Matt Yglesias on Why the Population is Too Damn Low

Conversations with Tyler | 9 September 2020 | 1h 06m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Matt Yglesias about his book One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger. Discusses why it’s easier to grow Tokyo than New York City, the governance issues of increasing urban populations, pro-immigration arguments, how to respond to declining fertility rates, the benefits of religiosity, marriage incentives, what larger families would mean for feminism, whether the YIMBY movement will be weakened by COVID-19, how New York City will bounce back, how to attract more competent people to state and local governments, and more.

Jason Furman on Productivity, Competition and Growth

Conversations with Tyler | 26 August 2020 | 1h 01m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Jason Furman discussing how monopolies affect investment patterns, his top three recommendations to improve American productivity, why he’s skeptical of place-based development policies, what some pro-immigration arguments get wrong, why he’s more concerned about companies like Facebook and Google than he is Walmart and Amazon, the merits of a human rights approach to privacy, whether the EU treats tech companies fairly, the future of fintech, his highest objective when teaching economics, what he learned from coauthoring a paper with someone who disagrees with him, why he’s a prolific Goodreads reviewer, and more. Insightful throughout.

Nicholas Bloom on Management, Productivity, and Scientific Progress

Conversations with Tyler | 12 August 2020 | 1h 03m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Nick Bloom about how management practices, productivity techniques, and uncertainty shape outcomes across companies and countries. Discusses scientific progress, the factors that have made research more expensive, why government should invest more in R&D, how lean management transformed manufacturing, how India’s congested legal system inhibits economic development, why firms thrive in China, how weak legal systems incentivize nepotism, the effect of remote work on productivity, why he prefers periodicals and podcasts to reading books, and more.

Nathan Nunn on the Paths to Development

Conversations with Tyler | 29 July 2020 | 1h 01m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Nathan Nunn about the forces that shape the development paths of nations. Includes why so many Africans live in harder to settle areas, Chinese development in East Africa, genetic distance as a predictor of bilateral income differences and trade, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Canada, economic graduate programs, how the plough shaped gender roles, and the cultural values behind South Korea’s success.

Annie Duke on Poker, Probabilities, and How We Make Decisions

Conversations with Tyler | 1 July 2020 | 0h 54m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Annie Duke about ideas from her forthcoming book How to Decide: Simple Tools for Making Better Choices. Discusses how poker is a perfect laboratory to study human decision-making. Covers how payoffs aren’t always monetary, the benefits and costs of probabilistic thinking, the “magical thinking” behind why people buy fire insurance but usually don’t get prenups, linguistics, how public policy would change if only the top 500 poker players voted, whether Trump has a tell, the power of open-mindedness, and more.

Ashley Mears on Status and Beauty

Conversations with Tyler | 3 June 2020 | 1h 01m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Ashley Mears about her book Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit. Describes how young women exchange “bodily capital” for free drinks and access to glamorous events, boosting the status of the big-spending men they accompany. Discusses modelling, the economics of bottle service, which kinds of men seek the club experience (and which can’t get in), why to be suspicious of restaurants filled with beautiful women, why club music is so loud, why party girls don’t want to be paid, what it’s like to be scouted, why fashion models don’t smile, how her own beauty and glamour have influenced her academic career, and more.

Philip E. Tetlock on Forecasting and Foraging as a Fox

Conversations with Tyler | 22 April 2020 | 0h 54m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Philip Tetlock discussing his book Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction. Backgrounds that the best forecasters are fox-like integrative thinkers capable of navigating values that are conflicting or in tension. Covers whether the world is becoming harder to predict, whether Goldman Sachs traders can beat forecasters, the importance of interdisciplinary teams, how research on counterfactuals can be applied to modern debates, how to become more fox-like, and more.

Tim Harford on Persuasion and Popular Economics

Conversations with Tyler | 13 February 2020 | 0h 59m | Listen Later | iTunes
Wide-ranging interview with economist, author and podcaster Tim Harford. Covers debating and public speaking, the role of popular economics in a politicized world, Brexit polarization, feedback, the limits of fact-checking, playing poker with Steve Levitt, messiness in music, the three things he can’t live without, and more. Surprises and insights throughout.