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EconTalk Archives, 2006

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EconTalk is an award-winning weekly talk show about economics in daily life. Featured guests include renowned economics professors, Nobel Prize winners, and exciting speakers on all kinds of topical matters related to economic thought. Topics include health care, free trade, economic growth, education, finance, politics, sports, book reviews, parenting, and the curiosities of everyday decision-making. Russ Roberts, of the Library of Economics and Liberty (econlib.org) and George Mason U., draws you in with lively guests and creative repartee. Look for related readings and the complete archive of previous shows at EconTalk.org, where you can also comment on the podcasts and ask questions.

EconTalk is an award-winning weekly talk show about economics in daily life. Featured guests include renowned economics professors, Nobel Prize winners, and exciting speakers on all kinds of topical matters related to economic thought. Topics include health care, free trade, economic growth, education, finance, politics, sports, book reviews, parenting, and the curiosities of everyday decision-making. Russ Roberts, of the Library of Economics and Liberty (econlib.org) and George Mason U., draws you in with lively guests and creative repartee. Look for related readings and the complete archive of previous shows at EconTalk.org, where you can also comment on the podcasts and ask questions.
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United States

Description:

EconTalk is an award-winning weekly talk show about economics in daily life. Featured guests include renowned economics professors, Nobel Prize winners, and exciting speakers on all kinds of topical matters related to economic thought. Topics include health care, free trade, economic growth, education, finance, politics, sports, book reviews, parenting, and the curiosities of everyday decision-making. Russ Roberts, of the Library of Economics and Liberty (econlib.org) and George Mason U., draws you in with lively guests and creative repartee. Look for related readings and the complete archive of previous shows at EconTalk.org, where you can also comment on the podcasts and ask questions.

Language:

English


Episodes

Boettke on Katrina and the Economics of Disaster

12/18/2006
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Pete Boettke of George Mason University talks about the role of government and voluntary efforts in relieving suffering during and after a crisis such as Katrina. Drawing on field research he is directing into the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Boettke highlights the role of what he calls "civil society"--the informal, voluntary associations we make as individuals with each other to create community.

Duration:01:15:11

Boudreaux on Law and Legislation

12/11/2006
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Don Boudreaux of George Mason University talks about the fundamental principles of economics and civilization: spontaneous order and law. Drawing on volume one of Friedrich Hayek's classic, Law, Legislation and Liberty, Boudreaux talks about the distinction between law and legislation, the appropriate role of judges, and how the fulfillment of our expectations allows us to pursue our goals and dreams.

Duration:01:13:27

Caplan on Discrimination and Labor Markets

12/4/2006
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Bryan Caplan and Russ Roberts discuss the economics of discrimination and government's regulation of labor markets. They talk about the role of the profit motive in reducing or eliminating discrimination and the role of government, particularly in European labor markets. When does government regulation reduce or enforce discrimination? How do other labor market regulations affect employment and unemployment? What is the impact on the European and American standard of living? Does money buy...

Duration:00:57:45

Postrel on Style

11/27/2006
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Author and journalist Virginia Postrel talks about how business competes for customers using style and beauty, going beyond price and the standard measures of quality. She looks at the role of appearance in our daily lives and the change from earlier times when style and beauty were luxuries accessible only to the wealthy. She also talks about her donation of a kidney to a friend and how that affected the intensity of her feelings about the policies surrounding organ donations.

Duration:00:58:30

Engerman on Slavery

11/21/2006
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Stanley Engerman of the University of Rochester talks about slavery throughout world history, the role it played (or didn't play) in the Civil War and the incentives facing slaves and slave owners. This is a wide-ranging, fascinating conversation with the co-author of the classic Time on the Cross (co-authored with Robert Fogel) and the forthcoming Slavery, Emancipation, and Freedom (LSU Press, 2007). Engerman knows as much as anyone alive about the despicable human arrangement called...

Duration:01:10:51

Peltzman on Regulation

11/13/2006
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Sam Peltzman of the University of Chicago talks about his views on safety, regulation, unintended consequences and the political economy of bad regulation. The focus is on his pioneering studies of automobile safety and FDA pharmaceutical regulation and the perverse incentives that even good intentions can produce.

Duration:00:53:58

Richard Thaler on Libertarian Paternalism

11/6/2006
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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...

Duration:01:02:40

Clint Bolick Defends Judicial Activism

10/31/2006
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Clint Bolick, co-founder of the Institute for Justice and President of the Alliance for School Choice makes the case for judicial activism. He and Russ Roberts discuss school choice, interstate wine sales, the Kelo eminent domain case and the crucial role the Supreme Court and the Constitution can and should play in securing economic liberty.

Duration:00:55:39

The Economics of Moneyball

10/23/2006
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Skip Sauer of Clemson University and Russ Roberts discuss the economics of Michael Lewis's Moneyball. Lewis claims that the Oakland As found an undervalued asset--the ability of a baseball player to draw a walk--and used that insight to succeed while spending less money than their rivals. Is it true? Sauer and Roberts try to answer that and other questions. How competitive is the baseball industry? Why do some baseball skills get more attention than others? Plus, new feature: Mailbag!

Duration:01:01:15

The Economics of Religion

10/9/2006
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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.

Duration:01:08:14

Private vs. Public Risk-Taking

10/3/2006
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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.

Duration:00:51:50

The Economics of Obesity

9/25/2006
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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?

Duration:00:46:54

The Economics of Paternalism

9/18/2006
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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.

Duration:00:43:49

Legislators vs. Wal-Mart

9/11/2006
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Russ Roberts and Richard Epstein discuss the attempts to use legislation to handicap Wal-Mart. They also discuss the evolution of the union movement and the constitutionality of various legislative attacks on Wal-Mart.

Duration:00:44:03

Friedman on Capitalism and Freedom

9/4/2006
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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.

Duration:00:43:28

Milton Friedman on Money

8/28/2006
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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.

Duration:00:26:43

The Political Economy of Power

8/14/2006
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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...

Duration:01:28:01

Chris Anderson and the Long Tail

8/7/2006
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Russ Roberts talks with Chris Anderson of Wired Magazine about the ideas in his new book, The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More. Topics include the weird world of internet distribution and production, how the Sears catalog of the 1890s was the predecessor to Amazon books in the 1990s, the economics of choice and the role of filters, and the challenges of wrapping our minds around emergent phenomena.

Duration:00:52:36

Cogan on Improving the Health Care System

7/31/2006
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Russ Roberts talks with Stanford University's John Cogan about what's wrong with America's health care system and how to make it right.

Duration:00:52:37

Making Schools Better: A Conversation with Rick Hanushek

7/24/2006
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Russ Roberts and Rick Hanushek, of Stanford University, talk about why the standard reforms such as more spending or better educated teachers have failed and what needs to be done in the future.

Duration:00:34:27