EconTalk
Russ Roberts

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.

Size:31.1 MB
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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.

Size:26.8 MB
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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.

Size:28.8 MB
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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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Podcast episode Paul Bloom on Empathy

EconTalk Episode with Paul Bloom
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Against%20Empathy.jpg Psychologist Paul Bloom of Yale University talks about his book Against Empathy with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Bloom argues that empathy--the ability to feel the emotions of others--is a bad guide to charitable giving and public policy. Bloom argues that reason combined with compassion is a better and more effective guide to making the world a better place.

Size:31.4 MB
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Demand-Side Narconomics

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

border patrol.jpg Illegal drugs appear to be a scourge on many a community, and while wanting to solve the drug problem is laudable, this week's EconTalk guest argues we're going about it all wrong. In his new book, Narconomics, Tom Wainwright of "The Economist," suggests that rather than targeting supply, governments should attend to the demand side of the market for best effect.

What do you think? If the US government were to change the direction of the War on Drugs would it meet with success? And what exactly constitutes success in this case? Should the state be in the business of trying to dissuade people from doing something they want to do, even if they know it's bad for them? Are people really making a free and informed choice when they use? These questions and more emerged from host Russ Roberts's conversation with Wainwright, and we hope their conversation sparked even more questions of your own. And, of course, we hope you'll share your thoughts with us. We love to hear from you.

1. If you could sit down with Wainwright after listening to his interview with Roberts, what's the one question you'd most want him to answer?

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Podcast episode Tom Wainwright on Narconomics

EconTalk Episode with Tom Wainwright
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Narconomics.jpg When fighting the war on drugs, governments typically devote enormous resources trying to reduce the supply. But is this effective? Journalist and author Tom Wainwright of the Economist and author of Narconomics talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ways that the drug cartels respond to government attempts to reduce the availability of drugs. Like any business trying to maintain profitability, cartels look for ways to cut costs and maintain or grow revenue. Wainwright uses extensive on-the-ground interviews and reporting to understand the behavior of the cartels and argues that reducing demand would be a much more effective strategy for reducing drug use.

Size:32.7 MB
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Your Favorite Episodes of 2016

EconTalk Extra
by Russ Roberts

Here are the results of the survey of your favorite episodes of 2016. I want to thank all of you around the world (and you live in over 60 different countries) who responded. I'm particularly grateful to those who took the trouble to make suggestions and to share your thoughts on EconTalk. I am hoping to record a bonus episode sharing some of the other survey results and responding to some of your comments. And congrats to the guests who earned your votes.

1. Munger on Slavery and Racism (which received 34% of the vote--one in three of you put it in your top five.

2. Thomas Leonard on Race, Eugenics, and Illiberal Reformers

3. Cathy O'Neil on Weapons of Math Destruction

4. Chuck Klosterman on But What If We're Wrong

5. Matt Ridley on the Evolution of Everything

6. Doug Lemov on Reading

7. David Autor on Trade, China, and U.S. Labor Markets

8. Terry Anderson on Native American Economics

9. Angela Duckworth on Grit

10. Angus Deaton on Inequality, Trade, and the Robin Hood Principle




Turning Socialism Against Itself

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

Venezuela bitcoin.jpg If you lived in a country ravaged by crime and widespread food shortages, what lengths would you go to in order to feed your family? We've all heard stories of the dangers people bravely face to do just that. According to Reason's Jim Epstein, guest on this week's EconTalk episode, a growing number of people in Venezuela have found a safer- thus far- method. The price controls that have kept grocery shelves empty have also created a cheap supply of electricity, and some enterprising young Venezuelans have set up shop as Bitcoin miners. While it's harder to squeeze value out of this in more developed countries, "it's like having a home mint" in Caracas.

While the technology underlying this process is fascinating, the really intriguing part of the story is the part Bitcoin may- or may not- be able to play in freeing up the economy. Like always, we'd like to hear what you think the implications might be. Feel free to use our prompts below, pose questions of your own, or spark some conversation offline. Let's just keep it going!

1. The title of this Extra comes from Epstein...What does he mean when he says Bitcoin is "turning socialism against itself?" To what extent do you share his optimism?

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Podcast episode Jim Epstein on Bitcoin, the Blockchain, and Freedom in Latin America

EconTalk Episode with Jim Epstein
Hosted by Russ Roberts

blockchain.jpg Writer, reporter, and film producer Jim Epstein talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about mining Bitcoins in Venezuela as a way to import food. Venezuela is a tragicomic example of how policy can lead to strange and presumably unexpected outcomes. Epstein also discusses how Bitcoin is being used elsewhere in Latin America and the potential for the blockchain technology to lower the costs of owning and transferring property.

Size:27.5 MB
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