Russ Roberts

Public Choice Podcast Episodes and Extras

Category Archive with 56 podcast episodes and extras
 

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 Steven Teles on Kludgeocracy

EconTalk Episode with Steven Teles
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Steven Teles of Johns Hopkins University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about kludgeocracy, a term Teles coined in a National Affairs article to describe what Teles sees as the complex and unproductive state of political governance in the United States, particularly at the federal level. Teles argues that various rules and procedures in the Senate and the House allow politicians to slow down legislation in return for favors. Teles argues that both liberals and conservatives have an incentive to favor more transparency and a more streamlined governing process that would get things done.

Size:28.6 MB
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Podcast episode Richard Epstein on Classical Liberalism, Libertarianism, and Lochner

EconTalk Episode with Richard Epstein
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Richard Epstein, of New York University and Stanford University's Hoover Institution, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the differences between classical liberalism and hard-line libertarianism. What is the proper role of the state? Topics discussed include the Constitution, prudent regulation, contract enforcement, intellectual property, and the Supreme Court case, Lochner vs. New York.

Size:31.5 MB
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Podcast episode Laurence Kotlikoff on Debt, Default, and the Federal Government's Finances

EconTalk Episode with Laurence Kotlikoff
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Laurence Kotlikoff of Boston University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the fiscal health of the federal government of the United States. Kotlikoff argues that the U.S. government is essentially bankrupt because future taxes will fall hundreds of trillions of dollars short of expected expenditures. Kotlikoff argues this problem can be solved by redesigning our tax code, but without changes such as this, large reductions in spending or large increases in tax rates will be necessary.

Size:27.8 MB
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Podcast episode Anthony Gill on Religion

EconTalk Episode with Anthony Gill
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Anthony Gill of the University of Washington and host of the podcast Research on Religion talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the economics of religion. The conversation focuses on the relationship between religion and the State--how does religion respond to a State-sanctioned monopoly? Why do some governments allow religious liberty while others deny it? The conversation concludes with a discussion of how property rights interact with religious freedom.

Size:29.0 MB
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Podcast episode Judith Curry on Climate Change

EconTalk Episode with Judith Curry
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology and blogger at Climate Etc. talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about climate change. Curry argues that climate change is a "wicked problem" with a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the expected damage as well as the political and technical challenges of dealing with the phenomenon. She emphasizes the complexity of the climate and how much of the basic science remains incomplete. The conversation closes with a discussion of how concerned citizens can improve their understanding of climate change and climate change policy.

Size:30.6 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 Weingast on the Violence Trap

EconTalk Episode with Barry Weingast
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Barry Weingast, the Ward C. Krebs Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and a Senior Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the role of violence and the threat of violence in maintaining destructive economic policies that reduce growth and development. Weingast argues that the threat of violence encourages leaders to create monopolies and other unproductive policies to pay off special interests that would otherwise threaten a coup or revolution. Weingast shows there is a surprising amount of violent regime change in modern times and discusses how this discourages growth-enhancing economic policies. The conversation closes with an analysis of similar ideas in Book III of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations.

Size: 31.7 MB
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Podcast episode Pindyck on Climate Change

EconTalk Episode with Robert Pindyck
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Robert Pindyck of MIT talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of global warming for policy makers. Pindyck argues that while there is little doubt about the existence of human-caused global warming via carbon emissions, there is a great deal of doubt about the size of the effects on temperature and the size of the economic impact of warmer climate. This leads to a dilemma for policy-makers over how to proceed. Pindyck suggests that a tax or some form of carbon emission reduction is a good idea as a precautionary measure, despite the uncertainty.

Size: 29.8 MB
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Podcast episode Michael Lind on Libertarianism

EconTalk Episode with Michael Lind
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Michael Lind of the New American Foundation talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about two recent articles by Lind at Salon.com. In the first article, Lind argues that libertarians are wrong about how to organize a society because they embrace a philosophy that has never been tried. In the second article, Lind argues that the ideas taught in economics principles classes lead to bad public policy. Roberts challenges Lind and along the way they manage to find some areas of agreement.

Size: 32.0 MB
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Podcast episode Morris Fiorina on Polarization, Stability, and the State of the Electorate

EconTalk Episode with Morris Fiorina
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Morris Fiorina, the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science and Hoover Institution Senior Fellow at Stanford University, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the state of the American electorate and recent election results. Fiorina argues that while the Republican and Democratic parties are more extreme than they were in the past, there has been only modest change in the character of the American electorate. Fiorina discusses these differences in light of recent election results which show an inability of either party to sustain control of the Presidency or the Congress.

