EconTalk: Conversations for the Curious is an award-winning weekly podcast hosted by Russ Roberts of Shalem College in Jerusalem and Stanford's Hoover Institution. The eclectic guest list includes authors, doctors, psychologists, historians, philosophers, economists, and more. Learn how the health care system really works, the serenity that comes from humility, the challenge of interpreting data, how potato chips are made, what it's like to run an upscale Manhattan restaurant, what caused the 2008 financial crisis, the nature of consciousness, and more. EconTalk has been taking the Monday out of Mondays since 2006. All 800+ episodes are available in the archive. Go to EconTalk.org for transcripts, related resources, and comments.
Top 10 EconTalk Episodes
Best episodes ranked by Goodpods Users most listened
11/21/22 • 71 min
When the 20-year-old overachiever Johnathan Bi's first startup crashed and burned, he headed to a Zen retreat in the Catskills to "debug himself." He discovered René Girard and his mimetic theory--the idea that imitation is a key and often unconscious driver of human behavior. Listen as entrepreneur and philosopher Bi shares with EconTalk host Russ Roberts what he learned from Girard and Girard's insights into how we meet our primal need for money, fame, and power. The conversation includes the contrasts between economics and Girard's perspective.
A.J. Jacobs on Thanks a Thousand
11/19/18 • 61 min
Journalist and author A. J. Jacobs talks about his book, Thanks a Thousand, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Jacobs thanked a thousand different people who contributed to his morning cup of coffee. In this conversation, Jacobs talks about the power of gratitude and different ways we can express gratitude in everyday life. He and Roberts also explore the unintended web of cooperation that underlies almost every product we encounter in a modern economy.
11/28/22 • 82 min
Annie Duke is angry that quitting gets such a bad rap. Instead of our relentless focus on grit and "going for it," the former professional poker player, decision strategist, and author of Quit wants us to recognize the costs associated with sticking to a losing outcome. Listen as she explains to EconTalk host Russ Roberts how society's conflation of grit with character has made quitting unnecessarily hard, and why our desire for certainty harms our decision-making ability. Additional topics include the flawed mental accounting that makes us confuse wins for losses, what we can learn from ants, and the tragic story of how the refusal to quit cost 16 lives one terrible night at the top of Mt. Everest.
09/12/22 • 88 min
To the Founding Fathers it was free libraries. To the 19th century rationalist philosophers it was a system of public schools. Today it's access to the internet. Since its beginnings, Americans have believed that if facts and information were available to all, a democratic utopia would prevail. But missing from these well-intentioned efforts, says author and journalist David McRaney, is the awareness that people's opinions are unrelated to their knowledge and intelligence. In fact, he explains, the better educated we become, the better we are at rationalizing what we already believe. Listen as the author of How Minds Change speaks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about why it's so hard to change someone's mind, the best way to make it happen (if you absolutely must), and why teens are hard-wired not to take good advice from older people even if they are actually wiser.
06/27/22 • 68 min
How much of life can be solved by algorithms, and how much just can't be solved? Listen as A.J. Jacobs, author of The Puzzler, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the lessons he learned from solving every kind of puzzle imaginable, including the biggest stumper of all: what it really means to be a human being.
11/14/22 • 81 min
Suppose all of humanity was infected by a virus that left us all infertile--no one will come along after us. How would you react to such a world? Agnes Callard of the University of Chicago says she would be filled with despair. But why does this seem worse than our own inevitable deaths? Callard speaks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the meaning of life, and what exactly about the end of humanity is so demoralizing. The conversation concludes with a discussion of whether humanity is making progress.
08/16/21 • 68 min
Journalist and author Nicholas Wapshott talks about his book Samuelson Friedman with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson were two of the most influential economists of the last century. They competed for professional acclaim and had very different policy visions. The conversation includes their differences over the work of Keynes, their rivalry in their columns at Newsweek, and a discussion of their intellectual and policy legacies.
Johann Hari on Lost Connections
09/06/21 • 95 min
Author and journalist Johann Hari talks about his book, Lost Connections: Why You Are Depressed and How to Find Hope, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Hari, who has suffered with depression as a teenager and an adult, offers a sweeping critique of the medical establishment's understanding of depression and the frequent reliance on pharmaceutical treatments. Hari argues that it is our lost connections with each other, with our work, and with ourselves that explains the rise in depression in recent times.
01/03/22 • 69 min
When we see Michaelangelo's David or the design of the Apple Store, we assume a genius with a predetermined vision was the key to the outcome. Yet as Lorne Buchman, author of Make to Know, tells EconTalk's Russ Roberts, great art is more about embracing the process of exploration and the results that emerge in the process of creating. Buchman makes the case for embracing uncertainty in both leadership and life.
09/05/22 • 76 min
Philosopher William MacAskill of the University of Oxford and a founder of the effective altruism movement talks about his book What We Owe the Future with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. MacAskill advocates "longtermism," giving great attention to the billions of people who will live on into the future long after we are gone. Topics discussed include the importance of moral entrepreneurs, why it's moral to have children, and the importance of trying to steer the future for better outcomes.
How many episodes does EconTalk have?
EconTalk currently has 886 episodes available.
What topics does EconTalk cover?
The podcast is about Economics, Business, Education, History, Science, Books, Courses and Social Sciences.
What is the most popular episode on EconTalk?
The episode title 'Johnathan Bi on Mimesis and René Girard' is the most popular with 3 listens, 2 ratings and 2 comments/reviews.
What is the average episode length on EconTalk?
The average episode length on EconTalk is 68 minutes.
How often are episodes of EconTalk released?
Episodes of EconTalk are typically released every 7 days.
When was the first episode of EconTalk?
The first episode of EconTalk was released on Mar 16, 2006.
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