This site is a curated library of economics-themed podcasts, primarily from Planet Money, but also from Freakonomics, EconTalk, This American Life and others. The site is designed for economics instructors with searchable categories created with the instructor in mind, as well as suggestions for podcast-related assignments they might incorporate into course instruction. Audioecon will also be of interest to anyone who enjoys learning more about economics. Audioecon and related assignments is featured in the Journal of Economics Education article Podcasts as a Tool for Teaching Economics Vol.45, Iss.3, 2014.
I hope you find this site useful and interesting, and welcome your feedback!
I wish you smart listening!
Summary: The number of shoppers on Black Friday was down this year (2014). Because of the ease in comparing prices online to find the best deal, Black Friday (and the whole weekend) has become a ritual team effort of mothers, daughters, and other relatives.
Original Air Date: December 1, 2014
Length: 1 minute 47 seconds
Discussion Question: Is the economy effecting how many people shop on the Black Friday weekend? Or is it something else that’s driving the number of shoppers down?
Summary: The Planet Money team looks at how some things get cheaper over time. The podcast hosts visit a company called Monoprice, whose job it is to find out ways to make things cheaper–in other words, a lot of detective work.
Original Air Date: November 28, 2014
Length: 14 minutes 11 seconds
Prompt: Write a brief letter to Monoprice with your thoughts on their job. Is it efficient? Is it cost-productive?
Summary: This podcast discusses arbitrage (free money), using the example of used textbooks. Arbitrage (free money) is a risk-free way to buy low and sell high. You can find one thing that’s selling for two different prices, and exploit the mistake.
Original Air Date: November 7, 2014
Length: 14 minutes 29 seconds
Prompt: Imagine you find an opportunity like the one discussed in the podcast. Write an outline of how you would go about this discovery, and what your plan of action would be.
Discussion Question: A woman in the podcast said their practice was immoral. Do you agree or disagree? Is what these two men are doing wrong? Use economic thinking in your discussion.
Summary: The Obama Administration has been cracking down on inversions–where companies avoid US taxes by getting a foreign address. Now, it is being taken down to a state level, as states hand out tax breaks to try to increase business and get out of the Great Recession.
Original Air Date: September 24, 2014
Length: 2 minutes 27 seconds
Summary: Many people are still feeling the after-effects of the Great Recession, especially young adults. Young adults still have a higher than average unemployment rate, and are not hitting traditional milestones–such as living alone, starting careers, buying their first home–and have been described as a generation that has “failed to launch” due to the poor economy. Everything that is happening to this generation is happening later in life as they work to launch themselves as independent, self-supporting adults in the harsh economic environment.
Original Air Date: September 16, 2014
Length: 4 minutes 36 seconds
Summary: The Country of Origin label is a powerful element on upscale brands. Italians consider it a national economic resource, but the stamp can’t always be believed. US laws say the “last substantial transformation” must be in the country of origin, and tracking manufacturing is difficult at best.
Original Air Date: September 24, 2014
Length: 3 minutes 55 seconds
Summary: Consumer reports conclude Americans are ready to spend again. The market is on the rise, especially as the recession fades.
Original Air Date: September 25, 2014
Length: 1 minute 28 seconds