Size: 27.3 MB
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Podcast episode Schneier on Power, the Internet, and Security

EconTalk Episode with Bruce Schneier
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Bruce Schneier, author and security guru, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about power and the internet. Schneier argues that the internet enhances the power of the powerless but it also enhances the power of the powerful. He argues that we should be worried about both corporate and government uses of the internet to enhance their power. Recorded before news of the PRISM system and the use of Verizon's customer information by the NSA (National Security Agency), Schneier presciently worries about government surveillance that we are not aware of and explains how governments--democratic and totalitarian--can use the internet to oppress their citizens. The conversation closes with a discussion of terrorism and the costs of the current system for reducing the probability of a terrorist attack.

Size: 29.1 MB
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Podcast episode Sachs on the Crisis, the Recovery, and the Future

EconTalk Episode with Jeffrey Sachs
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia University and author of The Price of Civilization talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the state of the American economy. Sachs sees the current malaise as a chronic problem rather than a short-term challenge caused by the business cycle. He lists a whole host of issues he thinks policymakers need to deal with including the environment, inequality, and infrastructure. He disagrees with the Keynesian prescriptions for stimulating the economy and believes that the federal government budget deficits are a serious problem. The conversation closes with a discussion of the state of economics.

Size: 31.1 MB
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Podcast episode Glenn Reynolds on Politics, the Constitution, and Technology

EconTalk Episode with Glenn Reynolds
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Glenn Reynolds of the University of Tennessee and blogger at Instapundit talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the political malaise in America, whether it could lead to a Constitutional Convention, and what might emerge were such an event to occur. Reynolds also gives his thoughts on the suggestion advanced in a recent episode of EconTalk that we should ignore the Constitution. The conversation concludes with Reynolds's views on the decentralizing power of technology and Reynolds's music career.

Size: 27.5 MB
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Podcast episode Cathy O'Neil on Wall St and Occupy Wall Street

EconTalk Episode with Cathy O'Neil
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Cathy O'Neil, data scientist and blogger at mathbabe.org, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her journey from Wall Street to Occupy Wall Street. She talks about her experiences on Wall Street that ultimately led her to join the Occupy Wall Street movement. Along the way, the conversation includes a look at the reliability of financial modeling, the role financial models played in the crisis, and the potential for shame to limit dishonest behavior in the financial sector and elsewhere.

Size: 29.3 MB
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Podcast episode Seidman on the Constitution

EconTalk Episode with Louis Michael Seidman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Louis Michael Seidman of Georgetown University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the United States Constitution. Seidman argues that the we should ignore the Constitution in designing public policy, relying instead on the merits of policy regardless of their constitutionality. Seidman defends his position by citing examples in the past where constitutionality has been ignored and says it would be better to recognize our disdain for the Constitution in a transparent way. In this lively conversation, Roberts pushes back against these ideas, citing the limits of reason and the dangers of using popular sentiment to determine policy.

Size: 28.5 MB
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Podcast episode Mulligan on Redistribution, Unemployment, and the Labor Market

EconTalk Episode with Casey Mulligan
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Casey Mulligan of the University of Chicago and the author of The Redistribution Recession, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in the book. Mulligan argues that increases in the benefits available to unemployed workers explains the depth of the Great Recession that began in 2007 and the slowness of the recovery particularly in the labor market. Mulligan argues that other macroeconomic explanations ignore the microeconomic incentives facing workers and employers.

Size: 30.1 MB
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Podcast episode Joshua Rauh on Public Pensions

EconTalk Episode with Joshua Rauh
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Joshua Rauh, ProfessorĀ of Finance at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business and a senior fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the unfunded liabilities from state employee pensions. The publicly stated shortfall in revenue relative to promised pensions is about $1 trillion. Rauh estimates the number to be over $4 trillion. Rauh explains why that number is more realistic, how the problem grew in recent years, and how the fiscal situation might be fixed moving forward. He also discusses some of the political and legal choices that we are likely to face going forward as states face strained budgets from promises made in the past to retired workers.

