organized a portfolio of your collection? (Did you even know you could???) This week, EconTalk host Russ Roberts sat down with the foremost expert on the secondary sneaker market, Josh Luber. They talked about the process of data collection, "deadstock" and the composition of this multi-million dollar secondary market.

As always, we'd like to hear what you took away from this conversation. So please share your thoughts with us in the comments, and let's continue.

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1. Luber talks about his process of transitioning to full-time work on Campless, and his plans to launch StockX. What does he mean by a "stock market of things?" How does this comport with the traditional idea of stock markets? Can you think of other "things" that might benefit from a platform like StockX?

CONTINUE READING...




Podcast episode Josh Luber on Sneakers, Sneakerheads, and the Second-hand Market

EconTalk Episode with Josh Luber
Hosted by Russ Roberts

sneakers2.jpg How many pairs of sneakers do you own? Josh Luber of Campless and StockX talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the world of sneakerheads--people passionate for collecting and trading sneakers. Each week people line up to buy classic sneaker models Nike re-releases. Luber has collected millions of transactions from Ebay on these sneakers and others and has analyzed the return to investing in various sneaker models. The conversation includes a discussion of how Nike has helped to create this market and Luber's work creating a stock market for sneakers and other goods.

Size:28.9 MB
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Knowledge, Ignorance, and Spectacles

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

In this week's episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts chats with Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal about his new book, Foolproof.

How do people formulate their attitudes toward risk? How do people respond to policies that try to insulate them from risk? How should policymakers take these responses into account? These questions and more are highlights from the conversation. Now let's continue that conversation here...We love to hear from you.

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1. In this recent Econlib column, Arnold Kling explores Ip's distinction between two philosophies for handling risk, those of the "engineers" and the "ecologists." Which style is better for dealing with risk or is it a matter of the context and setting for the risk?

CONTINUE READING...




Podcast episode Greg Ip on Foolproof

EconTalk Episode with Greg Ip
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Foolproof.jpg When does the pursuit of safety lead us into danger? Greg Ip of the Wall Street Journal and author of Foolproof talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his book--the way we publicly and privately try to cope with risk and danger and how those choices can create unintended consequences. While much of the conversation focuses on the financial crisis of 2008, there are also discussions of football injuries, damage from natural disasters such as hurricanes, car accidents, and Herbert Hoover. Along the way, Herman Melville's insights into the mesmerizing nature of water make an appearance.

Size:30.4 MB
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All the World's a Puzzle

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

The "economic way of thinking" is something we at Econlib emphasize...a LOT. This week, EconTalk host Russ Roberts sat down again with "the Economic Naturalist, Cornell'S Robert Frank. Their subject...almost anything! They explored some puzzles, what Roberts calls "dinner table economics," such as why do brides buy their gowns, while grooms rent their tuxes. (Presumably, the gown will be worn once, while tuxes may have a longer useful life.)

So now let's see how we can liven up your dinner table conversation. Give some thought to the prompts below...Your puzzle(s) could even become the subject of a future episode!

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1. Frank suggests that only a half dozen or so concepts "do the heavy lifting" in economics. What do you think those half dozen concepts are, and why? (Hint/Spoiler: Russ seems to think there are ten...)

CONTINUE READING...




Podcast episode Robert Frank on Dinner Table Economics

EconTalk Episode with Robert Frank
Hosted by Russ Roberts

dinner table.jpg How can you learn to think like an economist? One way is to think about what might be called dinner table economics--puzzles or patterns that arise in everyday life that would be good to understand. Robert Frank of Cornell University and author of The Economic Naturalist talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a number of these puzzles including why grooms typically rent tuxedos but the bride usually buys her gown, why bicycles can be more expensive to rent than cars, the effects of the price of corn on the price of pork, and why scammers who invoke Nigeria keep using the same old story.

Size:26.7 MB
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