Archive for the ‘Freakonomics’ Tag

Outsiders By Design   Leave a comment


Summary: This podcast was inspired by the death of Gary Becker, an economist who’s work was inspired by the idea of discrimination. His approach was called ‘rational choice’–that people will make rational decisions to maximize their own utility and wealth. In the end, a lot of people strongly disagreed with his research. The program then goes on to illustrate two more examples of medical researchers who were outcast by their fields of study. By the end, however, Gary Becker won a Nobel Prize.

Original Air Date: September 18, 2014

Length: 41 minutes 40 seconds

Prompt / Discussion: Sometimes people will not agree with your research conclusions or ideas, such is the case with Gary Becker. Why do you think Becker’s ideas were/are so controversial?

Fixing the World, Bang-For-The-Buck Edition: A New Freakonomics Radio Podcast   Leave a comment


Summary: Return on Investment (ROI) analyzes at the most efficient way to spend money. An example given is the difference between curing malaria and HIV/AIDS. To cure malaria, it would cost about $1,000 per person, while it would cost ten times that to cure HIV/AIDS, and it is decided that they would rather save 10 people from malaria before they save one from HIV/AIDS.  The United Nations, with their Millennium Development Goals coming to a close, will be looking to set new goals in 2015, to be completed by 2030. One of the issued they will focus on is how they are setting goals, and how to be more efficient with the help of the Return on Investment analysis.

Original Air Date: October 2, 2014

Length: 43 minutes 34 seconds

Prompt / Discussion: You are a member of the United Nations, and are put in charge of coming up with new development goals for 2015. You have $100 billion to invest in various development aid. Discuss how you would prioritize between an important, expensive goal (such as getting all kids into school, which was one of the Millennium Development Goals), and something that might not be seen as highly important, but cost effective.

Trashed   3 comments


Summary: Freakonomics radio sheds a bit of light on the insidious characteristics of the “economics of trash” and asks how incentives effect the level of trash produced by the average household.

Original Air Date: January, 12 2011

Length: 22 min

We the Sheeple   Leave a comment



Summary: Freakonomics radio interviews Bryan Caplan, author of The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies in order to consider the relationships among the average American voter, their representatives and the democratic system formed in the process.

Original Air Date: October 25, 2012

Length: 23:24 min

What would the World look like if economists were in charge?   Leave a comment

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Summary: To what extent would the world change if economists ran the world? The podcast interviews Estonian prime minister, Mart Laar, who revamped his economy based on the teachings of  Milton Friedman;  and Friedman’s grandson, Patri Friedman, who want to build cities in the middle of the ocean.

Original Air Date: March 24, 2010

Length: 20 min

Is America’s Obesity for Real?   3 comments



Summary: The obesity crisis in America has economists, politicians and healthcare professionals debating the causes and hidden costs of overeating. This podcast considers the moral and political arguments surrounding this growing concern.

Original Air Date: February 26, 2010

Length: 22 minutes

How Deep Is the Shadow Economy?   Leave a comment


Summary: Freakeconomics radio interviews Sudhir Vankatesh about the size of the shadow economy and the variety of off-the book transactions that flow throughout our tax system. Examples touched upon range from illicit transactions such as drug trafficking to ordinary services such as hair-cutting.

Original air date: August 30, 2012

Length: 20:09 min

Freakonomics Goes to College, Part 2   1 comment


Summary: Part 2 of the dual commentary podcast focuses on the complexity of analyzing the true costs of earning a college degree and the hardships of finding suitable work after graduating from college.

Original air date: August 16, 2012

Length: 34:17 min

Posted October 18, 2012 by leonidhapulluqi in Freakonomics, Labor market economics

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Freakonomics Goes to College, Part 1   1 comment


Summary: Freakonomics Goes to College features a dual commentary on the benefits and costs of college degrees. Part 1 of the podcast focuses on the shadow economy of fake diplomas as well as how prosperous a college degree is for an individual in the long run.

Original air date: July 30, 2012

Length: 29:58 min

Why Is “I Don’t Know” So Hard to Say?   Leave a comment


Summary: The podcast is separated in question based segments in which Stephen D. Levitt expresses his personal opinion on different topics such as business, political vs economic theory and the aspects of earning an economic degree.

Original air date: January 4, 2012

Length: 16 min