Size: 31.4 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 Robert Skidelsky on Money, the Good Life, and How Much is Enough

EconTalk Episode with Robert Skidelsky
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Robert Skidelsky, noted biographer of John Maynard Keynes and author (with his son Edward) of the recently published How Much is Enough, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about materialism, growth, insatiability, and the good life. Skidelsky argues that we work too hard and too long. He argues that the good life has more leisure than we currently consume and that public policy should be structured to discourage work in wealthy countries where work can still be uninspiring. Skidelsky criticizes the discipline of economics and economists for contributing to an obsession with growth to the detriment of what he says are more meaningful and life-enhancing policy goals.

Size: 25.1 MB
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Podcast episode Frank and Roberts on Infrastructure

EconTalk Episode with Robert Frank
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Robert Frank of Cornell University and EconTalk host Russ Roberts debate the merits of a large increase of infrastructure spending. In the summer of 2012, Frank and Roberts were interviewed by Alex Blumberg of NPR's Planet Money. That interview was trimmed to ten minutes for a Planet Money podcast. This is the entire conversation. Frank argues that a trillion increase in infrastructure spending, where the projects are decided by a bipartisan commission, would put people back to work and repair a near-failing system at a time when it is cheap to repair it and cheap to fund those repairs. Roberts disagrees with virtually every piece of Frank's argument. This lively conversation covers fundamental disagreements over fiscal policy, the proper role for government, and the political process.

Size: 25.6 MB
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Podcast episode Barofsky on Bailouts

EconTalk Episode with Neil Barofsky
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Neil Barofsky, author of Bailout and the former Special Inspector General for the TARP program, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book and the government bailouts by the Bush and Obama Administrations. Barofsky recounts what he learned about how Washington works and the incentives facing politicians and bureaucrats. His book and this interview are a workshop in public choice economics. Along the way he unravels some of the acronyms of the last few years including TARP, TALF, and HAMP. The conversation concludes with lessons learned by Barofsky and what might be done in the future to prevent the corruption and ineffectiveness of past bailouts.

Size: 28.9 MB
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Podcast episode Brady on the 2012 US Election

EconTalk Episode with David Brady
Hosted by Russ Roberts

David Brady, Professor of Political Science and the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the November elections in the United States. Brady argues that while the economy favors the challenger, Mitt Romney, current polling data gives a slight edge to President Obama in both the popular vote and the electoral college. The data all suggest that House will stay Republican and the Senate will either go slightly Republican or be tied. Brady also discusses why this may change over the next few months, the importance of the independent vote, and Romney's strategy in choosing a running mate.

Size: 30.2 MB
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Podcast episode Zingales on Capitalism and Crony Capitalism

EconTalk Episode with Luigi Zingales
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Luigi Zingales of the University of Chicago and author of A Capitalism for the People talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his book. Zingales argues that the financial sector has used its political power to enhance the size of the sector and the compensations executives receive. This is symptomatic of a larger problem where special interests steer resources and favors based on their political influence. Zingales argues for a capitalism for the people rather than a capitalism for cronies or the politically powerful. The conversation concludes with a plea by Zingales to his fellow economists to speak out against behavior that is legal but immoral--lobbying Congress for special treatment that exploits others to benefit one's own industry, for example.

Size: 30.3 MB
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Podcast episode Boudreaux on Public Debt

EconTalk Episode with Don Boudreaux
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Don Boudreaux of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the nature of public debt. One view is that there is no burden of the public debt as long as the purchasers of U.S. debt are fellow Americans. In that case, the argument goes, we owe it to ourselves. Drawing on the work of James Buchanan, particularly his book Public Principles of Public Debt: A Defense and Restatement, Boudreaux argues that there is a burden of the debt and it is borne by future taxpayers. Boudreaux argues that all public expenditures have a cost--the different financing mechanisms simply determine who bears the burden of that cost. Boudreaux discusses the political attractiveness of debt finance because the taxes lie in the future and those who will pay for them may not be clearly identified. The conversation closes with a discussion of the role of expectations in both politics and economics of debt finance.

Size: 38.6 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 Brady on the Electorate and the Elections of 2010 and 2012

EconTalk Episode with David Brady
Hosted by Russ Roberts

David Brady of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the lessons of the election of 2010 and what we might expect from the elections of 2012. Brady draws on political history as well as survey results from work with colleagues Doug Rivers and Morris Fiorina to speculate about the elections of 2012. Along the way he discusses the power of the independent vote, how ObamaCare affected the election of 2010, and the prospects for the Republican nominee in 2012. Taped a few days before the deal on the debt was reached, Brady gives his thoughts on the politics of the negotiations. The conversation concludes with a discussion of whether Obama will have a primary challenger.

