Russ Roberts

City Formation, Urban Issues Podcast Episodes and Extras

Category Archive with 26 podcast episodes and extras
 

Podcast episode Tyler Cowen on The Complacent Class

EconTalk Episode with Tyler Cowen
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Complacent%20Class.jpg Author and economist Tyler Cowen of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, The Complacent Class. Cowen argues that the United States has become complacent and the result is a loss of dynamism in the economy and in American life, generally. Cowen provides a rich mix of data, speculation, and creativity in support of his claims.

Size:30:3 MB
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Podcast episode Jennifer Pahlka on Code for America

EconTalk Episode with Jennifer Pahlka
Hosted by Russ Roberts

code%20US.jpg Jennifer Pahlka, founder of Code for America, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the organization she started. Code for America works with private sector tech people to bring technology to the provision of government services. Pahlka discusses some of the success Code for America has had with improving government and the challenges of citizenship and technology in the 21st century.

Size:27.4 MB
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Everyday Tragedies

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

A special thank you to Alice Temnick for creating this week's Extra.

giving homeless.jpg Do you drop coins in a cup or hand a dollars to homeless people? Does this help that person or perpetuate the "problem"? Does it make you feel better because you are doing something? Have you wondered, as Erica Sandberg and Russ Roberts do, if there is a better way to address this uncomfortable political and social issue?

Podcaster and writer Erica Sandberg talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about homelessness in San Francisco. Sandberg talks about what the city can do about homelessness and her experience with Downtown Streets Team, which gives homeless people in the Bay Area the chance to work in exchange for gift cards that let them buy food and other basics.

Share your thoughts with us about this model or any other private organizations you are aware of that are addressing issues of homelessness. We love to hear from you!

1. A common misconception or description of homelessness is the number of women and children "on the streets". But Sandberg argues that this is not what we are seeing, that the face of homelessness predominantly one of a single male often representing behaviors of substance abuse and/or mental illness. Is this consistent with your first hand observations or second hand information of the problem?

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Podcast episode Erica Sandberg on Homelessness and Downtown Streets Team

EconTalk Episode with Erica Sandberg
Hosted by Russ Roberts

homeless.jpg Podcaster and writer Erica Sandberg talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about homelessness in San Francisco. Sandberg talks about what the city can do about homelessness and her experience with Downtown Streets Team, which gives homeless people in the Bay Area the chance to work in exchange for gift cards that let them buy food and other basics.

Size:26.5 MB
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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?

CONTINUE READING...




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.

Size:35.6 MB
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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
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Podcast episode Bent Flyvbjerg on Megaprojects

EconTalk Episode with Bent Flyvbjerg
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Bent Flyvbjerg of Oxford University speaks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the political economy of megaprojects--massive investments of a billion dollars or more in infrastructure or technology. Flyvbjerg argues that such projects consistently end up costing more with smaller benefits than projected and almost always end up with costs that exceed the benefits. Flyvbjerg explores the reasons for the poor predictions and poor performance of giant investment projects and what might be done to improve their effectiveness.

Size:29.5 MB
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Podcast episode Paul Romer on Urban Growth

EconTalk Episode with Paul Romer
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Paul Romer of New York University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about reforming cities to allow growth and human flourishing. Topics discussed include charter cities, the role of population density in city life, driverless cars, and various ways to help the poorest people in the world.

Size:28.9 MB
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Podcast episode David Zetland on Water

EconTalk Episode with David Zetland
Hosted by Russ Roberts

David Zetland of Leiden University College in the Netherlands and author of Living with Water Scarcity talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of water management. Issues covered include the sustainability of water supplies, the affordability of water for the poor, the incentives water companies face, and the management of water systems in the poorest countries. Also discussed are the diamond and water paradox, campaigns to reduce water usage, and the role of prices in managing a water system.

Size:27.6 MB
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Podcast episode Alex Tabarrok on Private Cities

EconTalk Episode with Alex Tabarrok
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Alex Tabarrok of George Mason University talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a recent paper Tabarrok co-authored with Shruti Rajagopalan on Gurgaon, a city in India that until recently had little or no municipal government. The two discuss the successes and failures of this private city, the tendency to romanticize the outcomes of market and government action, and the potential for private cities to meet growing demand for urban living in India and China.

