Melanie Mitchell on Artificial Intelligence

EconTalk | 6 January 2020 | 1h 18m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Melanie Mitchell about her book Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans. Overviews artificial intelligence (AI) and where we might be going. Mitchell argues that much of what is called “learning” and “intelligence” when done by machines is not analogous to human capabilities. The capabilities of machines are highly limited to explicit, narrow tasks with little transfer to similar but different challenges. Along the way, Mitchell explains some of the techniques used in AI and how progress has been made in many areas.

Adam Minter on Secondhand

EconTalk | 13 January 2020 | 1h 08m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Adam Minter about his book Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale. Explores the strange and fascinating world of secondhand stuff – the downsizing that the elderly do when they move to smaller quarters, the unseen side of Goodwill Industries, and the global market for rags.

Kimberly Clausing on Open and the Progressive Case for Free Trade

EconTalk | 30 December 2019 | 1h 08m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Kimberly Clausing about her book Open: The Progressive Case for Free Trade, Immigration, and Global Capital. Argues both for free trade and interventions to soften the impact of trade on workers and communities.

Binyamin Appelbaum on The Economists’ Hour

EconTalk | 16 December 2019 | 1h 09m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Binyamin Appelbaum about his book The Economists’ Hour. Appelbaum blames the triumph of free-market ideology for the rise in inequality and the decline in growth rates over the last half-century. Debates the economic events over that time period and the role of economists in changing economic policy.

Terry Moe on Educational Reform, Katrina, and Hidden Power

EconTalk | 9 December 2019 | 1h 10m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Terry Moe about his book, The Politics of Institutional Reform: Katrina, Education, and the Second Face of Power. Moe explores the politics and effectiveness of educational reform in the New Orleans public school system in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Moe finds that policy-makers turned to charter schools for pragmatic reasons and students enjoyed dramatic improvements in educational outcomes as a result. Moe uses this experience to draw lessons about political reforms generally and the power of vested interests to preserve the status quo in the absence of catastrophic events like Katrina.

Keith Smith on Free Market Health Care

EconTalk | 18 November 2019 | 1h 23m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with entrepreneur and anesthesiologist Keith Smith of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma about what it’s like to run a surgery center that posts prices on the internet and that does not take insurance. Along the way, he discusses the distortions in the market for health care and how a real market for health care might function if government took a smaller role. A valuable corrective for those who believe that the problems with US health care are due to unfettered market forces.

Amity Shlaes on the Great Depression

EconTalk | 4 June 2007 | 1h 05m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Amity Shlaes about her book, The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression. Covers Herbert Hoover, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the economics of the New Deal and the class warfare of the 1930s.

Susan Houseman on Manufacturing

EconTalk | 21 October 2019 | 1h 16m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Susan Houseman of the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research challenging the standard narrative about the US manufacturing sector. Houseman argues that conclusions about the growth of manufacturing are driven overwhelmingly by computer production while the rest of manufacturing has been stagnant. She also argues that productivity has a small role in reducing manufacturing employment and that trade has been the main cause of employment reductions.