Freakonomics Radio

by Stephen J. Dubner and WNYC Studios

In their books "Freakonomics," "SuperFreakonomics" and "Think Like a Freak", Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explore "the hidden side of everything," telling stories about cheating schoolteachers and eating champions while teaching us all to think a bit more creatively, rationally, and productively. The Freakonomics Radio podcast, hosted by Dubner, carries on that tradition with weekly episodes. Prepare to be enlightened, engaged, perhaps enraged, and definitely surprised.

  

Latest Episodes

Why Is the Live-Event Ticket Market So Screwed Up?

The public has almost no chance to buy good tickets to the best events. Ticket brokers, meanwhile, make huge profits on the secondary markets. Here's the story of how this market got so dysfunctional, how it can be fixed – and why it probably won't be.


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Posted on 7 December 2017 | 4:00 am


Are We Running Out of Ideas?

Economists have a hard time explaining why productivity growth has been shrinking. One theory: true innovation has gotten much harder – and much more expensive. So what should we do next?


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Posted on 30 November 2017 | 3:00 am


Is America Ready for a “No-Lose Lottery”? (Update)

Most people don't enjoy the simple, boring act of putting money in a savings account. But we do love to play the lottery. So what if you combine the two, creating a new kind of savings account with a lottery payout?


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Posted on 23 November 2017 | 4:00 am


Nurses to the Rescue!

They are the most-trusted profession in America (and with good reason). They are critical to patient outcomes (especially in primary care). Could the growing army of nurse practitioners be an answer to the doctor shortage? The data say yes but —  big surprise — doctors' associations say no.


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Posted on 16 November 2017 | 4:00 am


How Can I Do the Most Social Good With $100? And Other FREAK-quently Asked Questions

Dubner and his Freakonomics co-author Steve Levitt answer your questions about crime, traffic, real-estate agents, the Ph.D. glut, and how to not get eaten by a bear.


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Posted on 9 November 2017 | 4:00 am


Why Is There So Much Ground Beef in the World? (Special Feature)

In this live episode of "Tell Me Something I Don't Know," you'll learn about carcass balancing, teen sleeping, and brand naming. Joining Stephen J. Dubner as co-host is Alex Wagner (CBS This Morning Saturday); author A.J. Jacobs (It's All Relative) is the live fact-checker.


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Posted on 7 November 2017 | 4:00 am


Thinking Is Expensive. Who’s Supposed to Pay for It?

Corporations and rich people donate billions to their favorite think tanks and foundations. Should we be grateful for their generosity — or suspicious of their motives?


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Posted on 2 November 2017 | 3:00 am


How to Launch a Behavior-Change Revolution

Academic studies are nice, and so are Nobel Prizes. But to truly prove the value of a new idea, you have to unleash it to the masses. That's what a dream team of social scientists is doing — and we sat in as they drew up their game plan.


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Posted on 26 October 2017 | 3:00 am


The Demonization of Gluten

Celiac disease is thought to affect roughly one percent of the population. The good news: it can be treated by quitting gluten. The bad news: many celiac patients haven't been diagnosed. The weird news: millions of people without celiac disease have quit gluten – which may be a big mistake.


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Posted on 19 October 2017 | 3:00 am