Herbert Gintis on Game Theory, Evolution, and Social Rationality

Sean Carroll’s Mindscape | 13 September 2021 | 1h 29m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Herbert Gintis arguing that game theory, together with an expanded model of rational behaviour (that includes social as well as personally selfish interests) provides an understanding of human behaviour that integrates ideas from biology, economics, psychology, and sociology.

David Henderson on the Essential UCLA School of Economics

EconTalk | 20 September 2021 | 1h 07m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with David Henderson about his book The Essential UCLA School of Economics (co-authored with Steve Globerman). Describes the work of Armen Alchian and Harold Demsetz, who both saw economics as a powerful tool for understanding human behavior and how the world works.

The Economics of Vaccines – Dr. Flavio Toxvaed

At The Margin | 11 May 2021 | 0h 56m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Flavio Toxvaed about the economics of vaccines. Applies the tools of economics to draw insights about encouraging vaccine uptake and social distancing; rationales for public intervention; prioritising immunisations; vaccine nationalism; and how to manage vaccine IP.

“Price Gouging” in Emergencies

Rationally Speaking | 19 August 2021 | 0h 52m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with first Raymond Niles and then Amihai Glazer discussing the merits, or otherwise, of price gouging – when prices rise in an emergency.

On the same topic, see also Michael Munger on Free Markets.

Nicholas Wapshott on Samuelson and Friedman

EconTalk | 16 August 2021 | 1h 08m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Nicholas Wapshott about his book Samuelson Friedman: The Battle Over the Free Market. Milton Friedman and Paul Samuelson were two of the most influential economists of the last century. They competed for professional acclaim and had very different policy visions. The conversation includes their differences over the work of Keynes, their rivalry in their columns at Newsweek, and a discussion of their intellectual and policy legacies.

Emily Oster on The Family Firm

The Economist Asks | 5 August 2021 | 0h 30m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Emily Oster about her book The Family Firm. Discusses applying data and economic thinking to take the stress out of raising children. Also discusses the backlash to her advocacy of re-opening schools during the covid-19 pandemic and what damage a year out of the classroom means for pupils.

Michael Munger on Free Markets

EconTalk | 9 August 2021 | 1h 10m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Michael Munger about the virtues and the flaws of free markets. Explains the moral case for free-market prices. Describes how artificially low prices encourage us to act selfishly, whereas freely adjusting prices give us an opportunity to take the needs of other people into account.

James Heckman on Inequality and Economic Mobility

EconTalk | 26 July 2021 | 1h 23m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with James Heckman about inequality and economic mobility. Drawing on research on inequality in Denmark with Rasmus Landerso, Heckman argues that despite the efforts of the Danish welfare state to provide equal access to education, there is little difference in economic mobility between the United States and Denmark. Includes a general discussion of economic mobility in the United States along with a critique of Chetty and others’ work on the power of neighbourhood to determine one’s economic destiny.

Heckman criticises the progressive belief that increased social spending will open up opportunity for the less advantaged. But he too appears to have a blind spot – attributing the persistence of advantage to family factors. Gregory Clark’s work points to that being due largely to genetics, rather than behaviours of the family. And if genetics is truly the source of persistent advantage, doesn’t that suggest that it’s only fair to use high taxes and transfers to even things out?