Freakonomics Radio is a one-hour award-winning podcast and public-radio project hosted by Stephen Dubner, with co-author Steve Levitt as a regular guest. It is produced in partnership with WNYC.
SUN 1am-2am, SAT 3pm-4pm
359. Should America Be Run by … Trader Joe’s? (Rebroadcast)
The quirky little grocery chain with California roots and German ownership has a lot to teach all of us about choice architecture, efficiency, frugality, collaboration, and team spirit.
387. Hello, My Name Is Marijuana Pepsi!
Research shows that having a distinctively black name doesn’t affect your economic future. But what is the day-to-day reality of living with such a name? Marijuana Pepsi Vandyck, a newly-minted Ph.D., is well-qualified to answer this question. Her verdict: the data don’t tell the whole story.
122. How Much Does Your Name Matter? (Rebroadcast)
A kid’s name can tell us something about his parents — their race, social standing, even their politics. But is your name really your destiny?
386. How the Supermarket Helped America Win the Cold War
Aisle upon aisle of fresh produce, cheap meat, and sugary cereal — a delicious embodiment of free-market capitalism, right? Not quite. The supermarket was in fact the endpoint of the U.S. government’s battle for agricultural abundance against the U.S.S.R. Our farm policies were built to dominate, not necessarily to nourish — and we are still living with the consequences.
356. America’s Hidden Duopoly (Rebroadcast)
We all know our political system is “broken” — but what if that’s not true? Some say the Republicans and Democrats constitute a wildly successful industry that has colluded to kill off competition, stifle reform, and drive the country apart. So what are you going to do about it?
385. What Do Nancy Pelosi, Taylor Swift, and Serena Williams Have in Common?
They — along with a great many other high-achieving women — were all once Girl Scouts. So was Sylvia Acevedo. Raised in a poor, immigrant family, she was told that “girls like her” didn’t go to college. But she did, and then became a rocket scientist and tech executive. Now she’s C.E.O. of the very organization she credits with shaping her life. Acevedo tells us how the Girl Scouts are trying to stay relevant, why they’re suing the Boy Scouts, and how they sell so many cookies.
384. Abortion and Crime, Revisited
The controversial theory linking Roe v. Wade to a massive crime drop is back in the spotlight as several states introduce abortion restrictions. Steve Levitt and John Donohue discuss their original research, the challenges to its legitimacy, and their updated analysis. Also: what this means for abortion policy, crime policy, and having intelligent conversations about contentious topics.
173. A Better Way to Eat (Rebroadcast)
Takeru Kobayashi revolutionized the sport of competitive eating. What can the rest of us learn from his breakthrough?