Janet Golden on Babies Made Us Modern

EconTalk | 4 June 2018 | 1h 03m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with historian Janet Golden about her book, “Babies Made Us Modern,” about the transformation of parenting in the first half of the 20th century. It’s a fascinating story of how our knowledge of infant health and behaviour grew dramatically but remains imperfect. Includes lots of anecdotes about past parenting practices.

Sam Quinones on Heroin, the Opioid Epidemic, and Dreamland

EconTalk | 23 January 2017 | 1h 09m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Sam Quinones, author of “Dreamland,” about the explosion in heroin use and how one small Mexican town changed how heroin was produced and sold in America. That, in turn, became entangled with the growth in the use of pain-killers as recreational drugs. Drawing on the investigative reporting that culminated in his book, Quinones lays out the recent history and economics of the growth in heroin and pain-killer usage and the lost lives along the way.

Michael Munger on Sharing, Transaction Costs, and Tomorrow 3.0

EconTalk | 29 October 2018 | 1h 10m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Economist Michael Munger talks about his book, “Tomorrow 3.0.” Munger uses the rise of companies like Uber and AirBnB to illustrate the role of transaction costs in understanding the sharing economy. Users and providers can find each other more easily through their smartphones, increasing opportunity. Munger expects these costs to fall elsewhere and predicts an expansion of the sharing economy to a wide array of items in our daily lives.

Matt Ridley on the Evolution of Everything

EconTalk | 22 February 2016 | 1h 09m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Matt Ridley about his book, “The Evolution of Everything”. Ridley applies the lens of emergent order to a wide variety of phenomena including culture, morality, religion, commerce, innovation, and consciousness.

John Gray on the Seven Kinds of Atheism

EconTalk | 15 October 2018 | 1h 36m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Philosopher and author John Gray talks about his book, “Seven Types of Atheism”. Rather than being about atheism, this is really a rejoinder to the rational optimism of Matt Ridley and Steven Pinker. While conceding that technological know-how and scientific knowledge improve over time, Gray argues that morality and political systems are cyclical and that there is no reason to be optimistic about the future.

Neil Monnery on Hong Kong and the Architect of Prosperity

EconTalk | 8 October 2018 | 1h 13m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Discussion with Neil Monnery, about his book “Architect of Prosperity”, a biography of John Cowperthwaite, the man often credited with the economic success of Hong Kong. Describes the policies that Cowperthwaite championed and the role they played in the evolution of Hong Kong’s economy.

What You See is a Function of the Question You’re Answering

EconTalk | 23 July 2018 | 1h 04m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Teppo Felin about perception, cognition, and rationality. Argues against the omniscient thinking that interprets cognitive errors as biases and irrationality. Discusses the implications of different understandings of rationality for economics, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

Robert Aronowitz on Risky Medicine

EconTalk | 9 November 2015 | 1h 10m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Should women get routine mammograms? Should men get regular PSA exams? Interview with Robert Aronowitz, author of “Risky Medicine”, about the increasing focus on risk reduction rather than health itself as a goal. Discusses the social and political forces that push us toward more preventive testing even when those tests have not been shown to be effective. A provocative look at the opportunity cost of risk-reduction.