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48 minutes | May 19, 2022
503. What Is the Future of College — and Does It Have Room for Men?
Educators and economists tell us all the reasons college enrollment has been dropping, especially for men, and how to stop the bleeding. (Part 4 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)
58 minutes | May 12, 2022
Abortion and Crime, Revisited (Ep. 384 Update)
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.
44 minutes | May 5, 2022
502. “I Don’t Think the Country Is Turning Away From College.”
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.”)
59 minutes | Apr 28, 2022
501. The University of Impossible-to-Get-Into
America’s top colleges are facing record demand. So why don’t they increase supply? (Part 2 of “Freakonomics Radio Goes Back to School.”)
46 minutes | Apr 21, 2022
500. What Exactly Is College For?
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.”)
68 minutes | Apr 14, 2022
Is the U.S. Really Less Corrupt Than China — and How About Russia? (Ep. 481 Update)
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.
38 minutes | Apr 7, 2022
499. Don't Worry, Be Tacky
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?
43 minutes | Mar 31, 2022
498. In the 1890s, the Best-Selling Car Was … Electric
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.
47 minutes | Mar 24, 2022
497. Can the Big Bad Wolf Save Your Life?
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 …
48 minutes | Mar 17, 2022
How to Change Your Mind (Ep. 379 Update)
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?
52 minutes | Mar 10, 2022
496. Do Unions Still Work?
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.
49 minutes | Mar 3, 2022
495. Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses?
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.
49 minutes | Feb 24, 2022
494. Why Do Most Ideas Fail to Scale?
In a new book called The Voltage Effect, the economist John List — who has already revolutionized how his profession does research — is trying to start a scaling revolution. In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, List teaches us how to avoid false positives, how to know whether a given success is due to the chef or the ingredients, and how to practice “optimal quitting.”
54 minutes | Feb 17, 2022
Why Does the Richest Country in the World Have So Many Poor Kids? (Ep. 475 Update)
Among O.E.C.D. nations, the U.S. has one of the highest rates of child poverty. Until recently, it looked as if Washington was about to change that. But then … Washington happened.
51 minutes | Feb 10, 2022
493. Why Does the Most Monotonous Job in the World Pay $1 Million?
Adam Smith famously argued that specialization is the key to prosperity. In the N.F.L., the long snapper is proof of that argument. Just in time for the Super Bowl, here’s everything there is to know about a job that didn’t used to exist.
45 minutes | Feb 3, 2022
Are You Ready for a Fresh Start? (Ep. 455 Replay)
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?
43 minutes | Jan 27, 2022
492. How Did a Hayfield Become One of America’s Hottest Cities?
Frisco used to be just another sleepy bedroom community outside of Dallas. Now it’s got corporate headquarters, billions of investment dollars, and a bunch of Democrats in a place that used to be deep red. Is Frisco nothing more than a suburb on steroids — or is it the future of the American city?
50 minutes | Jan 20, 2022
491. Why Is Everyone Moving to Dallas?
When Stephen Dubner learned that Dallas–Fort Worth will soon overtake Chicago as the third-biggest metro area in the U.S., he got on a plane to find out why. Despite getting stood up by the mayor, nearly drowning on a highway, and eating way too much barbecue, he came away impressed. (Part 1 of 2 — because even podcasts are bigger in Texas.)
51 minutes | Jan 13, 2022
490. What Do Broken-Hearted Knitters, Urinating Goalkeepers, and the C.I.A. Have in Common?
Curses and other superstitions may have no basis in reality, but that doesn’t stop us from believing.
36 minutes | Jan 6, 2022
489. Is “Toxic Positivity” a Thing?
In this special episode of No Stupid Questions, Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth discuss the consequences of seeing every glass as at least half-full.
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