All Summaries for Freakonomics Radio

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Freakonomics co-author Stephen J. Dubner uncovers the hidden side of everything. Why is it safer to fly in an airplane than drive a car? How do we decide whom to marry? Why is the media so full of bad news? Also: things you never knew you wanted to know about wolves, bananas, pollution, search engines, and the quirks of human behavior. Join the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program for weekly member-only episodes of Freakonomics Radio. You’ll also get every show in our network without ads. To sign up, visit our show page on Apple Podcasts or go to

232. A New Nobel Laureate Explains the Gender Pay Gap (Replay)
Claudia Goldin is the newest winner of the Nobel Prize in Economics. We spoke with her in 2016 about why women earn so much less than men — and how it’s not all explained by discrimination. 
Tue, October 10, 2023
560. Is This “the Worst Job in Corporate America” — or Maybe the Best?
John Ray is an emergency C.E.O., a bankruptcy expert who takes over companies that have succumbed to failure or fraud. He’s currently cleaning up the mess left by alleged crypto scammer Sam Bankman-Fried. And he loves it. RESOURCES:"United States of America v. Samuel Bankman-Fried, a/k/a 'SBF,'" by the United States District Court Southern District of New York (2023)."Does FTX’s New CEO Have the Worst Job in Corporate America?" by Ben Cohen (The Wall Street Journal, 2022)."John J. Ray III, a St. Joseph’s Grad From Pittsfield, Is Earning $1,300 an Hour to Sort Out the Remains of the FTX Cryptocurrency Collapse," by Larry Parnass (The Berkshire Eagle, 2022)."'Pit Bull' Fights to Pick Up Enron's Pieces," by Ameet Sachdev (Chicago Tribune, 2007).EXTRAS:“The Secret Life of a C.E.O.,” series by Freakonomics Radio (2018-2023)."Did Michael Lewis Just Get Lucky with Moneyball?" by Freakonomics Radio (2022)."Does the Crypto Crash Mean the Blockchain Is Over?" by Freakonomics Radio (2022)."What Can Blockchain Do for You?" series by Freakonomics Radio (2022).
Thu, October 5, 2023
559. Are Two C.E.O.s Better Than One?
If two parents can run a family, why shouldn’t two executives run a company? We dig into the research and hear firsthand stories of both triumph and disaster. Also: lessons from computer programmers, Simon and Garfunkel, and bears versus alligators.  RESOURCES:"How Allbirds Lost Its Way," by Suzanne Kapner (The Wall Street Journal, 2023)."Is It Time to Consider Co-C.E.O.s?" by Marc A. Feigen, Michael Jenkins, and Anton Warendh (Harvard Business Review, 2022)."The Costs and Benefits of Pair Programming," by Alistair Cockburn and Laurie Williams (2000)."Strengthening the Case for Pair Programming," by Laurie Williams, Robert R. Kessler, Ward Cunningham, and Ron Jeffries (IEEE Software, 2000).EXTRAS:"The Facts Are In: Two Parents Are Better Than One," by Freakonomics Radio (2023)."The Secret Life of a C.E.O.," series by Freakonomics Radio (2018-2023).
Thu, September 28, 2023
558. The Facts Are In: Two Parents Are Better Than One
In her new book The Two-Parent Privilege, the economist Melissa Kearney says it’s time for liberals to face the facts: U.S. marriage rates have plummeted but the babies keep coming, and the U.S. now leads the world in single-parent households. Plus: our friends at Atlas Obscura explore just how many parents a kid can have.
Thu, September 21, 2023
557. When Is a Superstar Just Another Employee?
The union that represents N.F.L. players conducted their first-ever survey of workplace conditions, and issued a report card to all 32 teams. What did the survey reveal? Clogged showers, rats in the locker room — and some helpful insights for those of us who don’t play pro football. For show notes, visit
Thu, September 14, 2023
556. A.I. Is Changing Everything. Does That Include You?
For all the speculation about the future, A.I. tools can be useful right now. Adam Davidson discovers what they can help us do, how we can get the most from them — and why the things that make them helpful also make them dangerous. (Part 3 of "How to Think About A.I.")
Thu, September 7, 2023
555. New Technologies Always Scare Us. Is A.I. Any Different?
Guest host Adam Davidson looks at what might happen to your job in a world of human-level artificial intelligence, and asks when it might be time to worry that the machines have become too powerful. (Part 2 of "How to Think About A.I.")
Thu, August 31, 2023
554. Can A.I. Take a Joke?
Artificial intelligence, we’ve been told, will destroy humankind. No, wait — it will usher in a new age of human flourishing! Guest host Adam Davidson (co-founder of Planet Money) sorts through the big claims about A.I.'s future by exploring its past and present — and whether it has a sense of humor. (Part 1 of "How to Think About A.I.")
Thu, August 24, 2023
553. The Suddenly Diplomatic Rahm Emanuel
The famously profane politician and operative is now U.S. ambassador to Japan, where he’s trying to rewrite the rules of diplomacy. But don’t worry: When it comes to China, he’s every bit as combative as you’d expect.
Thu, August 17, 2023
Should Traffic Lights Be Abolished? (Ep. 454 Replay)
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?
