Friedman on Capitalism and Freedom
Russ Roberts talks to Milton Friedman about the radical ideas he put forward almost 50 years ago in Capitalism and Freedom. Listen to the most influential economist of the past 50 years discuss the principles of liberty, social responsibility of business, the inertia behind bad legislation and his career as economist and public intellectual.
4 Sep 2006
Milton Friedman on Money
Russ Roberts talks with Milton Friedman about his research and views on inflation, the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, and what the future holds.
28 Aug 2006
Richard Thaler on Libertarian Paternalism
Richard Thaler of the U. of Chicago Graduate School of Business defends the idea of libertarian paternalism--how government might use the insights of behavioral economics to help citizens make better choices. Host Russ Roberts accepts the premise that individuals make imperfect choices but challenges Thaler on the likelihood that government, in practice, will improve matters. Along the way they discuss the design of Sweden's social security system, organ donations and whether professors at Cornell University are more or less like you and me.
6 Nov 2006
Walter Williams on Life, Liberty and Economics
Professor, Radio Host, and Syndicated Columnist Walter Williams of George Mason University talks with EconTalk's Russ Roberts about his early days as an economist, his controversial view of the Civil War, the insights of Adam Smith and Friedrich Hayek, and some deep but simple economic principles.
16 Oct 2006
Most Popular Podcasts
The Economics of Medical Malpractice
Alex Tabarrok of George Mason U. and Russ Roberts talk about medical malpractice, why insurance premiums vary by state, price gouging by insurance companies, the politics of being a judge and an idea for a new TV show using a tried-and-true formula, the American Victim.
30 May 2006
The Economics of Inheritance
Don Cox of Boston College and Russ Roberts discuss the economics of inheritance, estates and the family. They look at how parents divide their time and money between their children and our concerns for what people think of us after we are gone.
4 May 2006
The Economics of Sports
Skip Sauer of Clemson University and Russ Roberts talk about the economic impact of sports stadiums, how to create incentives in baseball, football and soccer, and the virtues and failings of socialism in sports.
18 Apr 2006
Giving Away Money: An Economist's Guide to Political Life
Mike Munger, of Duke University, and Russ Roberts talk about the economics of politics, rent-seeking, lobbying and the sometimes perverse incentives of the political world.
23 Jun 2006
The Political Economy of Power
Russ Roberts talks with Hoover Institution and NYU political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita about his theory of political power--how dictators and democratically elected leaders respond to the political forces that keep them in office. This lengthy and intense conversation covers a wide range of topics including the evil political genius of Lenin, the dark side of US foreign aid, the sinister machinations of King Leopold of Belgium, the natural resource curse, the British monarchy in the 11th century, term limits and the inevitable failure of the standard methods of fighting world poverty.
14 Aug 2006
The Economics of Organ Donation
Richard Epstein, law professor at the University of Chicago, and Russ Roberts discuss the market for kidneys. Should people be allowed to buy and sell kidneys? How might a market for kidneys actually work in practice? Should mercenary motives be allowed to trump altruism? Epstein deals with these questions and more.
5 Jun 2006
An Interview with Gary Becker
Russ Roberts interviews Gary Becker, of the University of Chicago, on the challenges of being an intellectual maverick, the economic approach to human behavior, the influences of Adam Smith and Alfred Marshall on Becker's work and Becker's optimism for the future of economics.
10 Jul 2006
The Economics of Religion
Larry Iannaccone of George Mason University talks with EconTalk's Russ Roberts about the economics of religion. Iannaccone explains why Americans are more religious than Europeans, why Americans became more religious after the colonies became the United States and why it can be rational and rewarding to make religious sacrifices. Join us for a fascinating exploration of the human side of religion.
9 Oct 2006
The Economics of Obesity
Russ Roberts talks with Darius Lakdawalla of Rand and the National Bureau of Economic Research on the economics of obesity, how much fatter are Americans and why. How much is due to the spread of fast food vs. the falling price of food and the change in the U.S. workplace?
25 Sep 2006
Private vs. Public Risk-Taking
Mike Munger and Russ Roberts discuss the differences between public and private risk-taking. Their conversation includes the history of Honda, the Apple computer and even the use of turkey carcasses as an energy source. They also try to understand why the public is skeptical of good new ideas but often embraces bad new ideas.
3 Oct 2006
The Economics of Paternalism
Economist Ed Glaeser of Harvard University talks with host Russ Roberts about the dangers of soft paternalism--various forms of government regulation that fall short of outright bans or taxes but that are meant to correct alleged flaws in the choices we make. Glaeser argues that while individuals do inevitably make mistakes, so do politicians, and the concentration of power in the hands of the few makes government "benevolence" particularly dangerous.
18 Sep 2006