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Latest Freaconomics Radio episodes

Freaconomics Radio

Abortion and Crime, Revisited (Ep. 384 Update)

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As the Supreme Court considers overturning Roe v. Wade, we look back at Steve Levitt’s controversial research on an unintended consequence of the 1973 ruling.

Freaconomics Radio

502. “I Don’t Think the Country Is Turning Away From College.”

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Enrollment is down for the first time in memory, and critics complain college is too expensive, too elitist, and too politicized. The economist Chris Paxson — who happens to be the president of Brown University — does not agree. (Part 3 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)

Freaconomics Radio

501. The University of Impossible-to-Get-Into

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America’s top colleges are facing record demand. So why don’t they increase supply? (Part 2 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)

Freaconomics Radio

500. What Exactly Is College For?

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We think of them as intellectual enclaves and the surest route to a better life. But U.S. colleges also operate like firms, trying to differentiate their products to win market share and prestige points. In the first episode of a special series, we ask what our chaotic system gets right — and wrong. (Part 1 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)

Freaconomics Radio

Is the U.S. Really Less Corrupt Than China — and How About Russia? (Ep. 481 Update)

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The political scientist Yuen Yuen Ang argues that different forms of government create different styles of corruption. The U.S. and China have more in common than we’d like to admit — but Russia is a different story, which could explain its willingness to invade Ukraine. 

Freaconomics Radio

499. Don't Worry, Be Tacky

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The British art superstar Flora Yukhnovich, the Freakonomist Steve Levitt, and the upstart American Basketball Association were all unafraid to follow their joy — despite sneers from the Establishment. Should we all be more willing to embrace the déclassé?

Freaconomics Radio

498. In the 1890s, the Best-Selling Car Was … Electric

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After a huge false start, electric cars are finally about to flourish. We speak with a technology historian about this all-too-common story, and what it means for innovation everywhere.

Freaconomics Radio

497. Can the Big Bad Wolf Save Your Life?

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Every year, there are more than a million collisions in the U.S. between drivers and deer. The result: hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and billions in damages. Enter the wolf …

Freaconomics Radio

How to Change Your Mind (Ep. 379 Update)

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There are a lot of barriers to changing your mind: ego, overconfidence, inertia — and cost. Politicians who flip-flop get mocked; family and friends who cross tribal borders are shunned. But shouldn’t we be encouraging people to change their minds? And how can we get better at it ourselves?

Freaconomics Radio

496. Do Unions Still Work?

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3:30

Organized labor hasn’t had this much public support in 50 years, and yet the percentage of Americans in a union is near a record low. A.F.L-C.I.O. president Liz Shuler tries to explain this gap — and persuade Stephen Dubner that “the folks who brought you the weekend” still have the leverage to fix a broken economy.

Freaconomics Radio

495. Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses?

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People who are good at their jobs routinely get promoted into bigger jobs they’re bad at. We explain why firms keep producing incompetent managers — and why that’s unlikely to change. 

Freaconomics 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.

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