Russ Roberts

March 2017

A Monthly Archive (8 entries)
 

Midtown Mysteries

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

skyline.jpg
Why do we think of Manhattan as the land of skyscrapers? Have you ever really noticed the shape of the Midtown skyline? EconTalk host Russ Roberts has, and he's been perplexed. So this week he welcomed Jason Barr to the program to discuss his new book, Building the Skyline: The Birth and Growth of Manhattan's Skyscrapers. There are very few skyscrapers between City Hall and 34th Street, but it's probably not because of some of the reasons often cited.

Let us know your reaction to this week's episode. Share it with your students, your friends, your family, and let's keep the conversation going. As always, we love to hear from you.

1. What did "sprawl" look like in the early days of Manhattan? What was the (perhaps ironic?) role that public transportation played in this phenomenon?

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Podcast episode Jason Barr on Building the Skyline and the Economics of Skyscrapers

EconTalk Episode with Jason Barr
Hosted by Russ Roberts

fBuilding%20the%20Skyline.jpg Why does the Manhattan skyline look like it does with incredible skyscrapers south of City Hall then almost no tall buildings until midtown? Jason Barr of Rutgers University-Newark and author of Building the Skyline talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the evolution of Manhattan as a place to live and work, and the mix of individual choices and government policy that created the skyline of Manhattan.

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"You no doubt wish to see the garden?"

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

statistics.jpg EconTalk host Russ Roberts has made no secret of his skepticism about statistical analysis and econometric modeling. Yet in introducing this week's guest, Columbia University statistician Andrew Gelman, Roberts wonders aloud if he's gone too far. Does Gelman convince him to retract some of his skepticism?

As always, we'd like to continue the conversation with you. Use the prompts below in your classroom or at your next cocktail party... We'd love to hear the responses of you, your students, and your guests below!

1. Throughout the conversation, Gelman reiterates that relying on statistical significance in thinking about policy issues is problematic. What are the two major problems he sees with the use of statistical significance? How might these problems be mitigated, and how much statistical literacy does the public really need in order to think about issues such as early childhood interventions?

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Podcast episode Andrew Gelman on Social Science, Small Samples, and the Garden of the Forking Paths

EconTalk Episode with Andrew Gelman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

forked%20path.jpg Statistician, blogger, and author Andrew Gelman of Columbia University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges facing psychologists and economists when using small samples. On the surface, finding statistically significant results in a small sample would seem to be extremely impressive and would make one even more confident that a larger sample would find even stronger evidence. Yet, larger samples often fail to lead to replication. Gelman discusses how this phenomenon is rooted in the incentives built into human nature and the publication process. The conversation closes with a general discussion of the nature of empirical work in the social sciences.

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You will always have the poor with you...

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

Pope.jpg Laudato Si, the recent encyclical from Pope Francis, is a call to "care for our common home." In this week's EconTalk episode, host Russ Roberts welcomes Wake Forest University economist Robert Whaples to discuss the extent to which the Pope got the economics right in his plea.

The Pope's abiding concern seems to be that the way we treat others and the planet we inhabit is harming our souls. He may be right...but what's to be done? Is capitalism part of the problem or the solution? As always, we love to hear your thoughts on the conversation. Please share them with us today!

1. Whaples suggests that one of the reasons Francis's thinking on markets differs from his predecessor, John Paul II, is because he grew up in Argentina, "the poster child for Markets Gone Wrong." How does an individual's upbringing affect their perspective on markets, and why?

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CATEGORIES: Extras



Podcast episode Robert Whaples on the Economics of Pope Francis

EconTalk Episode with Robert Whaples
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Vaticanstorm.jpg Is capitalism part of the poverty problem facing the world or part of the solution? Are human beings doing a good job preserving the earth for future generations? To improve the world, should we improve capitalism or ourselves? Robert Whaples of Wake Forest University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about "Laudato Si'," Pope Francis's encyclical on capitalism, poverty, and environmental issues.

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Podcast episode Crafts, Garicano, and Zingales on the Economic Future of Europe

EconTalk Episode with Nicholas Crafts, Luis Garicano, and Luigi Zingales
Hosted by Russ Roberts

europe%20future.jpg What is the future of the European economy? What are the challenges facing Europe? What are the implications of Brexit for the United Kingdom and the rest of the Europe? Nicholas Crafts of the University of Warwick, Luis Garicano of the London School of Economics, and Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about these questions and more in front of a live audience at Stanford University's Hoover Institution.

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(Don't) Walk a Mile in their Shoes

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

empathy.jpg Our ability to put ourselves in others' shoes and understand what they're feeling is part of what makes us human. But this same ability may not serve us well, especially when we use it as our guide in making moral and/or political decisions. That's the contention of Yale University psychologist Paul Bloom in his new book, Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion. Bloom sat down with EconTalk host Russ Roberts this week to chat about how we might inject reason and make the world a better place.

1. What's the difference between empathy and compassion, according to Bloom, and why does he argue that compassion serves us better in our decision-making?

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CATEGORIES: Books , Extras , Psychology



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