Size: 28.6 MB
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Podcast episode Acemoglu on Inequality and the Financial Crisis

EconTalk Episode with Daron Acemoglu
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Daron Acemoglu of MIT talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the role income inequality may have played in creating the financial crisis. Raghuram Rajan in his book, Fault Lines, argues that growing income inequality in the last part of the 20th century created a political demand for redistribution and various policy changes. This in turn created the push for higher home ownership rates and led to the distortions of the housing market that in turn led to excessive risk-taking in the financial market. Acemoglu suggests a simpler story where the financial sector through its political influence distorted the rules of the game, benefiting executives in the industry, which in turn led to outsized rewards and ultimate instability in the financial industry. The conversation discusses ways of distinguishing between these two arguments and what might be done to change the incentives of politicians.

Size: 29.2 MB
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Podcast episode Caplan on Immigration

EconTalk Episode with Bryan Caplan
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Bryan Caplan of George Mason University and EconLog blogger talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about immigration. Caplan takes on the common arguments against open borders and argues that they are either exaggerated or can be overcome while still allowing more immigration than is currently allowed in the United States.

Size: 33.7 MB
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Podcast episode Kling on Knowledge, Power, and Unchecked and Unbalanced

EconTalk Episode with Arnold Kling
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Arnold Kling of EconLog and author of Unchecked and Unbalanced, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the book and the relationship between knowledge and power. In a modern economy, specialization has increased and knowledge is increasingly dispersed. But political power has become more concentrated and fails to exploit the potential for decentralization. Kling discusses these trends and the potential for decentralization of power under different policies.

Size: 30.6 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 Brady on the State of the Electorate

EconTalk Episode with David Brady
Hosted by Russ Roberts

David Brady of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the state of the electorate and what current and past political science have to say about the upcoming midterm elections. Drawing on his own survey work and that of others, Brady uses current opinion polls to predict a range of likely outcomes in the House and Senate in November. He then discusses the role of recent health care legislation in the upcoming election as well as Obama's approval ratings. The conversation concludes with Brady's assessment of how Congress might deal with the demographic challenge facing entitlement programs.

Size: 28.8 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 Don Boudreaux on Public Choice

EconTalk Episode with Don Boudreaux
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Don Boudreaux of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about public choice: the application of economics to the political process. Boudreaux argues that political competition is a blunt instrument that works less effectively than economic competition. One reason for this bluntness is the voting process itself--where intensity does not matter, only whether a voter prefers one candidate to the other. A second reason is that political outcomes tend to be one-size-fits-all, which often leads to dissatisfaction. Boudreaux defends the morality of not voting, while Roberts, who does vote from time to time, concedes that one's vote is almost always irrelevant in determining the outcome.

Size: 31.8 MB
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Podcast episode Acemoglu on the Financial Crisis

EconTalk Episode with Daron Acemoglu
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Daron Acemoglu, of MIT, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the financial crisis and the lessons that need to be learned from the crisis. He argues that economists overestimated the stability of self-interest and ignored the institutional context of financial decision-making. He makes the case for new regulation and worries that political decisions will neglect the importance of growth.

Size: 34.0 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 Bueno de Mesquita on Iran and Threats to U.S. Security

EconTalk Episode with Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita of Stanford University's Hoover Institution and New York University talks to EconTalk host Russ Roberts about threats to U.S. security, particularly Iran. Bueno de Mesquita argues that Iran is of little danger to the United States and that Ahmadinejad is an unimportant player in Iran's political system, more of a stalking horse for provocative ideas rather than a wielder of power. Bueno de Mesquita then looks at what Iran has to gain and to lose by appearing to build a nuclear weapons program and actually using a nuclear weapon. He then goes on to examine the nature of other threats to the United States. The closing topic of the conversation is the peculiar incentives facing U.S. Presidents as their terms expire.

Size: 28.1 MB
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Podcast episode Rivers on polling

EconTalk Episode with Doug Rivers
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Doug Rivers of Stanford University and YouGov.com talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the world of political polling. Rivers explains why publicly provided margins of error overstate the reliability of most polls and why it's getting harder and harder to do telephone polls. Rivers argues that internet panels are able to create a more representative sample. Along the way he discusses automated telephone polls, the Bradley effect, and convention bounce, and the use of exit polls in calling states in Presidential elections.