Size:31.3 MB
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Podcast episode Charles Marohn on Strong Towns, Urban Development, and the Future of American Cities

EconTalk Episode with Charles Marohn
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Charles Marohn, President of Strong Towns, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts urban development and what makes a strong town. The two discuss how the post-World War II approach to town and city planning has led to debt problems and wasteful infrastructure investments, and how changes as small as the width of roads make cities more vibrant. Other topics discussed include central Detroit today as a model of city growth, the incentive problems associated with how state and federal infrastructure funds are distributed, and Marohn's efforts to change civil engineers' perspective on growth.

Size:29.6 MB
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Podcast episode Jeffrey Sachs on the Millennium Villages Project

EconTalk Episode with Jeffrey Sachs
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University and the Millennium Villages Project talks with EconTalk host about poverty in Africa and the efforts of the Millennium Villages Project to fight hunger, disease, and illiteracy. The project tries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals in a set of poor African villages using an integrated strategy fighting hunger, poverty, and disease. In this lively conversation, Sachs argues that this approach has achieved great success so far and responds to criticisms from development economists and Nina Munk in her recent EconTalk interview.

Size:38.5 MB
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Podcast episode Calomiris and Haber on Fragile by Design

EconTalk Episode with Charles Calomiris and Stephen Haber
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Charles Calomiris of Columbia University and Stephen Haber of Stanford University, co-authors of Fragile by Design: The Political Origins of Banking Crises and Scarce Credit, talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about their book. The conversation focuses on how politics and economics interact to give some countries such as Canada a remarkably stable financial system while others such as the United States have a much less stable system. The two authors discuss the political forces that explain the persistence of seemingly bad financial regulation. The conversation includes a discussion of the financial crisis of 2008.

Size:35.3 MB
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Podcast episode Winston on Transportation

EconTalk Episode with Clifford Winston
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Cliff Winston of the Brookings Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his recent article in the Journal of Economic Literature on the U.S. transportation system. Winston argues that the while the United States has a very good transportation system overall, it is extremely expensive and poorly organized. What is needed, Winston argues, is not more money, but to spend the money already allocated more wisely. He discusses the evolution of the U.S. transportation system, government's role in transportation, dramatic innovations that might transform aviation and driving, and the potential for privatizing airports and roads.

Size:27.9 MB
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Podcast episode Glaeser on Cities

EconTalk Episode with Edward Glaeser
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Edward Glaeser of Harvard University and author of The Triumph of Cities talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about American cities. The conversation begins with a discussion of the history of Detroit over the last century and its current plight. What might be done to improve Detroit's situation? Why are other cities experiencing similar challenges to those facing Detroit? Why are some cities thriving and growing? What policies might help ailing cities and what policies have helped those cities that succeed? The conversation concludes with a discussion of why cities have such potential for growth.

Size: 29.3 MB
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Podcast episode Rodden on the Geography of Voting

EconTalk Episode with Jonathan Rodden
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Jonathan Rodden, political science professor at Stanford and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution speaks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the geography of voting. The main focus is on the tendency of urban voters around the world to vote for candidates on the left relative to suburban and rural voters. Rodden argues that this pattern is related to the geography of work and housing going back to the industrial revolution. He also discusses the implications of various voting systems such as winner-take-all vs. proportional representation, the electoral college and how political systems and voter preferences can produce unexpected outcomes.

Size: 26.7 MB
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Podcast episode Moretti on Jobs, Cities, and Innovation

EconTalk Episode with Enrico Moretti
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Enrico Moretti of the University of California, Berkeley and the author of the New Geography of Jobs talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his book. Moretti traces how the economic success of cities and the workers who live there depends on the education of those workers. Moretti argues that there are spillover effects from educated workers--increased in jobs and wages in the city. He uses changes in the fortunes of Seattle and Albuquerque over the last three decades as an example of how small changes can affect the path of economic development and suggests a strong role for serendipity in determining which cities become hubs for high-tech innovation. The conversation concludes with Moretti making the case for increasing investments in education and research and development.

Size: 33.0 MB
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Podcast episode Avent on Cities, Urban Regulations, and Growth

EconTalk Episode with Ryan Avent
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Ryan Avent of the Economist and author of The Gated City talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about The Gated City and how cities have restricted access to land and housing. Avent argues that restricted access has raised housing prices artificially on both the east and west coast of the United States, reducing urban populations and restricting access to labor markets. He argues that this in turn has artificially depressed growth in the United States by keeping workers from their most productive opportunities. The conversation closes with a discussion of possible policy changes that might make cities more accessible to development and growth.

