Paul Bloom on Empathy

EconTalk | 27 February 2017 | 1h 08m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Paul Bloom about his book Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion. Bloom argues that empathy – the ability to feel the emotions of others – is a bad guide to charitable giving and public policy. Bloom argues that reason combined with compassion is a better and more effective guide to making the world a better place.

Robert Wright on Meditation, Mindfulness, and Why Buddhism is True

EconTalk | 2 October 2017 | 1h 06m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Robert Wright, author of Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment. Wright argues that our evolutionary past has endowed us with a mind that can be ill-suited to the stress of the present. He suggests that meditation and the non-religious aspects of Buddhism can reduce suffering and are consistent with recent psychological research.

Catherine Semcer on Poaching, Preserves, and African Wildlife

EconTalk | 18 February 2019 | 1h 07m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Catherine Semcer drawing on her background in African wildlife conservation. Discusses the role of incentives in preserving wildlife in Africa and, counter-intuitively, how allowing limited hunting of big game has improved both habitat and wildlife populations while reducing poaching.

Dick Carpenter on Bottleneckers

EconTalk | 8 January 2018 | 1h 14m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Dick Carpenter of the Institute for Justice and author of Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit. Explains the perniciousness of occupational licensing and other regulation that protects existing job holders from competition.

Jennifer Doleac on Crime

EconTalk | 21 January 2019 | 1h 22m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Jennifer Doleac about research on crime, police, and the unexpected consequences of the criminal justice system. Topics discussed include legislation banning asking job applicants if they’ve been in prison, body cameras for police, the use of DNA databases, the use of Naloxone to prevent death from opioid overdose, and the challenges of being an economist who thinks about crime using the economist’s toolkit.

Stephen Kotkin on Solzhenitsyn

EconTalk | 14 January 2019 | 1h 00m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with historian and author Stephen Kotkin about the historical significance of the life and work of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Also has insights on Russia, Stalin and the role of culture in politics.

Sebastian Junger on Tribe

EconTalk | 31 December 2018 | 1h 16m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Sebastian Junger about his book Tribe. Explores the human need to be needed and the challenges facing many individuals in modern society who struggle to connect with others. His studies of communal connection include soldiers in a small combat unit and American Indian society in the nineteenth century.

Mariana Mazzucato on the Value of Everything

EconTalk | 24 December 2018 | 1h 07m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Mariana Mazzucato about her book “The Value of Everything,” which argues that economists have mismeasured value and have failed to appreciate the role of government as innovator. She argues for a more active role for government in the innovation process and for government to share in revenue proportional to its role in the creation of new technology.