Freakonomics Radio

by Freakonomics Radio

Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers. Special features include series like “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.” as well as a live game show, “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know.” 

  

Latest Episodes

410. What Does COVID-19 Mean for Cities (and Marriages)?

There are a lot of upsides to urban density — but viral contagion is not one of them. Also: a nationwide lockdown will show if familiarity really breeds contempt. And: how to help your neighbor.


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Posted on 26 March 2020 | 3:00 am


409. The Side Effects of Social Distancing

In just a few weeks, the novel coronavirus has undone a century’s worth of our economic and social habits. What consequences will this have on our future — and is there a silver lining in this very black pandemic cloud?


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Posted on 19 March 2020 | 3:00 am


Why Rent Control Doesn’t Work (Ep. 373 Rebroadcast)

As cities become ever-more expensive, politicians and housing advocates keep calling for rent control. Economists think that’s a terrible idea. They say it helps a small (albeit noisy) group of renters, but keeps overall rents artificially high by disincentivizing new construction. So what happens next?


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Posted on 12 March 2020 | 3:00 am


408. Does Anyone Really Know What Socialism Is?

Trump says it would destroy us. Sanders says it will save us. The majority of millennials would like it to replace capitalism. But what is “it”? We bring in the economists to sort things out and tell us what the U.S. can learn from the good (and bad) experiences of other (supposedly) socialist countries.


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Posted on 5 March 2020 | 4:00 am


407. Is There Really a “Loneliness Epidemic”?

That’s what some health officials are saying, but the data aren’t so clear. We look into what’s known (and not known) about the prevalence and effects of loneliness — including the possible upsides.


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Posted on 27 February 2020 | 4:00 am


406. Can You Hear Me Now?

When he became chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai announced that he was going to take a “weed whacker” to Obama-era regulations. So far, he’s kept his promise, and earned the internet’s ire for reversing the agency’s position on net neutrality. Pai defends his actions and explains how the U.S. can “win” everything from the 5G race to the war on robocalls.


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Posted on 20 February 2020 | 4:00 am


405. Policymaking Is Not a Science (Yet)

Why do so many promising solutions — in education, medicine, criminal justice, etc. — fail to scale up into great policy? And can a new breed of “implementation scientists” crack the code? 


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Posted on 13 February 2020 | 4:00 am


404. Does the President Matter as Much as You Think?

We asked this same question nearly a decade ago. The answer then: probably not. But a lot has changed since then, and we’re three years into one of the most anomalous presidencies in American history. So once again we try to sort out presidential signal from noise. What we hear from legal and policy experts may leave you surprised, befuddled — and maybe infuriated.


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Posted on 6 February 2020 | 4:00 am


How the San Francisco 49ers Stopped Being Losers (Ep. 350 Update)

One of the most storied (and valuable) sports franchises in the world had fallen far. So they decided to do a full reboot — and it worked: this week, they are headed back to the Super Bowl. Before the 2018 season, we sat down with the team’s owner, head coach, general manager, and players as they were plotting their turnaround. Here’s an update of that episode. 


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Posted on 30 January 2020 | 4:00 am