Russ Roberts

December 2016

A Monthly Archive (9 entries)
 

Beats the Alternative

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

queue.jpg If you were a poor person in a poor country, would you prefer steady work in a factory or to be your own boss, buying and selling in the local market? That's the opening question for this week's episode, in which host Russ Roberts welcomes back Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago to discuss his research on employment alternatives in poor countries. The results Blattman and his colleague found surprised him, and me, too.

If we assume that a long queue for job openings in a factory means that such employment beats the other alternatives, what do we miss? Let's hear your thoughts in this week's conversation. We love to hear from you.

1. Blattman notes that one-time cash transfers to people in poor countries do have the effect of raising the individual's income, yet without any discernible effect on economic growth. Why is that the case? To what extent does this suggest that such aid programs are misguided?

CONTINUE READING...




Podcast episode Chris Blattman on Sweatshops

EconTalk Episode with Chris Blattman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

textiles.jpg If you were a poor person in a poor country, would you prefer steady work in a factory or to be your own boss, buying and selling in the local market? Economist Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about experimental evidence on how poor people choose in the labor market and the consequences for their income, health, and satisfaction.

Size:35.6 MB
Right-click or Option-click, and select "Save Link/Target As MP3.

MORE:




Islands of Poverty in a Sea of Wealth

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

What do you imagine when you think about a Native American reservation? Do you see sweeping vistas of the desert or plains? Glittering casinos? Or substandard housing, stray dogs, and young men milling about? In this week's episode, host Russ Roberts welcomes back Terry Anderson of the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), who describes most reservations today as "islands of poverty in a sea of wealth."

tee-pee.jpg
The conversation covers what life was like for Native Americans pre-Europeans through today, raising lots of interesting questions about the changing nature of Indian institutions and the effects of current policy on reservation life today. What did you learn from this week's episode, and what questions linger in your mind? Let us know, or have a crack at one of those posed below. As always, we love to hear from you.

1. Anderson insists that Native Americans had efficient and innovative economic institutions prior to the arrival of the Europeans, after which worsening relations prompted the Indians to adopt different strategies with the Europeans. When and why did this change? Put another way, why did Native Americans switch from "trade" to "raid?"

CONTINUE READING...




Podcast episode Terry Anderson on Native American Economics

EconTalk Episode with Terry Anderson
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Native%20American.jpg Terry Anderson of PERC talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about economic life for Native Americans. Anderson discusses economic life before the arrival of Europeans and how current policy affects Native Americans living on reservations today.

Size:30.8 MB
Right-click or Option-click, and select "Save Link/Target As MP3.

MORE:




Winners Wage War

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

war opinion.jpg Warren Harding, widely regarded as one of the worst Presidents in United States history, also had perhaps the best record for peace and prosperity. How can that be? In this week's EconTalk episode, host Russ Roberts welcomes back NYU political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita to discuss the fascinating (albeit depressing) correlation between presidential popularity and war-making. Why does public opinion seem to regard war so favorably? How do we assess the performance of US Presidents, and how should we?

We'd like to hear your thoughts on these questions...Feel free to raise additional questions that struck you regarding this week's conversation, too. As always, we love to hear from you.

1. How does Bueno de Mesquita describe the different ways in which war is waged in autocracies versus democracies? Why is war approached so differently by each?

CONTINUE READING...

CATEGORIES: Books , Extras



Podcast episode Bruce Bueno de Mesquita on the Spoils of War

EconTalk Episode with Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Spoils%20of%20War.jpg There is a fascinating and depressing positive correlation between the reputation of an American president and the number of people dying in wars while that president is in office. Political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita of NYU and co-author of The Spoils of War talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how presidents go to war. Bueno de Mesquita argues that the decision of how and when to go to war is made in self-interested ways rather than in consideration of what is best for the nation. The discussion includes a revisionist perspective on the presidencies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and others as Bueno de Mesquita tries to make the case that the reputations of these men are over-inflated.

Size:35.5 MB
Right-click or Option-click, and select "Save Link/Target As MP3.

MORE:




The Closed Hand of Exclusion

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

closed fist.jpg In this week's episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed Princeton University's Thomas Leonard to talk about his book, Illiberal Reformers: Race, Eugenics, and American Economics in the Progressive Era. Its a tough conversation, exploring as it does the very unsavory roots of the progressive movement--and the discipline of economics--in the United States.

Now we'd like to hear from you. What struck you in this week's episode? Share your thoughts with us, and let's continue the conversation.

1. How did the progressive era change the nature and scope of the state, according to Leonard? What vestiges of this change persist today, and what makes them so persistent?

CONTINUE READING...

CATEGORIES: Books , Extras



Podcast episode Thomas Leonard on Race, Eugenics, and Illiberal Reformers

EconTalk Episode with Thomas Leonard
Hosted by Russ Roberts

illiberal%20reformers.jpg Were the first professional economists racists? Thomas Leonard of Princeton University and author of Illiberal Reformers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book--a portrait of the progressive movement and its early advocates at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The economists of that time were eager to champion the power of the state and its ability to regulate capitalism successfully. Leonard exposes the racist origins of these ideas and the role eugenics played in the early days of professional economics. Woodrow Wilson takes a beating as well.

Size:31.3 MB
Right-click or Option-click, and select "Save Link/Target As MP3.

MORE:




Rhapsody in Reading

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

read aloud.jpg EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed back Doug Lemov, of Uncommon Schools, this week, for a very interesting conversation about reading, and especially, reading rigorously. In his new book, Reading Reconsidered, Lemov's primary audience is educators, but as Russ notes, and as should be evident from their conversation, it has relevance far beyond the classroom.

How much do you read today, and do you prefer electronic reading to "real" books? How has the digital age- and your cellphone, in particular- changed your reading habits? Those of your children and/or students? Do you ever read aloud anymore? Share your thoughts on this week's episode with us; we love to hear from you.

1. What does Lemov mean when he says that reading is "first among equals," and to what extent do you agree?

CONTINUE READING...

CATEGORIES: Books , Education , Extras



Return to top