Russ Roberts

January 2017

A Monthly Archive (7 entries)
 

Podcast episode George Borjas on Immigration and We Wanted Workers

EconTalk Episode with George Borjas
Hosted by Russ Roberts

WeWantedWorkers_cover.jpeg George Borjas of Harvard University and author of We Wanted Workers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about immigration and the challenges of measuring the impact of increased immigration on American workers and consumers. The discussion also looks at the cultural impact of immigration and what immigration in the past can tell us about immigration today.

Size:30.0 MB
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Podcast episode Sam Quinones on Heroin, the Opioid Epidemic, and Dreamland

EconTalk Episode with Sam Quinones
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Dreamland.jpg How did heroin spread beyond big cities in America? What's the connection between heroin and America's opioid problem? Sam Quinones, author of Dreamland, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the explosion in heroin use and how one small Mexican town changed how heroin was produced and sold in America. That in turn became entangled with the growth in the use of pain-killers as recreational drugs. Drawing on the investigative reporting that culminated in his book, Quinones lays out the recent history and economics of the growth in heroin and pain-killer usage and the lost lives along the way.

Size:32.1 MB
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There's a Hole in the Bucket

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

leaky bucket.jpg There has been a lot of talk lately about the idea of a basic income guarantee, or BIG, which has garnered support from across the ideological spectrum. In this week's EconTalk episode, host Russ Roberts welcomes back listener favorite Mike Munger, a supporter of the idea. The virtual sparks fly as the two friends discuss the the reasons for and against a BIG. After listening, what do you think the potential for a BIG is? Could it really replace all other welfare programs? Would welfare be more effective or cheaper? Would we get bigger or smaller government as a result? Would we--at last--begin to define ourselves not by our jobs but by something more personal? And what of unintended consequences...they always emerge!

We hope you'll share your thoughts with us in response to these prompts, over at EconLog, or in the episode's comments. We also hope you'll take a few minutes to give us your feedback on EconTalk over the last year as well. Remember, we love to hear from you.

1. What are Munger's grounds for support of a BIG? What are Roberts's grounds for his skepticism? By whom were you more convinced, and why?

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Podcast episode Michael Munger on the Basic Income Guarantee

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

UBI.jpg Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the virtues and negatives of a basic guaranteed income--giving every American adult an annual amount of money to guarantee a subsistence level of well-being. How would such a plan work? How would it interact with current anti-poverty programs? How would it affect recipients and taxpayers? Munger attacks these issues and more in a lively conversation with Roberts.

Size:29.5 MB
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Podcast episode Robert Hall on Recession, Stagnation, and Monetary Policy

EconTalk Episode with Robert Hall
Hosted by Russ Roberts

recession.jpg Economist Robert Hall of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the current state of the U.S. economy and what we know and don't know about the recovery from the Great Recession. Much of the conversation focuses on the choices facing the Federal Reserve and the policy instruments the Fed has available. The conversation includes a discussion of Hall's experience as chair of the National Bureau of Economic Research Committee on Business Cycle Dating.

Size:31.4 MB
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It's in the Perks

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

inequality4.jpg Mandating benefits- be it culturally or legislatively- is not a free lunch. So begins this week's EconTalk conversation, in which host Russ Roberts welcomes Mercatus Center economist Mark Warshawsky. In a new working paper, Warshawsky has taken data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics which he asserts shows that income inequality has been rather drastically overstated in the last several decades- IF you take total compensation, not just take-home pay, into account. The culprit, he argues, is the rapidly rising cost of health care, which has outpaced income growth significantly.

What do you think of Warshawsky's claim? How many non-monetary compensation "perks" do you receive through your employer, and do you value them all the same? When is an employment benefit not a value? If you're an employer, how do you balance your employees' productivity with the skyrocketing cost of health insurance?

1. Listening to Warshawsky's explanation, to what extent do you think we underestimate the well-being of workers relative to 10-20 years ago? What does Warshawsky mean when he claims that true inequality is getting smaller, and to what extent are you convinced?

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Podcast episode Mark Warshawsky on Compensation, Health Care Costs, and Inequality

EconTalk Episode with Mark Warshawsky
Hosted by Russ Roberts

insurance%20inequality.jpg Economist and author Mark Warshawsky of George Mason University's Mercatus Center talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his work on the role health care benefits play in measuring inequality. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Warshawsky shows that because health care benefits are a larger share of compensation for lower-paid than higher-paid workers, measures of inequality and even measures of economic progress can be misleading or distorted. The conversation covers a wide range of topics related to how the labor market treats workers and the role of benefits in setting overall compensation.

Size:30.8 MB
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