Russ Roberts

Theory of Markets Podcast Episodes and Extras

Category Archive with 35 podcast episodes and extras
 

Podcast episode Boudreaux on Coase

EconTalk Episode with Don Boudreaux
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Don Boudreaux of George Mason University and Cafe Hayek talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the intellectual legacy of Ronald Coase. The conversation centers on Coase's four most important academic articles. Most of the discussion is on two of those articles, "The Nature of the Firm," which continues to influence how economists think of firms and transaction costs, and "The Problem of Social Cost," Coase's pathbreaking work on externalities.

Size:33.6 MB
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Podcast episode Searls on the Intention Economy

EconTalk Episode with Doc Searls
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Doc Searls, author of The Intention Economy and head of Project VRM at Harvard University's Berkman Center talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the how the relationship between buyers and sellers might evolve as the internet evolves. Searls imagines a world where buyers would advertise their intentions and desires and sellers would respond with offers. Other topics discussed include Google and Apple's business strategies and the role of the cable and telephone companies in providing access to the internet.

Size: 29.0 MB
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Podcast episode Varoufakis on Valve, Spontaneous Order, and the European Crisis

EconTalk Episode with Yanis Varoufakis
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Yanis Varoufakis of the University of Athens, the University of Texas, and former economist-in-residence at Valve Software talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the unusual structure of the workplace at Valve. Valve, a software company that creates online video games, has no hierarchy or bosses. Teams of software designers join spontaneously to create and ship video games without any top-down supervision. Varoufakis discusses the economics of this Hayekian workplace and how it actually functions alongside Steam--an open gaming platform created by Valve. The conversation concludes with a discussion of the economic crisis in Europe.

Size: 29.1 MB
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Podcast episode Munger on John Locke, Prices, and Hurricane Sandy

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Mike Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the gas shortage following Hurricane Sandy and John Locke's view of the just price. Drawing on a short, obscure essay of Locke's titled "Venditio," Munger explores Locke's views on markets, prices, and morality.

Size: 31.4 MB
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Podcast episode David Rose on the Moral Foundations of Economic Behavior

EconTalk Episode with David Rose
Hosted by Russ Roberts

David Rose of the University of Missouri, St. Louis and the author of The Moral Foundation of Economic Behavior talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the book and the role morality plays in prosperity. Rose argues that morality plays a crucial role in prosperity and economic development. Knowing that the people you trade with have a principled aversion to exploiting opportunities for cheating in dealing with others allows economic actors to trust one another. That in turn allows for the widespread specialization and interaction through markets with strangers that creates prosperity. In this conversation, Rose explores the nature of the principles that work best to engender trust. The conversation closes with a discussion of the current trend in morality in America and the implications for trust and prosperity.

Size: 32.9 MB
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Podcast episode Klein on Knowledge and Coordination

EconTalk Episode with Daniel Klein
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Dan Klein of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in Klein's new book, Knowledge and Coordination. Klein argues that allegory is a powerful way to think about outcomes of emergent order. He goes deeply into the concept of the invisible hand and creates a novel way to evaluate processes that not under any one's control. Klein then suggests novel ways of evaluating economic outcomes outside of the traditional metrics and techniques. Along the way, Klein emphasizes the role of uncertainty and imperfection in the entrepreneurial process.

Size: 29.9 MB
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Podcast episode Munger on Profits, Entrepreneurship, and Storytelling

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Mike Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about profit. What is profit's role in allocating resources? How should we feel about the people who earn profits or who take them in ways that may not be earned? How easy is it to discover profitable opportunities? Munger examines these questions through a series of stories, real and fictional, to illuminate the sometimes puzzling nature of profit.

Size: 29.4 MB
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Podcast episode O'Donohoe on Potato Chips and Salty Snacks

EconTalk Episode with Brendan O'Donohoe
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Brendan O'Donohoe of Frito-Lay talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how potato chips and other salty snacks get made, distributed, and marketed. The interview follows an hour-long tour of a local supermarket where O'Donohoe showed Roberts some of the ways that chips and snacks get displayed and marketed in a modern supermarket. The conversation is a window into a world that few of us experience or are even aware of--how modern producers and retailers make sure the shelves are stocked and their products get noticed.

Size: 41.3 MB
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Podcast episode Satz on Markets

EconTalk Episode with Debra Satz
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Debra Satz, Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her book, Why Some Things Should Not Be For Sale: The Moral Limits of the Market. Satz argues that some markets are noxious and should not be allowed to operate freely. Topics discussed include organ sales, price spikes after natural disasters, the economic concept of efficiency and utilitarianism. The conversation includes a discussion of the possible limits of political intervention and whether it would be good to allow voters to sell their votes.