Size: 30.1 MB
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Podcast episode Rodrik on Globalization, Development, and Employment

EconTalk Episode with Dani Rodrik
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Dani Rodrik of Harvard University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about trade, the labor market, and trade policy. Drawing on a recent paper with Margaret McMillan on trade and productivity, Rodrik argues that countries have very differing abilities to respond to increases in productivity that allow production to expand using fewer workers in a particular sector. When workers are displaced by productivity increases, what is their next best alternative? Rodrik discusses how this varies across countries and policies that might improve matters. He argues that poor countries should subsidize new products as a way of overcoming uncertainty and externalities from new ventures.

Size: 27.5 MB
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Podcast episode Munger on Private and Public Rent-Seeking (and Chilean Buses)

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Mike Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about private and public rent-seeking. When firms compete for either private profit opportunities or government contracts, there are inevitably firms or people who spend resources but end up earning little or nothing. What are the differences, if any between these two forms of competition? How do they related to competitions that award prizes for discovering new technologies? The conversation begins with a discussion of a recent trip Munger took to Chile where he observed the current state of the Chilean bus system, a topic he has discussed in the past.

Size: 26.8 MB
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Podcast episode Romer on Charter Cities

EconTalk Episode with Paul Romer
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Paul Romer of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about charter cities, Romer's idea for helping the poorest of the poor around the world. Romer envisions a city where the rules about property and safety and contract and so on are rules that allow individuals to flourish in an urban setting in contrast to the cities they live in now where so many aspects of economic and personal life are dysfunctional. Charter cities would be havens for the world's poor and could be created on uninhabited land in either rich or poor countries. This concept raises many difficult practical questions--some of them are discussed here along with how Romer came to be interested in creating the concept and how he hopes to bring it to reality.

Size: 29.1 MB
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Podcast episode Boettke on Elinor Ostrom, Vincent Ostrom, and the Bloomington School

EconTalk Episode with Pete Boettke
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Peter Boettke of George Mason University and author of Challenging Institutional Analysis and Development: The Bloomington School (co-authored with Paul Dragos Aligica), talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the Bloomington School--the political economy of Elinor Ostrom (2009 Nobel Laureate in Economics), Vincent Ostrom, and their students and colleagues at Indiana University. The discussion begins with the empirical approach of Elinor Ostrom and others who have studied the myriad of ways that actual communities have avoided the tragedy of commons. Boettke emphasizes the distinction between privatization vs. informal norms and cultural rules that prevent overuse. The conversation also looks at urban development and the benefits and costs of multiple municipalities vs. a single, large city. Throughout, Boettke embeds the conversation in the Ostroms' interest in how the citizenry can be self-governing and the challenges of implementing local knowledge.

Size: 29.0 MB
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Podcast episode Patri Friedman on Seasteading

EconTalk Episode with Patri Friedman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Patri Friedman, Executive Director of the Seasteading Institute, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about seasteading, the creation of autonomous ocean communities as an alternative to existing political and cultural forms. Topics discussed include the political and economic viability of seasteading, risks of piracy, the aesthetics of living on the ocean, and the potential impact of seasteading on conventional governments.

Size: 22.1 MB
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Podcast episode Yandle on the Tragedy of the Commons and the Implications for Environmental Regulation

EconTalk Episode with Bruce Yandle
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Bruce Yandle of Clemson University and George Mason University's Mercatus Center looks at the tragedy of the commons and the various ways that people have avoided the overuse of resources that are held in common. Examples discussed include fisheries, roads, rivers and the air. Yandle talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the historical use of norms, cooperative ventures such as incorporating a river, the common law, and top-down command-and-control regulation to reduce air and water pollution.

Size: 38.7 MB
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Podcast episode Lucas on Growth, Poverty and Business Cycles

EconTalk Episode with Bob Lucas
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Bob Lucas, Nobel Laureate and professor of economics at the University of Chicago talks about wealth and poverty, what affects living standards around the world and over time, the causes of business cycles and the role of the money in our economy. Along the way, he talks about Jane Jacobs, immigration, and Milton Friedman's influence on his career.

Size: 11.1 MB
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