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EconTalk

A Category Archive (36 entries)
EconTalk host Russ Roberts has made no secret of his misgivings about high-level statistical analysis. So it's no surprise that his skepticism is brought to bear in his interview this week with Columbia University's Andrew Gelman. However, Roberts magnanimously... MORE

Is God a Macro- or Micro- Economist?

EconTalk
Contributing Guest
by G. Patrick Lynch In an essay published in 1978 the late economist Paul Heyne grappled with the place of ethics in economics. Long before scholars such as Deirdre McCloskey had taken it upon themselves to try and awaken the... MORE

How to Run a Drug Cartel

EconTalk
Amy Willis
If you missed this week's EconTalk episode with Tom Wainwright of The Economist, you're missing out...whether or not you have any drug-running aspirations. Wainwright's new book, Narconomics, host Russ Roberts calls "a tribute to economics." In his book, Wainwright... MORE

Quinones versus Eberstadt

EconTalk
David Henderson
We have demonized government and laughed at government and called it incompetent, not paid taxes to support it. And we have a situation now, in my opinion, where--having done all that, having exalted the private sector, demonized government, what we... MORE

Stories about Bitcoin seemed to me to be all the rage for a while, having since tapered off. (At least in my own newsfeed...) The digital currency has long been trumpeted by libertarian-leaning types. I mean, what's not to... MORE

What's so bad about sugar?

EconTalk
Amy Willis
What's so bad about sugar? According to this week's EconTalk guest Gary Taubes, just about everything. Taubes's real concern is insulin resistance, which he argues is the trigger for most diseases that afflict the denizens of the Western world.... MORE

We Wanted Workers...

EconTalk
Amy Willis
Amidst all the babble recently about building walls, travel bans, and so on, it was refreshing to find a reasoned and nuanced discussion of immigration issues in this week's EconTalk episode. Borjas, himself an immigrant, is less sanguine about... MORE

In a very lively EconTalk episode this week, listener favorite Mike Munger returns to discuss his support for a basic income guarantee, or BIG. It's a pretty heated conversation, especially for BFFs Munger and Roberts...We'd like to know where... MORE

What made the "Great Recession" great? How did its effects, and the policy responses prompted by it, differ from those seen with earlier recessions? This week's EconTalk episode, with Stanford economist and Chairman of the NBER's Business Cycle Dating... MORE

What sorts of benefits do you receive from your employer that aren't included in your take-home pay or on your income tax returns? We don't all have "free" cafeterias and laundry and fitness facilities, like Google. If you do... MORE

Who Wants to be an Entrepreneur?

EconTalk
Amy Willis
If you were a poor person in a poor country, would you choose to work in a sweatshop, or be your own boss, buying and selling in the local market? Which would you value more- security and stability, or... MORE

Native American Economics

EconTalk
Amy Willis
When most people try to conjure an image of Indian reservations today, it tends to be a gloomy one. And while this isn't true of all reservations, it does remain true of many. On this week's EconTalk episode, host... MORE

The Spoils of War

EconTalk
Amy Willis
How would you rate an American President whose term was marked by an 8% annual growth in per capita income? Further, this President's administration recorded zero wartime casualties. Sound good? Turns out, the President in question was Warren Harding,... MORE

Teaching the Minimum Wage

Economic History
Emily Skarbek
When I teach the Principles of Economics, I often note the relationship between positive analysis and normative judgments. One of my favorite ways to teach this is when we cover the minimum wage. Using Thomas Leonard's article Eugenics and Economics... MORE

This week's EconTalk may turn out to be one of our most widely listened-to episodes, and it's easy to see why. While deeply disturbing, it's nonetheless fascinating. Host Russ Roberts welcomes Princeton's Thomas Leonard to talk about his book, Illiberal... MORE

When do you get your best ideas- early in the morning, or when you're drifting off to sleep at night? Have you ever suffered writer's block or a similar affliction? Do you use music to induce your creativity? Or... MORE

Cuba Libre?

