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Economics Detective Radio

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Economics Detective Radio is a weekly podcast about markets, ideas, institutions, and all things related to the field of economics. Episodes consist of long-form interviews, and are generally released on Fridays. Topics include economic theory, economic history, the history of thought, money, banking, finance, macroeconomics, public choice, Austrian economics, business cycles, health care, education, international trade, and anything else of interest to economists, students, and serious amateurs interested in the science of human action. For additional content and links related to each episode, visit economicsdetective.com.

Economics Detective Radio is a weekly podcast about markets, ideas, institutions, and all things related to the field of economics. Episodes consist of long-form interviews, and are generally released on Fridays. Topics include economic theory, economic history, the history of thought, money, banking, finance, macroeconomics, public choice, Austrian economics, business cycles, health care, education, international trade, and anything else of interest to economists, students, and serious amateurs interested in the science of human action. For additional content and links related to each episode, visit economicsdetective.com.
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Location:

Canada

Description:

Economics Detective Radio is a weekly podcast about markets, ideas, institutions, and all things related to the field of economics. Episodes consist of long-form interviews, and are generally released on Fridays. Topics include economic theory, economic history, the history of thought, money, banking, finance, macroeconomics, public choice, Austrian economics, business cycles, health care, education, international trade, and anything else of interest to economists, students, and serious amateurs interested in the science of human action. For additional content and links related to each episode, visit economicsdetective.com.

Language:

English


Episodes

Compensating Blood and Organ Donors with Mario Macis

8/13/2018
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My guest today, Mario Macis of Johns Hopkins University, has done a number of interesting studies related to blood and organ donation, particularly the compensation of blood and organ donors. For instance, Mario and his coauthor, Nicola Lacetera, observed the effect of an incentive system that offered symbolic rewards to blood donors in a particular Italian town. They found that when prizes for frequent donation were publicly announced, people donated more blood, indicating that social image...

Duration:00:50:42

Why No Ancient Greek Industrial Revolution? A Conversation with George Tridimas

8/3/2018
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Here on Economics Detective Radio, we've had many discussions about the early modern period, and the circumstances that gave rise to the modern levels of sustained economic growth that were heretofore unheard of in human history. One important question is, what was it about England and the Low Countries in the early modern period that made them the first to transition to modern-style economies? A related, and equally important question is why other times and places throughout history failed...

Duration:00:56:10

Artificial Intelligence, Risk, and Alignment with Roman Yampolskiy

7/20/2018
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My guest today is Roman Yampolskiy, computer scientist and AI safety researcher. He is the author of multiple books, including Artificial Superintelligence: A Futuristic Approach. He is also the editor of the forthcoming volume Artificial Intelligence Safety and Security, featuring contributions from many leading AI safety researchers. We discuss the nature of AI risk, the state of the current research on the topic, and some of the more and less promising lines of research.

Duration:00:54:28

How Economics Shapes Gender Norms with Melanie Meng Xue

7/9/2018
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Could cultural attitudes about gender reflect economic conditions hundreds of years ago? My guest today says they do! Melanie Meng Xue of Northwestern University has shown that China's cotton revolution had far-reaching consequences extending even to the modern day:

Duration:00:59:24

All Roads Lead to Toll Roads: Robert Poole on America's Highways

7/1/2018
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Today's episode of Economics Detective Radio features a conversation with Robert Poole of the Reason Foundation. Robert is the author of Rethinking America's Highways: A 21st-Century Vision for Better Infrastructure, a book on how to fix America's infrastructure woes by changing the way roadways are funded: We discuss this book, as well as Robert's recent controversial piece in Reason, "Stop Trying to Get Workers Out of Their Cars." I challenge him on the issue of upzoning and we discuss...

Duration:00:51:00

The Blockchain Anti-Trust Paradox with Thibault Schrepel

6/23/2018
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Today's guest is Thibault Schrepel of the University of Utrecht. We discuss his work on the relationship between blockchain technology, which allows for the decentralization of firms and organizations, and anti-trust law. Here's a quote from his article on the topic:

Duration:00:42:27

Social Media, Elections, and Gender with Fabio Rojas

6/16/2018
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Fabio Rojas returns to the podcast to discuss his work researching social media. He has three main papers on the subject. The first is "More Tweets, More Votes: Social Media as a Quantitative Indicator of Political Behavior," which shows how Twitter activity predicted the outcomes of the 2010 and 2012 US congressional elections. The second is "The social media response to Black Lives Matter: how Twitter users interact with Black Lives Matter through hashtag use" which tracks the spread of...

Duration:00:59:56

Free Speech on Campus with Zachary Greenberg

5/27/2018
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Today's episode features Zachary Greenberg of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. We discuss freedom of speech, FIRE's work to protect it on college campuses, and its importance for maintaining a liberal society.

Duration:00:47:53

Buchanan, Segregation, and Democracy in Chains with Phil Magness

5/19/2018
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Phil Magness returns to the podcast to discuss the life and work of James Buchanan and to defend him against some of the more bizarre criticisms levied against him. James Buchanan was a Chicago-school economist who created the field of public choice economics along with Gordon Tullock. He was awarded the Nobel prize in 1986. Buchanan has received criticism recently from Duke historian Nancy MacLean, whose book Democracy in Chains places Buchanan at the center of a grand right-wing...

