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In their books "Freakonomics," "SuperFreakonomics" and "Think Like a Freak", Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explore "the hidden side of everything," telling stories about cheating schoolteachers and eating champions while teaching us all to think a bit more creatively, rationally, and productively. The Freakonomics Radio podcast, hosted by Dubner, carries on that tradition with weekly episodes. Prepare to be enlightened, engaged, perhaps enraged, and definitely surprised.

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How Sports Became Us (Ep. 349) (Sep 13th, 2018)

Dollar-wise, the sports industry is surprisingly small, about the same size as the cardboard-box industry. So why does it make so much noise? Because it reflects — and often amplifies — just about every political, economic, and social issue of the day. Introducing a new series, “The Hidden Side of Sports.”

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Is the Government More Entrepreneurial Than You Think? (Ep. 348) (Sep 6th, 2018)

We all know the standard story: our economy would be more dynamic if only the government would get out of the way. The economist Mariana Mazzucato says we’ve got that story backward. She argues that the government, by funding so much early-stage research, is hugely responsible for big successes in tech, pharma, energy, and more. But the government also does a terrible job in claiming credit — and, more important, getting a return on its investment.

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Why You Shouldn’t Open a Restaurant (Ep. 347) (Aug 30th, 2018)

Kenji Lopez-Alt became a rock star of the food world by bringing science into the kitchen in a way that everyday cooks can appreciate. Then he dared to start his own restaurant — and discovered problems that even science can’t solve.

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Two (Totally Opposite) Ways to Save the Planet (Ep. 346) (Aug 23rd, 2018)

The environmentalists say we’re doomed if we don’t drastically reduce consumption. The technologists say that human ingenuity can solve just about any problem. A debate that’s been around for decades has become a shouting match. Is anyone right?

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How to Be Happy (Ep. 345) (Aug 16th, 2018)

The U.N.’s World Happiness Report — created to curtail our unhealthy obsession with G.D.P. — is dominated every year by the Nordic countries. We head to Denmark to learn the secrets of this happiness epidemic (and to see if we should steal them).

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Who Decides How Much a Life Is Worth? (Aug 9th, 2018)

After every mass shooting or terrorist attack, victims and survivors receive a huge outpouring of support — including a massive pool of compensation money. How should that money be allocated? We speak with the man who’s done that job after many tragedies, including 9/11. The hard part, it turns out, isn’t attaching a dollar figure to each victim; the hard part is acknowledging that dollars can’t heal the pain.

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Who Decides How Much a Life Is Worth? (Ep. 344) (Aug 9th, 2018)

After every mass shooting or terrorist attack, victims and survivors receive a huge outpouring of support — including a massive pool of compensation money. How should that money be allocated? We speak with the man who’s done that job after many tragedies, including 9/11. The hard part, it turns out, isn’t attaching a dollar figure to each victim; the hard part is acknowledging that dollars can’t heal the pain.

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A Conversation With PepsiCo C.E.O. Indra Nooyi (Ep. 316 Update) (Aug 7th, 2018)

One of the world’s biggest and best-known companies just announced that its C.E.O. would be stepping down in the fall. We interviewed her as part of our series “The Secret Life of a C.E.O.," and we thought you might like to hear that episode again, or for the first time if you missed it back then.

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An Astronaut, a Catalan, and Two Linguists Walk Into a Bar… (Aug 2nd, 2018)

In this live episode of “Tell Me Something I Don’t Know,” we learn why New York has skinny skyscrapers, how to weaponize water, and what astronauts talk about in space. Joining Stephen J. Dubner as co-host is the linguist John McWhorter; Bari Weiss (The New York Times) is the real-time fact-checker.

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Has Lance Armstrong Finally Come Clean? (Jul 26th, 2018)

He was once the most lionized athlete on the planet, with seven straight Tour de France wins and a victory over cancer too. Then the doping charges caught up with him. When he finally confessed to Oprah, he admits, “it didn’t go well at all.” That’s because he wasn’t actually contrite yet. Now, five years later, he says he is. Do you believe him?

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Why We Choke Under Pressure (and How Not To) (Jul 19th, 2018)

It happens to just about everyone, whether you’re going for Olympic gold or giving a wedding toast. We hear from psychologists, economists, and the golfer who some say committed the greatest choke of all time.

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People Aren’t Dumb. The World Is Hard. (Jul 12th, 2018)

You wouldn’t think you could win a Nobel Prize for showing that humans tend to make irrational decisions. But that’s what Richard Thaler has done. The founder of behavioral economics describes his unlikely route to success; his reputation for being lazy; and his efforts to fix the world — one nudge at a time.

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The Future of Freakonomics Radio (Jul 3rd, 2018)

After 8 years and more than 300 episodes, it was time to either 1) quit, or 2) make the show bigger and better. We voted for number 2. Here’s a peek behind the curtain and a preview of what you’ll be hearing next.

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Pick of the Week: Has the U.S. Presidency Become a Dictatorship? (Ep. 260) (Jul 3rd, 2018)

From the archive — Sure, we all pay lip service to the Madisonian system of checks and balances. But as one legal scholar argues, presidents have been running roughshod over the system for decades. The result? An accumulation of power that's turned the presidency into a position the founders wouldn't have recognized.

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Pick of the Week: How Much Does the President of the U.S. Really Matter? (Ep. 11) (Jul 3rd, 2018)

From the archive — The U.S. president is often called the "leader of free world." But if you ask an economist or a Constitutional scholar how much the occupant of the Oval Office matters, they won't say much. We look at what the data have to say about measuring leadership, and its impact on the economy and the country.

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Pick of the Week: A Better Way to Eat (Ep. 173) (Jul 3rd, 2018)

From the archive — Takeru Kobayashi revolutionized the sport of competitive eating. What can the rest of us learn from his breakthrough?

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Pick of the Week: "How Much Brain Damage Do I Have?" (Ep. 299) (Jul 3rd, 2018)

From the archive — John Urschel was the only player in the N.F.L. simultaneously getting a math Ph.D. at M.I.T. But after a new study came out linking football to brain damage, he abruptly retired. Here's the inside story — and a look at how we make decisions in the face of risk versus uncertainty.

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Where to Find Every Episode of Freakonomics Radio (Jul 2nd, 2018)

You can find all 300+ episodes of Freakonomics Radio — going all the way back to 2010 — on the Stitcher app and on our website, freakonomics.com. Want to skip the ads? Sign up for Stitcher Premium. Find out more (and get a discount code) in this short announcement.

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Pick of the Week: Who Needs Handwriting (Ep. 235) (Jun 28th, 2018)

From the archive — The digital age is making pen and paper seem obsolete. But what are we giving up if we give up on handwriting?

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Pick of the Week: The Upside of Quitting (Ep. 42) (Jun 28th, 2018)

From the archive — You know the saying: a winner never quits and a quitter never wins. To which Freakonomics Radio says … Are you sure?

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