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 Planet Money team investigates the less popular side of the Stock Market called shorting. In this podcast the team examines the high-risk high-reward nature of shorting stocks while making an interesting bet of their own against America.
Original Air Date: January 22, 2015
Length: 20 minutes
Summary: This podcast explores the shortage in supply of cocoa around the world, as well as one man’s solution to the crisis. However, this solution comes at a price.
Original Air Date: February 5, 2015
Length: 18 minutes 12 seconds
Summary: At one point in U.S. history there was close to 8,000 different types of currency circulating. The Civil War became a bottleneck and forced innovation, thus creating one unified currency.
Original Air Date: December 7, 2012
Length: 10 minutes 37 seconds
The Planet Money Team investigates the logistics and risks that accompany the iconic Valentine’s Day flower, the rose. Additionally mentioned is cost of shipping and seasonal demand.
Original Air Date: February 13, 2015
Length: 17 minutes 37 seconds
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.