this week's episode
Lessons from Lincoln, Then and Now (with Diana Schaub)

What lessons can we take from the speeches of Abraham Lincoln for today's turbulent times? How did those speeches move the nation in Lincoln's day?...

last week's episode
Reading, Writing, and Fighting (with Mark Helprin)
For many men, surviving the test of battle intensifies the joy of being alive. A provocative claim, perhaps, but to...
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Tyler Cowen on the GOAT of Economics
Who is the greatest economist of all time? In Tyler Cowen's eclectic view, you need both breadth and depth, macro...
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Econtalk Extra
By Amy Willis

Thinking About Thinking

Thinking- what is it? What does it mean for human beings to think? Are we about to be surpassed by artificial thinking? Many people think so, but not Teppo Felin, as far as I understand him. In this episode, EconTalk...

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Jacob Vigdor on the Seattle Minimum Wage

Jacob Vigdor of the University of Washington talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the impact of Seattle's minimum wage increases in recent years. Vigdor along with others from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance have tried to...

What lessons can we take from the speeches of Abraham Lincoln for today's turbulent times? How did those speeches move the nation in Lincoln's day? Listen as political scientist Diana Schaub of Loyola University, Maryland talks with EconTalk's Russ Roberts about three of Lincoln's most important speeches and what they ...

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For many men, surviving the test of battle intensifies the joy of being alive. A provocative claim, perhaps, but to novelist Mark Helprin, simply a fact, and one that drives his new book about men who commit themselves fully both to service during wartime and to the women they love. Listen as Helprin tells EconTalk's R...

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Thinking- what is it? What does it mean for human beings to think? Are we about to be surpassed by artificial thinking? Many people think so, but not Teppo Felin, as far as I understand him. In this episode, EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes back Felin to discuss these questions, based on a working paper Felin has wr...

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To international law expert Eugene Kontorovich of George Mason University, all the arguments that make Israel out to be an occupying force collapse under the weight of a single, simple fact: A country cannot occupy territory to which it has a legal claim. Listen as Kontorovich speaks with EconTalk's Russ Roberts about ...

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If you're always imitating others or aspiring to be something else, what's left of the "authentic" you? According to the French philosopher René Girard, not much: Nothing can be truly authentic, he argued--everything comes from somewhere else. This is just one of the many original and counterintuitive claims put forth...

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Economics students are often taught that government should intervene when there is market failure. But what about government failure? Should we expect government intervention to outperform market outcomes? Listen as Duke University economist Michael Munger explores the history of how economists have thought about this ...

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What is a poem? What is it meant to do? Who is it meant for? Poet Dana Gioia and host Russ Roberts explore these questions and more as they talk about the meaning of poetry. The conversation touches on many personal topics: death, loss, family, and our common humanity. At the beginning of each episode, Roberts mentions...

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Megan McArdle once again joins EconTalk host Russ Roberts to discuss the dangers of the left-leaning bias of Google’s AI to speech and democracy, if such a thing as unbiased information can exist, and how answers without regard for social compliance create nuance and facilitate healthy debate and interaction. McArdle...

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Can a document unify a nation? Yuval Levin of the American Enterprise Institute and author of American Covenant argues that the Constitution unified the United States at the founding of the country and that understanding the Constitution can help bring the country together today. Listen as Levin speaks with EconTalk'...

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When poet, lawyer, and MacArthur Fellow Dwayne Betts was imprisoned for nine years at the age of 16 for carjacking, he only wept twice. One of those times was when he read Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail." In this powerful conversation with EconTalk's Russ Roberts, Betts explains why he cried, wha...

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The Covid vaccine saved many lives but so many mistakes were made in how public health officials discussed it, implemented it, and assessed its effectiveness. Epidemiologist Vinay Prasad of the University of California, San Francisco talks with EconTalk's Russ Roberts about what went wrong, the costs of the mistakes th...

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Zach Weinersmith joins EconTalk host Russ Roberts for the third time to discuss why ambitions of space exploration are unrealistic and overly optimistic, the danger of all-encompassing utopianism, and why space settlement is not like buying a hot tub. Weinersmith is a cartoonist and author/co-author of many books, i...

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If you didn't have to work to enjoy material abundance, would you do it anyway? If an algorithm or a pill could achieve better results, would you bother shopping or going to the gym? These are the kinds of questions we'll need to ask ourselves if AI makes all human labor and other traditional ways of spending time obso...

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When you think of statistics, do you think of a helpful tool for real-world analysis, or does the phrase, "Lies, damn lies, and statistics" come to mind? Regardless of your answer to that question, Jeremy Weber wrote his new book, Statistics for Public Policy, for YOU. In this episode, host Russ Roberts welcomes Weber ...

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Economist and social critic Glenn Loury talks about his memoir, Late Admissions, with EconTalk's Russ Roberts. In a wide-ranging and blunt conversation, Loury discusses his childhood, his at-times brilliant academic work, his roller-coaster ideological journey, and his personal flaws as a drug addict and imperfect husb...

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What does it mean to live Constitutionally in the year 2024? For a start, it means getting off social media. It also means swapping a quill pen for your keyboard, and candlelight for electricity. And don't forget the tricorn hat and musket--though maybe skip the boiled mutton. Join author A.J. Jacobs as he deep-dives w...

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