Streams

Stephen J. Dubner

Host, Freakonomics Radio

Stephen J. Dubner appears in the following:

Freakonomics: The Movie!

Friday, October 01, 2010

Since its publication in 2005, millions of people have read "Freakonomics." The best selling book, written by economist Steven Levitt and New York Times reporter Stephen Dubner, examines pop culture and everyday life through the economic lens of incentives. The result was unexpectedly funny and popular enough to have spawned a newly emerging media empire, including Freakonomics Radio and "Freakonomics: The Movie."

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Why the World Cup Is an Economist's Dream

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Steve Levitt talks about why the center cannot hold in penalty kicks, why a running track hurts home-field advantage, and why the World Cup is an economist's dream.

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How Is a Bad Radio Station Like Our Public-School System?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In this episode of Freakonomics Radio, we explore a way to make 1.1 million schoolkids feel like they have 1.1 million teachers.

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Faking It

Monday, April 12, 2010

Do you "fake it"? If so, you're hardly alone. In this episode, you'll hear how everyone from the President of the United States to a kosher-keeping bacon lover lives in a state of fallen grace. All the time. And gets by.

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What Would the World Look Like if Economists Were in Charge?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

In this episode we speculate what would happen if economists got to run the world. Hear from a high-end call girl; an Estonian who ran his country according to the gospel of Milton Friedman; and a guy who wants to start building new nations in the middle of the ocean.

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Is America's Obesity Epidemic For Real?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Americans keep putting on pounds. So is it time for a cheeseburger tax? Or would a chill pill be the best medicine? In this episode, we explore the underbelly of fat through the eyes of a 280-pound woman, a top White House doctor, and a couple of overweight academics.

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The Dangers of Safety

Friday, February 05, 2010

What do NASCAR drivers, Glenn Beck and the hit men of the NFL have in common?

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The SuperFreakonomics of Terrorism and Profiling

Thursday, January 07, 2010

In the wake of attempted and successful suicide bombings on an airplane and at a CIA base, American attention is riveted on how to identify potential terrorists and cope with the costs of attacks.  But conventional wisdom about these attackers and their attacks is often wrong, and the costs can significantly add up even when far from the site of a potential blast. Our friend Stephen Dubner, co-author of “SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance” and the Freakonomics blog on nytimes.com joins us to talk about how we frequently let terrorists succeed ... even when they fail.

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SuperFreakonomics: Questioning Football Helmets

Friday, November 20, 2009

This year’s football season … full of exciting games and undefeated teams ... is also unfolding amidst concerns over head injuries to players. But what would happen if the helmets meant to protect players' heads were removed from the game? "SuperFreakonomics" co-author Stephen Dubner reports on the surprising outcomes, with safeguards and incentives included, of course.

Click through to watch a video of Cal's electric tailback Jahvid Best, who was diagnosed with a concussion after taking a serious fall earlier this month.

 

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SuperFreakonomics on Car Seats

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Seat belts are a simple technology; they have saved many lives since their introduction in the 1950s.  Since then, however, concern over protecting children in traffic accidents has led to many models of child car seats, and many state laws requiring parents to put kids in them until they are six or seven years old.  In "SuperFreakonomics," Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt compare the safety record of car seats and seat belts, going so far as to buy their own testing time at a safety rating facility. Their analysis brings into question whether seat belts actually perform any worse than newer technologies.  Some people, including the Secretary of Transportation, are questioning these results.  Here is "Super Freakonomics" co-author Steven Levitt's response.

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SuperFreakonomics on Altruism

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

People (and economists) have long thought that humans have a basic inclination toward altruism: toward helping one another without thinking of a reward. Stephen Dubner, co-author of "SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance" tells the story of how this was called into question and how studies complicate the picture of what motivates human beings.

