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Michael Faye and Paul Niehaus on GiveDirectly

Economic theory teaches that people make choices that provide them with the greatest benefit. So why not extend this idea to the realm of charity?...

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Nina Kraus on Hearing, Noise, and Of Sound Mind
We undervalue our sense of hearing and we under-appreciate the impact sweet sounds and disturbing noises have on our well-being. Neuroscientist Nina...
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Chris Blattman on Chickens, Cash, and Development Economics
Chris Blattman of the University of Chicago talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about whether it's better to give poor...
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Econtalk Extra
By Amy Willis

Is the Examined Life REALLY Worth Living?

As philosophy and theology departments have been eviscerated at American universities, what have we lost? Have our universities been transformed into trade schools, and if so, what's wrong with that? In this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes philosopher Jennifer Frey...

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Gabriel Zucman on Inequality, Growth, and Distributional National Accounts

Gabriel Zucman of the University of California, Berkeley talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research on inequality and the distribution of income in the United States over the last 35 years. Zucman finds that there has been no...

Economic theory teaches that people make choices that provide them with the greatest benefit. So why not extend this idea to the realm of charity? Economists and social entrepreneurs Michael Faye and Paul Niehaus of GiveDirectly argue that giving people cash with no strings attached is the most cost-effective means of...

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We undervalue our sense of hearing and we under-appreciate the impact sweet sounds and disturbing noises have on our well-being. Neuroscientist Nina Kraus of Northwestern University talks about her book, Of Sound Mind. Kraus argues that our listening affects our minds and brains in ways we ignore at our peril.

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Stuntman and action designer Eric Jacobus joins EconTalk host Russ Roberts for a no-holds-barred discussion of the biological basis for violence and how to avoid the worst of it, the value of violence as spectator sport, and the vast superiority of duels to feuds--Alexander Hamilton notwithstanding.

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Author and economist Emily Oster of Brown University talks about her book, The Family Firm, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Oster argues that running your family life the way you'd run your own business makes for a better family in today's crazy world. And where possible, the myriad of decisions you make should be bas...

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As philosophy and theology departments have been eviscerated at American universities, what have we lost? Have our universities been transformed into trade schools, and if so, what's wrong with that? In this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes philosopher Jennifer Frey to discuss just these sorts of questions...

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Thanks to all our loyal listeners who take our EconTalk survey each year.   Here are your Top 10 Episodes of 2020. First, two honorable mentions: L.A. Paul on Vampires, Life Choices and Transformation, and Vinay Prasad on Cancer Drugs, Medical Ethics and Malignant. They would have been in the top 10 if ...

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Of all the scenarios that keep astrophysicist Sandra Faber up at night, it's not the Earth's increasing volcanism, the loss of photosynthesis, or even the impact of a massive asteroid. Rather, it's the collapse she's certain will result from the unbridled growth of the world's economies. Join Faber and EconTalk host Ru...

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Philosopher Jennifer Frey of the University of South Carolina talks about the state of the university in American education. Frey urges a stronger focus on virtue and human flourishing and a reduced focus on career preparation. Roberts, despite his sympathy with the examined life, challenges the virtue of philosophical...

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Author and psychologist Paul Bloom of the University of Toronto talks about his book, The Sweet Spot, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Bloom argues that suffering is underrated--suffering is part of happiness and meaning. This is a wide-ranging discussion of popular culture, religion, and what we hope to get out of lif...

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Have you ever been on a truffle hunt? Do you savor the memories of truffles shaved over your pasta or risotto? Are you a dog lover? If any of these apply, then this episode was made for YOU! EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomed author Rowan Jacobsen to talk about his book, Truffle Hound. Jacobsen spent two years on t...

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Journalist and author Rowan Jacobsen talks about his book Truffle Hound with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. This conversation has nothing to do with chocolate. It's about the strange world of underground fungi, found in the forest by specially trained dogs and used by chefs and home cooks around the world. You will learn ...

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Author and journalist Sam Quinones talks about his book, The Least of Us, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Quinones focuses on the devastation caused by methamphetamine and fentanyl, the latest evolution of innovation in the supply of mind-altering drugs in the United States. The latest versions of meth, he argues, a...

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In this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes back Arnold Kling to talk about two ideas we think a lot about- improving government and improving public discourse. Kling has some ideas about how to improve both, and he shares them throughout the conversation. Why has the administrative state grown so much? Kling ...

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Economist and author Arnold Kling talks about improving government regulation with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Kling suggests ways to improve the administrative state--the agencies and regulatory bodies that often write the regulations that they enforce. The conversation concludes with Kling's idea for holding public ...

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Author and economist Noreena Hertz of University College London talks about her book, The Lonely Century, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Hertz blames social media and the individualist, pro-capitalism worldviews of leaders like Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan for the rise in loneliness in the developed world. ...

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We hear a lot about the Chicago and Austrian schools of economics, but what about the UCLA school? In this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes EconLog's David Henderson, who recently co-authored The Essential UCLA School of Economics with Steven Globerman. The theme of the conversation might as well be, as th...

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