Size: 31.3 MB
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Podcast episode Munger on the Political Economy of Public Transportation

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Munger's recent trip to Chile and the changes Chile has made to Santiago's bus system. What was once a private decentralized system with differing levels of quality and price has been transformed into a system of uniform quality designed from the top down. How has the new system fared? Not particularly well according to Munger. Commuting times are up and the President of Chile has apologized to the Chilean people for the failures of the new system. Munger talks about why such changes take place and why they persist even when they seem inferior to the original system that was replaced.

Size: 25.7 MB
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Podcast episode Kling on Hospitals and Health Care

EconTalk Episode with Arnold Kling
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Arnold Kling of EconLog talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the death of his father and the lessons to be learned for how hospitals treat patients and our health care system treats hospitals.

Size: 27.3 MB
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Podcast episode Meltzer on the Fed, Money, and Gold

EconTalk Episode with Allan Meltzer
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Allan Meltzer of Carnegie Mellon University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about what the Fed really does and the political pressures facing the Chair of the Fed. He describes and analyzes some fascinating episodes in U.S. monetary history, discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the gold standard and ends the conversation with some insights into recent Fed moves to intervene with investment banks. This is a wonderful introduction to the political economy of the money supply and central banks.

Size: 36.8 MB
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Podcast episode Coyne on Exporting Democracy after War

EconTalk Episode with Christopher Coyne
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Christopher Coyne of West Virginia University and George Mason University's Mercatus Center talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, After War: The Political Economy of Exporting Democracy. They talk about the successes and failures of America's attempts to export democracy after a war. In some cases, Japan and Germany, for example, after World War II, American efforts have led to stability and democratic institutions. In many other cases, Cuba, Somalia, and Haiti, for example, and so far, Iraq, American efforts have failed, often repeatedly and have sometimes made things worse. Coyne tries to identify factors that lead to an improved likelihood of success or failure. Ultimately, he concludes that a non-interventionist posture accompanied by unilateral free trade is more likely to benefit citizens under repressive governments.

Size: 36.5 MB
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Podcast episode Boettke on Austrian Economics

EconTalk Episode with Pete Boettke
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Pete Boettke, of George Mason University, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the origins and tenets of Austrian economics. This is a wonderful introduction to how the so-called Austrian economists look at the world and how they continue to influence economics today.

Size: 35.7 MB
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Podcast episode Boudreaux on Market Failure, Government Failure and the Economics of Antitrust Regulation

EconTalk Episode with Don Boudreaux
Hosted by Russ Roberts

DonB.jpgDon Boudreaux of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about when market failure can be improved by government intervention. After discussing the evolution of economic thinking about externalities and public goods, the conversation turns to the case for government's role in promoting competition via antitrust regulation. Boudreaux argues that the origins of antitrust had nothing to do with protecting consumers from greedy monopolists. The source of political demand for antitrust regulation came from competitors looking for relief from more successful rivals.

Size: 30.5 MB
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Podcast episode George Shultz on Economics, Human Rights and the Fall of the Soviet Union

EconTalk Episode with George Schultz
Hosted by Russ Roberts

George Shultz, the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the role of economics in his career, the tension between morality and pragmatism in foreign policy, and the role of personalities and economics in diplomacy, particularly in US/Soviet relations in the 1980s.

Size: 16.4 MB
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Podcast episode Bueno de Mesquita on Reagan, Yeltsin, and the Strategy of Political Campaigning

EconTalk Episode with Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, professor at NYU, talks about the political economy of political campaigns and his forthcoming book, The Strategy of Campaigning: Lessons from Ronald Reagan and Boris Yeltsin. He talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the different strategies politicians pursue in attracting support from voters and party delegates, the persistence of negative campaigning, the cost to politicians of sticking to their principles and how the political choices of Reagan and Yeltsin intersected to end the Cold War and dissolve the Soviet Union.

