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.

Bryan Caplan on the Case Against Education

EconTalk | 12 February 2018 | 1h 11m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with Bryan Caplan on The Case Against Education. Argues that very little learning takes place at university and that very little of the return comes from skills or knowledge acquired in the classroom. Caplan marshals the evidence to support his claims, finding that just 11% of the economic gains from education are due to the training received; 45% from the greater ability of the students who go to university; and 44% is pure signalling – from being credentialed.

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita on the Spoils of War

EconTalk | 12 December 2016 | 1h 15m | Listen Later  | iTunes
Interview with political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, co-author of The Spoils of War. Backgrounds the correlation between US presidential reputations and the number of people dying while that president is in office. Argues that the decision to go to war is made in self-interested ways and makes the case for a revisionist perspective on the presidencies of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and others.

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.