Three economists on the econ papers that changed their lives : Planet Money A great economics paper does two things. It takes on a big question, and it finds a smart way to answer that question.

But some papers go even further. The very best papers have the power to change lives.That was the case for three economists we spoke to: Nancy Qian, Belinda Archibong, and Kyle Greenberg.

They all stumbled on important economics papers at crucial moments in their careers, and those papers gave them a new way to see the world. On today's show - how economics papers on the Pentecostal church in Ghana, the Vietnam war draft, and the price of butter in Sweden shaped the courses of three lives.

This episode was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Keith Romer. Sierra Juarez checked the facts, and it was mastered by Natasha Branch with help from Gilly Moon. Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer.

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To all the econ papers I've loved before

To all the econ papers I've loved before

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Ian Waldie/Getty Images
LONDON - DECEMBER 1: A student studies in the main library at the University College London on December 1, 2003 in London. British Prime Minister Tony Blair faces mounting revolt from MPs following legislation proposals announced by the Queen in her speech to Parliament to allow universities treble their fees. (Photo by Ian Waldie/Getty Images)
Ian Waldie/Getty Images

A great economics paper does two things. It takes on a big question, and it finds a smart way to answer that question.

But some papers go even further. The very best papers have the power to change lives.

That was the case for three economists we spoke to: Nancy Qian, Belinda Archibong, and Kyle Greenberg. They all stumbled on important economics papers at crucial moments in their careers, and those papers gave them a new way to see the world. On today's show - how economics papers on the Pentecostal church in Ghana, the Vietnam war draft, and the price of butter in Sweden shaped the courses of three lives.

This episode was produced by Sam Yellowhorse Kesler. It was edited by Keith Romer. Sierra Juarez checked the facts, and it was mastered by Natasha Branch with help from Gilly Moon. Jess Jiang is our acting executive producer.

Music: "Just Too Hot," "Lo Fi Souvenir," "Lift Your Head Up" and "Meerkats."

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