EconTalk
Amy Willis
Would you like to visit Cuba? If so, what would you expect to find? In this week's EconTalk episode, host Russ Roberts welcomed back Casey Mulligan, who recently had just such an experience. I've always wanted to visit Cuba... MORE

Inequality, Trade, and Robin Hood

EconTalk
Amy Willis
Is it really true that the poorest Americans are magnitudes better off than the poor in the developing world? Should we care more for our fellow citizens- even if they are better off- than about people far away? Is... MORE

Weekend Grab Bag

Economic Education
Amy Willis
Seems like a new theme...Again this week, I was happy to see Jason Zweig's post on his experience with "one of the best interviewers anywhere," our very own Russ Roberts. And it turns out that this week's guest is... MORE

Weapons of Math Destruction

EconTalk
Amy Willis
We've heard a lot about the power of Big Data lately on EconTalk. But this week, host Russ Roberts invited a skeptic- who's also a data scientist- to discuss some of its possible dangers. Cathy O'Neil (who was also... MORE

Moving Across My Monitor

Economic Education
Amy Willis
I loved reading John Cochrane's reflections on his EconTalk conversation with Russ Roberts (this week's episode) on his blog, The Grumpy Economist. Who doesn't want affordable housing? Reforming zoning codes to encourage more is easy...in theory. The Nobel prize... MORE

In a campaign season here in the United States that seems more like a shouting match than politics, this week's EconTalk episode raises an interesting question. According to guest John Cochrane, a.k.a. The Grumpy Economist, the main issue that... MORE

What does an x-ray of Hitler's skull have in common with a jar of Ronald Reagan's jelly beans? They are both part of the Hoover Institution archives. And they remind us of our human attraction to the material, a... MORE

Perhaps you've grown accustomed to EconTalk host Russ Roberts bemoaning the limits of statistical analysis...Well fasten your seat belts and get ready for a data-driven ride in this week's episode with Stanford University's Susan Athey. Athey's research centers on... MORE

Could allocating more power to the American President result in a more efficient government? Could it result in a smaller government? I admit, I would have had a pretty strong (negative) reaction to those two questions if you'd posed... MORE

#TWET: Why the Law is so Perverse

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Amy Willis
Having recently been diagnosed with kidney disease, you find yourself in need of a transplant. Fortunately (?), several years ago you joined a kidney club, agreeing to donate one of your own sometime in the future should you be... MORE

#TWET...Slavery & Racism

EconTalk
Amy Willis
Incentives matter, sure. But isn't there a limit to what institutional analysis can (and ought) explain? That's what lingering in my mind after listening to this week's EconTalk episode with everybody's favorite guest, Mike Munger of Duke University. How... MORE

Rio Reality Check

Economic Education
Amy Willis
My family has been enjoying watching the Olympics over the past couple of weeks. The spectacle of sport can be inspirational. (And with a young swimmer in the house, we are ALL about Katie Ledecky and Michael Phelps.) If... MORE

#TWET...But What If We're Wrong?

EconTalk
Amy Willis
Why are we so convinced the things we think are true today will still be true for future generations? I mean, everybody knows The Beatles are the greatest rock group of all time, right? (And while pyroseed13 argues in the... MORE

Weekend Wanderings

Economic Education
Amy Willis
Lynne Kiesling at Knowledge Problem drew my attention to this first in a series at The Economist on influential articles in economics. This one highlights George Akerlof's famous 1970 paper, "The Market for Lemons." Akerlof's latest book, Phishing for... MORE

Victims of Communism Day

Liberty
Emily Skarbek
Yesterday Ilya Somin reminded readers of the Washington Post of his ongoing support for changing May 1st from a celebration of communists, socialists, and labor unions - to a holiday that commemorates the millions who have died because of communist... MORE

How We Count Counts: Diane Coyle on The Rise and Fall of American Growth

Books: Reviews and Suggested Readings
Emily Skarbek
Diane Coyle has reviewed Robert Gordon's new book (out late January), The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The U.S. Standard of Living since the Civil War. Gordon's central argument will be familiar to readers of his work. In his... MORE

Government Regulation vs. the Market

Regulation
Russ Roberts
This past summer I did a lot of EconTalk episodes related to the sharing economy. In the first one, with Mike Munger, we talked about how reputation established by users at Uber and AirBnB could substitute for direct regulation by... MORE

Piketty, Piketty, Piketty, Piketty

EconTalk
Russ Roberts
Check out the EconTalk interview, the followup discussion questions, my thoughts on the conversation, and my discussion with Tyler Cowen, Brad DeLong, and Robert Solow (last link).... MORE

I've done a lot of interviews on education at EconTalk and there's always more to learn. There were two moments that really stuck with me from this conversation with Elizabeth Green about her book, Building a Better Teacher. One is... MORE

The Summer of Sharing

EconTalk
Russ Roberts
(I'm Russ Roberts, the host of EconTalk, a sister site of EconLog here at the Library of Economics and Liberty. I'm going to blog here from time to time about what's going on at EconTalk.) It has been the summer... MORE

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