Freakonomics Radio From WNYC
Freakonomics Radio

Freakonomics Radio

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Most Recent Episodes

Why We Choke Under Pressure (and How Not To)

It happens to just about everyone, whether you're going for Olympic gold or giving a wedding toast. We hear from psychologists, economists, and the golfer who some say committed the greatest choke of all time.

People Aren't Dumb. The World Is Hard.

You wouldn't think you could win a Nobel Prize for showing that humans tend to make irrational decisions. But that's what Richard Thaler has done. The founder of behavioral economics describes his unlikely route to success; his reputation for being lazy; and his efforts to fix the world — one nudge at a time.

The Future of Freakonomics Radio

After 8 years and more than 300 episodes, it was time to either 1) quit, or 2) make the show bigger and better. We voted for number 2. Here's a peek behind the curtain and a preview of what you'll be hearing next.

In Praise of Incrementalism (Rebroadcast)

What do Renaissance painting, civil-rights movements, and Olympic cycling have in common? In each case, huge breakthroughs came from taking tiny steps. In a world where everyone is looking for the next moonshot, we shouldn't ignore the power of incrementalism.

In Praise of Maintenance (Rebroadcast)

Has our culture's obsession with innovation led us to neglect the fact that things also need to be taken care of?

How to Catch World Cup Fever

For soccer fans, it's easy. For the rest of us? Not so much, especially since the U.S. team didn't qualify. So here's what to watch for even if you have no team to root for. Because the World Cup isn't just a gargantuan sporting event; it's a microcosm of human foibles and (yep) economic theory brought to life.

How to Build a Smart City

We are in the midst of a historic (and wholly unpredicted) rise in urbanization. But it's hard to retrofit old cities for the 21st century. Enter Dan Doctoroff. The man who helped modernize New York City — and tried to bring the Olympics there — is now C.E.O. of a Google-funded startup that is building, from scratch, the city of the future.

How Stupid Is Our Obsession With Lawns? (Rebroadcast)

Nearly two percent of America is grassy green. Sure, lawns are beautiful and useful and they smell great. But are the costs — financial, environmental and otherwise — worth the benefits?

The Most Vilified Industry in America Is Also the Most Charitable

Pharmaceutical firms donate an enormous amount of their products (and some cash too). But it doesn't seem to be helping their reputation. We ask Pfizer's generosity chief why the company gives so much, who it really helps, and whether all this philanthropy is just corporate whitewashing.

Does Doing Good Give You License to Be Bad?

Corporate Social Responsibility programs can attract better job applicants who'll work for less money. But they also encourage employees to misbehave. Don't laugh — you too probably engage in "moral licensing," even if you don't know it.

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