Size: 28.6 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 Munger on Love, Money, Profits, and Non-profits

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Mike Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the world of profit, money, love, gifts, and incentives. What motivates people, self-interest or altruism? Both obviously. But how do these forces interact with each other? Does relying on one always provide a stronger incentive than the other? Do charities, for-profit businesses or government agencies do a better job providing a good or service? Munger and Roberts have a wide-ranging discussion across these issues including a section where they discuss whether Christmas gift-giving and gift-giving in general is inefficient.

Size: 29.8 MB
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Podcast episode Winston on Market Failure and Government Failure

EconTalk Episode with Clifford Winston
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Clifford Winston of the Brookings Institution talks about the ideas in his book, Market Failure vs. Government Failure, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Winston summarizes a large literature on antitrust, safety regulation and environmental regulation. He finds that government regulation often fails to meet its objectives. While markets are imperfect, so is government. Winston argues that idealized theories of government intervention based on textbook theories of market failure are not the way regulation turns out in practice. He argues that special interest politics explains much of the disappointing outcomes of government regulation.

Size: 30.4 MB
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Podcast episode Cochrane on the Financial Crisis

EconTalk Episode with John Cochrane
Hosted by Russ Roberts

John Cochrane, of the University of Chicago, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the financial crisis. He talks about the origins of the crisis, why the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) was flawed from the beginning, why mark-to-market accounting isn't the cause of the problem, argues for letting banks fail, and makes the case against the large increases in government spending.

Size: 33.8 MB
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Podcast episode Munger on Middlemen

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Munger.jpg Mike Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the often-vilified middleman--someone who buys cheap, sells dear and does nothing to improve the product. Munger explains the economic function of arbitrage using a classic article about how prices emerged in a POW camp during World War II. Munger then applies the analysis to the financial crisis.

Size: 33.3 MB
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Podcast episode Roberts on the Price of Everything

EconTalk Episode with Russ Roberts
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Russ Roberts, host of EconTalk and author of the economics novel, The Price of Everything, talks with guest host Arnold Kling about the ideas in The Price of Everything: price gouging, the role of prices in the aftermath of natural disaster, spontaneous order, and the hidden harmony of the economic cosmos. Along the way, Roberts talks about novels vs. textbooks and other traditional treatments of economic reasoning.

Size: 29.2 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 McKenzie on Prices

EconTalk Episode with Richard McKenzie
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Richard McKenzie of the University California, Irvine and the author of Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies and Other Pricing Puzzles, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about a wide range of pricing puzzles. They discuss why Southern California experiences frequent water crises, why price falls after Christmas, why popcorn seems so expensive at the movies, and the economics of price discrimination.

Size: 34.8 MB
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Podcast episode McCloskey on Capitalism and the Bourgeois Virtues

EconTalk Episode with Deirdre McCloskey
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Deirdre McCloskey of the University of Illinois at Chicago and the author of The Bourgeois Virtues talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about capitalism and whether markets make people more ethical or less. They also discuss Adam Smith's world view, whether people were nicer in the Middle Ages, and the role of prudence and love.

[Note: We apologize for the poor sound quality of the phone connection in this podcast.]

Size: 27.5 MB
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Podcast episode Marglin on Markets and Community

EconTalk Episode with Stephen Marglin
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Stephen Marglin of Harvard University and author of The Dismal Science: How Thinking Like an Economist Undermines Community talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the markets and community. Marglin argues that markets and commercial transactions undermine the connections between us. He wants people to pay more attention to what is lost and not just what is gained by the pursuit of material well-being. Topics discussed include the nature of community, the role that voluntary associations play in our lives, the costs and benefits of mobility, the role of insurance in reducing our dependence on each other, and the nature of knowledge.

Size: 30.0 MB
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Podcast episode Vernon Smith on Rationality in Economics

EconTalk Episode with Vernon Smith
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Nobel Laureate Vernon Smith of Chapman University and George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his new book, Rationality in Economics: Constructivist and Ecological Forms. They discuss the social and human sides of exchange, the robust nature of equilibrium in experiments and the real world, the seeming contradiction between Adam Smith's two great works, the unpredictability of how innovation emerges and its rationality, what neuroscience might tell us about economic decision-making, and the challenges of small-group intimate exchange and our interactions with strangers in the extended order of the marketplace.

Size: 28.0 MB
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Podcast episode Dan Klein on Coordination and Cooperation

EconTalk Episode with Daniel Klein
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Dan Klein of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the marvel of economic coordination that takes place without a coordinator--the sequence of complex tasks done by individuals often separated by immense distances who unknowingly contribute to everyday products and services we enjoy. Klein also discusses what he calls "the people's romance"--the idea that the highest form of human cooperation is through government action.