Size: 30.7 MB
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Podcast episode Caplan on the Myth of the Rational Voter

EconTalk Episode with Bryan Caplan
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Bryan CaplanBryan Caplan, of George Mason University and blogger at EconLog, talks about his book, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies. Caplan argues that democracies work well in giving voters what they want but unfortunately, what voters want isn't particularly wise, especially when it comes to economic policy. He outlines a series of systematic biases we often have on economic topics and explains why we have little or no incentive to improve our understanding of the world and vote wisely. So, it's not special interests that are messing things up but the very incentives that lie at the heart of a vote-based system. This is a disturbing and provocative lens for viewing political outcomes.

Size: 37.2 MB
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Podcast episode Shlaes on the Great Depression

EconTalk Episode with Amity Shlaes
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Amity Shlaes, Bloomberg columnist and visiting senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, talks about her new book, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression. She and EconTalk host Russ Roberts discuss Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the economics of the New Deal and the class warfare of the 1930s.

Size: 30.5 MB
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Podcast episode Hanson on Health

EconTalk Episode with Robin Hanson
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Robin Hanson, of George Mason University, argues that health care is different, but not in the usual ways people claim. He describes a set of paradoxical empirical findings in the study of health care and tries to explain these paradoxes in a unified way. One of his arguments is that the human brain evolved in ways that make it hard for us to be rational about health care. He also discusses using prediction markets as a way of designing health care policy.

Size: 33.1 MB
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Podcast episode Rabushka on the Flat Tax

EconTalk Episode with Alvin Rabushka
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Alvin Rabushka of Stanford University's Hoover Institution lays out the case for the flat tax, a reform of the current system that would replace the 66,000 page U.S. tax code with a single rate and no deductions other than personal exemptions. An individual tax return would fit on a simple postcard. Rabushka discusses the economic changes that would come with such a reform and the adoption of the flat tax around the world since Rabushka and Robert Hall proposed the idea in 1981.

Size: 14.8 MB
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Podcast episode Bruce Bueno de Mesquita on Democracies and Dictatorships

EconTalk Episode with Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita of NYU and Stanford University's Hoover Institution talks about the incentives facing dictators and democratic leaders. Both have to face competition from rivals. Both try to please their constituents and cronies to stay in power. He applies his insights to foreign aid, the Middle East, Venezuela, the potential for China's evolution to a more democratic system, and Cuba. Along the way, he explains why true democracy is more than just elections--it depends crucially on freedom of assembly and freedom of the press.

Size: 15.4 MB
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Podcast episode Greg Mankiw on Gasoline Taxes, Keynes and Macroeconomics

EconTalk Episode with Greg Mankiw
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Greg Mankiw of Harvard University and Greg Mankiw's Blog talks about the state of modern macroeconomics and Keynes vs. the Chicago School. He defends his proposal to raise gasoline taxes and discusses the politics of tax policy.

Size: 13.9 MB
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Podcast episode Private vs. Public Risk-Taking

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Michael MungerMike Munger and EconTalk's Russ Roberts discuss the differences between public and private risk-taking. Their conversation includes the history of Honda, the Apple computer and even the use of turkey carcasses as an energy source. They also try to understand why the public is skeptical of good new ideas but often embraces bad new ideas.

Size: 11.9 MB
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CATEGORIES: Mike Munger , Public Choice

   

Podcast episode Friedman on Capitalism and Freedom

EconTalk Episode with Milton Friedman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Russ Roberts talks to Milton Friedman about the radical ideas he put forward almost 50 years ago in Capitalism and Freedom. Listen to the most influential economist of the past 50 years discuss the principles of liberty, social responsibility of business, the inertia behind bad legislation and his career as economist and public intellectual.

Size: 10.0 MB
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Podcast episode The Political Economy of Power

EconTalk Episode with Bruce Bueno de Mesquita
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Russ Roberts talks with Hoover Institution and NYU political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita about his theory of political power--how dictators and democratically elected leaders respond to the political forces that keep them in office. This lengthy and intense conversation covers a wide range of topics including the evil political genius of Lenin, the dark side of US foreign aid, the sinister machinations of King Leopold of Belgium, the natural resource curse, the British monarchy in the 11th century, term limits and the inevitable failure of the standard methods of fighting world poverty.

Size: 20.1 MB
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Podcast episode Giving Away Money: An Economist's Guide to Political Life

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Michael MungerRuss Roberts and Mike Munger of Duke University talk about the economics of politics, rent-seeking, lobbying and the sometimes perverse incentives of the political world.

Size: 6.8 MB
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CATEGORIES: Mike Munger , Public Choice

   

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