Duration:01:02:48

We Didn't Start the Flame War

5/4/2018
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This week's episode is a little different. There's an ongoing controversy related to a two-time guest of this show, Robin Hanson. I talk through the scandal, giving a whole decade of background so you can understand where this scandal comes from. There are many links for this episode. Here they are in the order they are discussed: Robin Hanson's books, The Age of Em and The Elephant in the Brain. "Unequal Beauty Silence" October 19, 2009 "Pretty Smart Healthy Privilege" September 26,...

Duration:01:00:22

The Neolithic Revolution with Andrea Matranga

4/27/2018
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Andrea Matranga of the New Economics School in Moscow joins the podcast with a fascinating question: Why did humans adopt agriculture in the times and places they did? His research paper, The Ant and the Grasshopper: Seasonality and the Invention of Agriculture, offers a potential solution. Here's the abstract: Figure 2 in the paper illustrates the locations and times of the adoption of agriculture: Andrea looks at both these adoption dates and the rapidity of the spread of agriculture...

Duration:00:49:03

Diversity and the Social Contract with Ryan Muldoon

4/21/2018
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My guest today is Ryan Muldoon of the University at Buffalo. He is the author of Social Contract Theory for a Diverse World: Beyond Tolerance. We discuss the role of perspective diversity in political philosophy, with reference to both Ryan's book and his article, Diversity and Disagreement are the Solution, Not the Problem. We relate the philosophy to political divides in the real world, such as the rise of nationalist movements in Europe.

Duration:00:46:38

Lightships and Public Goods with Vincent Geloso

4/14/2018
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The assiduous Vincent Geloso returns to the podcast to discuss his work with Rosolino Candela on lightships and their importance in economics. The abstract of their paper reads as follows: Economists have been using lighthouses as examples of pure public goods since at least John Stuart Mill. This modern debate on whether lighthouses really deserve their status as the archetypical example goes back to Coase (1974), who pointed out that many lighthouses in Great Britain had been privately...

Duration:00:55:37

Experimental Economics and the Origin of Language with Bart Wilson

4/6/2018
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My guest for this episode of Economics Detective Radio is Bart Wilson of Chapman University. He is the author of many experimental economics studies. Our conversation today focuses on one particular study entitled Language and cooperation in hominin scavenging. The abstract reads as follows: You can view a video demonstration of the experimental software here. The animation is quite cute! Derek Bickerton is the linguist whose theories Bart referenced in this episode.

Duration:00:38:39

Refugee Waves, Mass Immigration, and Jordan with Alex Nowrasteh and Andrew Forrester

3/31/2018
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My guests for this episode are Alex Nowrasteh and Andrew Forrester of the Cato Institute. Our topic is a working paper they recently published titled How Mass Immigration Affects Countries with Weak Economic Institutions: A Natural Experiment in Jordan. The abstract reads as follows: Does mass immigration destroy institutions? 1990s Israel as a natural experiment by Benjamin Powell, J.R. Clark and Alex Nowrasteh Jared Rubin's interview about political power and economic growth is...

Duration:00:51:00

Universities, Adjuncts, and Public Choice with Phil Magness

3/23/2018
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Phil Magness returns to the podcast to discuss the public choice economics of universities. We discuss the internal politics of universities, their rising reliance on adjunct scholars to teach courses, the increasing numbers of administrators staffing universities, and the trends in faculty employment across disciplines.

Duration:00:55:34

Prohibition, Arkansas, and Bootleggers and Baptists with Jeremy Horpedahl

3/16/2018
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Today's guest is Jeremy Horpedahl of the University of Central Arkansas. Jeremy's work builds on a famous theory from Bruce Yandle's 1983 article " Bootleggers and Baptists-The Education of a Regulatory Economist." The article explored the idea that laws are often passed or defended by coalitions of economic interests (bootleggers) and moral crusaders (Baptists). Though these two groups may be quite different, as in the canonical example, policies are unlikely to succeed without support...

Duration:00:46:13

The Case Against Education with Bryan Caplan

3/3/2018
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My guest for this episode is Bryan Caplan of George Mason University. We discuss his latest book, The Case Against Education: Why the Education System Is a Waste of Time and Money, in which he argues that the social value of education is negative. This may seem paradoxical, given that more educated individuals tend to earn more than less educated individuals. This can be explained in two ways: First, people who get more education were likely more skilled in the first place; in other...

Duration:00:43:58

EconTalk, Intellectual Honesty, and Adam Smith with Russ Roberts

2/23/2018
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Today's guest is Russ Roberts, host of the quintessential economics podcast EconTalk. (If you haven't heard EconTalk, go subscribe to it right now, because it is excellent!) We discuss EconTalk's role in the economics profession, the things Russ has learned in the course of making it, the importance of intellectual honesty, and the enduring insights of Adam Smith. Here's the EconTalk interview with Bryan Caplan that I mentioned in the episode. Stay tuned for my own interview with...

Duration:00:49:46

Algorithms, Algorithmic Discrimination, and Autonomous Vehicles with Caleb Watney

2/9/2018
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Algorithms, Algorithmic Discrimination, and Autonomous Vehicles with Caleb Watney Today's guest is Caleb Watney of the R Street Institute. In our conversation, we discuss algorithms, particularly with respect to their role in judicial decision making. Later in the conversation, we discuss the algorithms that will one day replace ape brains as the primary controllers of our cars. Caleb wrote a Cato Unbound essay in response to an article by Cathy O'Neil. O'Neil, a mathematician, argues...

Duration:00:48:43