Size: 31.6 MB
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Podcast episode Munger on the Nature of the Firm

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Munger.jpgMike Munger, of Duke University, talks about why firms exist. If prices and markets work so well (and they do) in steering economic resources, then why does so much economic activity take place within organizations that use command-and-control, top-down, centralized structures called firms? Within a firm, most of the goods and services that the workers use are given away rather than allocated by prices--computer services, legal services and almost everything else is not handed out by competition but by fiat, decided by a boss. A firm, the lynchpin of capitalism, is run like something akin to a centrally planned economy. Munger's answer, drawing on work of Ronald Coase, is a fascinating look at the often unseen costs of making various types of economic decisions. The result is a set of fascinating insights into why firms exist and why they do what they do.

Size: 28.6 MB
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Podcast episode Edward Castronova on the Exodus to the Virtual World

EconTalk Episode with Edward Castronova
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Edward Castronova, of Indiana University and author of Exodus to the Virtual World, talks about his provocative thesis that a growing number of people around the world will be spending more and more time playing multiplayer games in virtual reality both as a form of escape and as a search for meaning. He talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how this trend might affect government, religion, and our happiness.

Size: 32.9 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 Waldfogel on Markets, Choice, and the Tyranny of the Market

EconTalk Episode with Joel Waldfogel
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Waldfogel.jpgJoel Waldfogel of the Wharton School of Business talks about the idea in his new book, The Tyranny of Markets: Why You Can't Always Get What You Want. He argues that when fixed costs are large, markets don't necessarily give people what they want and that, analogous to the political process, you can be hurt as the number of people with preferences that differ from yours gets larger. Host Russ Roberts challenges Waldfogel's claim that these phenomena are widespread and argues that in many cases, markets ultimately solve these problems. They discuss the amount of variety in newspapers, radio, and airline travel, along with how economics generally looks at fixed costs and consumer sovereignty.

Size: 23.7 MB
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Podcast episode Arnold Kling on the Economics of Health Care and the Crisis of Abundance

EconTalk Episode with Arnold Kling
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Kling_bw.jpgArnold Kling of EconLog talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the economics of health care and his book, A Crisis of Abundance: Rethinking How We Pay for Health Care. Kling discusses whether we get what we pay for when we spend money on health care, why health care isn't like cars, and why health care insurance isn't really insurance. The conversation closes with a discussion of innovation in America's health care system and why America is so unlike everywhere else.

Size: 27.0 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 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 Ticket Prices and Scalping

EconTalk Episode with Russ Roberts
Hosted by Russ Roberts

EconTalk host Russ Roberts talks about scalping and visits AT&T Park hours before Major League Baseball's All-Star Game to talk with a scalper, a merchandiser, a fan, and the police about prices, tickets, baseball and the law.

Size: 18.6 MB
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Podcast episode Vernon Smith on Markets and Experimental Economics

EconTalk Episode with Vernon Smith
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Vernon SmithVernon Smith, Professor of Economics at George Mason University and the 2002 Nobel Laureate in Economics, talks about experimental economics, markets, risk, behavioral economics and the evolution of his career.

Size: 15.2 MB
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Podcast episode Sunstein on Infotopia, Information and Decision-Making

EconTalk Episode with Cass Sunstein
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Sunstein.jpgCass Sunstein of the University of Chicago talks about the ideas in his latest book, Infotopia: How Many Minds Produce Knowledge. What are the best ways to get the information needed to make wise decisions when that information is spread out among an organization's members or a society's citizens? He argues that prediction markets can help both politicians and business leaders make better decisions and discusses the surprising ways they're already being used today. Deliberation, the standard way we often gather information at various kinds of meetings, has some unpleasant biases that hamper its usefulness relative to surveys and incentive-based alternatives.

Size: 14.9 MB
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Podcast episode Mike Munger on the Division of Labor

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Michael MungerMike Munger of Duke University and EconTalk host Russ Roberts talk about specialization, the role of technology in aiding specialization and how the division of labor creates wealth.

Size: 14.2 MB
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Podcast episode Viviana Zelizer on Money and Intimacy

EconTalk Episode with Viviana Zelizer
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Viviana Zelizer, Princeton University sociologist, talks about the ideas in her new book, The Purchase of Intimacy. Does money ruin intimacy? Does intimacy ruin our commercial transactions? Zelizer and host Russ Roberts have a lively conversation on the sometimes contentious border between economics and sociology.

Size: 12.6 MB
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Podcast episode Boettke on Katrina and the Economics of Disaster

EconTalk Episode with Pete Boettke
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Pete Boettke of George Mason University talks about the role of government and voluntary efforts in relieving suffering during and after a crisis such as Katrina. Drawing on field research he is directing into the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Boettke highlights the role of what he calls "civil society"--the informal, voluntary associations we make as individuals with each other to create community.

Size: 17.3 MB
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Podcast episode Walter Williams on Life, Liberty and Economics

EconTalk Episode with Walter Williams
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Professor, Radio Host, and Syndicated Columnist Walter Williams of George Mason University talks with EconTalk's Russ Roberts about his early days as an economist, his controversial view of the Civil War, the insights of Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek, and some deep but simple economic principles.

Size: 14.5 MB
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