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.

Bret Devereaux on Ancient Greece and Rome

EconTalk | 30 August 2021 | 1h 16m | Listen Later | iTunes | Spotify
Interview with Bret Devereaux about our understanding of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Devereaux highlights the gap between the reality of Greece and Rome and how they’re portrayed in popular culture. The conversation focuses on the diversity of ancient Rome and the military prowess of Sparta.

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.

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?

Anja Shortland on Lost Art

EconTalk | 21 June 2021 | 1h 12m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Anja Shortland about her book Lost Art: The Art Loss Register Casebook Volume One. Describes how famous paintings that disappear into the underworld of stolen art make their way back to the legitimate world of auction houses and museums. Draws on the archives of a private database of stolen objects – the Art Loss Register – to discuss the economics of the art world when objects up for sale may be stolen or looted.

Ian Leslie on Conflicted

EconTalk | 7 June 2021 | 1h 14m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Ian Leslie about his book Conflicted: How Productive Disagreements Lead to Better Outcomes. Argues that, far from being a negative thing, conflict is often the essential ingredient that helps us get to the right answer or best solution. Because some of our best thinking comes in collaboration with others, learning how to disagree civilly when our views conflict is the key to productive conversation in business and in marriage. The conversation includes a surprising defense of confirmation bias.

Roya Hakakian on A Beginner’s Guide to America

EconTalk | 26 April 2021 | 1h 09m | Listen Later | iTunes
Interview with Roya Hakakian about her book A Beginner’s Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious. Describes her refugee experience, coming from Iran to the United States as a 19-year-old, not speaking any English, and carrying only the things she could stuff in her backpack. Discusses her love for her adopted country as well as where there is room for improvement.