Thu, August 10, 2023
Extra: A Modern Whaler Speaks Up
Bjorn Andersen killed 111 minke whales this season. He tells us how he does it, why he does it, and what he thinks would happen if whale-hunting ever stopped.  (This bonus episode is a follow-up to our series “Everything You Never Knew About Whaling.")
Sun, August 6, 2023
552. Freakonomics Radio Presents: The Economics of Everyday Things
In three stories from our newest podcast, host Zachary Crockett digs into sports mascots, cashmere sweaters, and dinosaur skeletons. 
Thu, August 3, 2023
551. What Can Whales Teach Us About Clean Energy, Workplace Harmony, and Living the Good Life?
In the final episode of our whale series, we learn about fecal plumes, shipping noise, and why "Moby-Dick" is still worth reading. (Part 3 of "Everything You Never Knew About Whaling.")
Thu, July 27, 2023
550. Why Do People Still Hunt Whales?
For years, whale oil was used as lighting fuel, industrial lubricant, and the main ingredient in (yum!) margarine. Whale meat was also on a few menus. But today, demand for whale products is at a historic low. And yet some countries still have a whaling industry. We find out why. (Part 2 of “Everything You Never Knew About Whaling.”)
Thu, July 20, 2023
548. Why Is the U.S. So Good at Killing Pedestrians?
Actually, the reasons are pretty clear. The harder question is: Will we ever care enough to stop?
Thu, July 6, 2023
Why Did You Marry That Person? (Ep. 511 Replay)
Sure, you were “in love.” But economists — using evidence from Bridgerton to Tinder — point to what’s called “assortative mating.” And it has some unpleasant consequences for society.
Thu, June 29, 2023
547. Satya Nadella’s Intelligence Is Not Artificial
But as C.E.O. of the resurgent Microsoft, he is firmly at the center of the A.I. revolution. We speak with him about the perils and blessings of A.I., Google vs. Bing, the Microsoft succession plan — and why his favorite use of ChatGPT is translating poetry.
Thu, June 22, 2023
546. Are E.S.G. Investors Actually Helping the Environment?
Probably not. The economist Kelly Shue argues that E.S.G. investing just gives more money to firms that are already green while depriving polluting firms of the financing they need to get greener. But she has a solution.
Thu, June 15, 2023
545. Enough with the Slippery Slopes!
Gun control, abortion rights, drug legalization — it seems like every argument these days claims that if X happens, then Y will follow, and we’ll all be doomed to Z. Is the slippery-slope argument a valid logical construction or just a game of feelingsball?
Thu, June 8, 2023
544. Ari Emanuel Is Never Indifferent
He turned a small Hollywood talent agency into a massive sports-and-entertainment empire. In a freewheeling conversation, he explains how he did it and why it nearly killed him.
Thu, June 1, 2023
Make Me a Match (Ep. 209 Update)
Sure, markets work well in general. But for some transactions — like school admissions and organ transplants — money alone can’t solve the problem. That’s when you need a market-design wizard like Al Roth. Plus: We hear from a listener who, inspired by this episode, made a remarkable decision.
Thu, May 25, 2023
543. How to Return Stolen Art
Museums are purging their collections of looted treasures. Can they also get something in return? And what does it mean to be a museum in the 21st century? (Part 3 of “Stealing Art Is Easy. Giving It Back Is Hard.”)
Thu, May 18, 2023
542. Is a Museum Just a Trophy Case?
The world’s great museums are full of art and artifacts that were plundered during an era when plunder was the norm. Now there’s a push to return these works to their rightful owners. Sounds simple, right? It's not. (Part 2 of “Stealing Art Is Easy. Giving It Back Is Hard.”)
Thu, May 11, 2023
541. The Case of the $4 Million Gold Coffin
How did a freshly looted Egyptian antiquity end up in the Metropolitan Museum of Art? Why did it take Kim Kardashian to crack the case? And how much of what you see in any museum is stolen? (Part 1 of “Stealing Art Is Easy. Giving It Back Is Hard.”)
Thu, May 4, 2023
Why Your Projects Are Always Late — and What to Do About It (Ep. 323 Replay)
Whether it’s a giant infrastructure plan or a humble kitchen renovation, it’ll inevitably take way too long and cost way too much. That’s because you suffer from “the planning fallacy.” (You also have an “optimism bias” and a bad case of overconfidence.) But don’t worry: we’ve got the solution. 
Thu, April 27, 2023
PLAYBACK (2015): Could the Next Brooklyn Be ... Las Vegas?!
Tony Hsieh, the longtime C.E.O. of Zappos, was an iconoclast and a dreamer. Five years ago, we sat down with him around a desert campfire to talk about those dreams. Hsieh died recently from injuries sustained in a house fire; he was 46.
Sun, December 6, 2020
442. Is it Too Late for General Motors to Go Electric?
G.M. produces more than 20 times as many cars as Tesla, but Tesla is worth nearly 10 times as much. Mary Barra, the C.E.O. of G.M., is trying to fix that. We speak with her about the race toward an electrified (and autonomous) future, China and Trump, and what it’s like to be the “fifth-most powerful woman in the world.”
Thu, December 3, 2020
304. What Are the Secrets of the German Economy — and Should We Steal Them?
Smart government policies, good industrial relations, and high-end products have helped German manufacturing beat back the threats of globalization.
Thu, October 12, 2017
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