Latest Freaconomics Radio episodes

Freaconomics Radio

457. Is Dialysis a Test Case of Medicare for All?

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Kidney failure is such a catastrophic (and expensive) disease that Medicare covers treatment for anyone, regardless of age. Since Medicare reimbursement rates are fairly low, the dialysis industry had to find a way to tweak the system if they wanted to make big profits. They succeeded.

Freaconomics Radio

456. How to Fix the Hot Mess of U.S. Healthcare

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Medicine has evolved from a calling into an industry, adept at dispensing procedures and pills (and gigantic bills), but less good at actual health. Most reformers call for big, bold action. What happens if, instead, you think small? 

Freaconomics Radio

Policymaking Is Not a Science (Yet) (Ep. 405 Rebroadcast)

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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?

Freaconomics Radio

How Does New York City Keep Reinventing Itself? (Bonus)

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In a word: networks. Once it embraced information as its main currency, New York was able to climb out of a deep fiscal (and psychic) pit. Will that magic trick still work after Covid? In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, guest host Kurt Andersen interviews Thomas Dyja, author of New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess and Transformation.

Freaconomics Radio

455. Are You Ready for a Fresh Start?

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Behavioral scientists have been exploring if — and when — a psychological reset can lead to lasting change. We survey evidence from the London Underground, Major League Baseball, and New Year’s resolutions; we look at accidental fresh starts, forced fresh starts, and fresh starts that backfire. And we wonder: will the pandemic’s end provide the biggest fresh start ever?

Freaconomics Radio

454. Should Traffic Lights Be Abolished?

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Americans are so accustomed to the standard intersection that we rarely consider how dangerous it can be — as well as costly, time-wasting, and polluting. Is it time to embrace the lowly, lovely roundabout?

Freaconomics Radio

453. A Rescue Plan for Black America

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New York Times columnist Charles Blow argues that white supremacy in America will never fully recede, and that it’s time for Black people to do something radical about it. In The Devil You Know: A Black Power Manifesto, he urges a “reverse migration” to the South to consolidate political power and create a region where it’s safe to be Black. (This is an episode of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club.)

Freaconomics Radio

Am I Boring You? (Ep. 225 Rebroadcast)

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Researchers are trying to figure out who gets bored — and why — and what it means for ourselves and the economy. But maybe there’s an upside to boredom?

Freaconomics Radio

452. Jeff Immelt Knows He Let You Down

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Not so long ago, G.E. was the most valuable company in the world, a conglomerate that included everything from light bulbs and jet engines to financial services and The Apprentice. Now it’s selling off body parts to survive. What does the C.E.O. who presided over the decline have to say for himself? 

Freaconomics Radio

451. Can I Ask You a Ridiculously Personal Question?

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Most of us are are afraid to ask sensitive questions about money, sex, politics, etc. New research shows this fear is largely unfounded. Time for some interesting conversations!

Freaconomics Radio

450. How to Be Better at Death

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Caitlin Doughty is a mortician who would like to put herself out of business. Our corporate funeral industry, she argues, has made us forget how to offer our loved ones an authentic sendoff. Doughty is the author of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons From the Crematory. In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, she is interviewed by guest host Maria Konnikova.

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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