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Study Says Workplace Ethics Up During Recession

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Our contributor Beth Kobliner brings in a new 6-year survey out today from The Ethics Resource Center, which says people are behaving more ethically at work while the economy is slow. Stephen Dubner is a little skeptical, however, that people reliably self-report their own ethics practices.

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The SuperFreakonomics Approach to Cooling the Planet

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The new "SuperFreakonomics" book has attracted some passionate criticism from climate scientists and a community of writers, researchers and scholars for a chapter on global warming. Co-authors Stephen Dubner and Steven Levitt reject the idea that reducing carbon emissions should be the sole focus for addressing global warming, and dive into an array of bold ideas for "geoengineering," which would allow people to directly change temperatures on Earth. Stephen Dubner joins us to explain and defend the Freakonomics approach.

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SuperFreakonomics on Health Care Costs

Monday, November 16, 2009

Our friend Stephen Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books and the Freakonomics blog at The New York Times, joins us all this week. We'll ask him what motivates the questions he asks in the new book, "SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance." Today's topic is health care costs and the impact of 'all-you-can-eat' insurance plans.

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SuperFreakonomics

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner ask unexpected questions to challenge the way we think by looking at the hidden sides of things. Their new book SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance, is a follow-up to their first book, Freakonomics. Read ...

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Truth, Data and the Delivery Room: A Freakonomics Report

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A few decades before doctors understood basic germ theory, a curious process played out in 19th-century Austria. At the time, doctors were trying to find the cause of a deadly fever striking many mothers and newborn infants in the delivery room. Among the possible causes they considered were tight corsets and women upset by the presence of men in the room. The actual cause was eventually uncovered by the relentless and data-driven work of Ignaz Semmelweis, a doctor whose work ulimately saved uncountable lives.

Dr. Semmelweis' line of reasoning is now highlighted by Stephen Dubner, co-author of the "Freakonomics" book and blog. The new book, "SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance," comes out next month.

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And the winner is...Your six-word mottos for the state of the states

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Takeaway Contributor Stephen Dubner, who co-authors the Freakonomics book and blog, asked his readers to come up with a six-word motto for the United States. Our listeners joined in the fun and now Stephen is here to announce the winner of our poll.

Want to see the poll results for yourself? Click here!

"The American history of mottos is murky. We have a bunch of them: 'E Pluribus Unum,' 'United We Stand, Divided We Fall,' 'One Nation Under God.' But they're not really in use that much."
— "Freakonomics" author Stephen Dubner on a new motto for the country

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Poll: Freakonomics: Your best six-word mottos for the United States (2009 Edition)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

New York Times
Freakonomics co-author Stephen Dubner asked for a new six-word motto for the United States. He's picked his finalists (in ALL CAPS) over on his blog, but we're asking for yours too. Vote on your favorite motto below, then add your own!

Voting is now closed, but you can still leave your comments as always. Thanks for your entries and votes!

Click through to view the results...
Read More

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Ten things to love about the Pittsburgh Steelers

Friday, January 30, 2009

On Sunday, the powerhouse Pittsburgh Steelers face off against the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl 43. The Cardinals are the underdog, so if you don't have loyalties to either team you might be tempted to root for Arizona. But hold on just a second. The Takeaway is talking to Stephen Dubner, author of Freakonomics and unabashed Steelers fan, who has a list of ten reasons to root for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Not a Steelers fan? Here are all the reasons to love the Arizona Cardinals.

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Bad bank, good idea?

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Obama administration is considering the creation of a “bad bank” to buy up billions in so-called toxic assets. We’re taking an in-depth look at this seemingly counter intuitive proposal — a proposal that could cost in excess of $2 trillion. Can bad banks be a good thing? The Takeaway is joined by Jane Sasseen, Washington Bureau Chief for BusinessWeek, and Freakonomics author Stephen Dubner.

"They can borrow money a lot cheaper, so they don't need as much of a return. They don't even necessarily need a return at all. Whereas for a private investor to go in and do this right now, it is going to need a 10 or 15 percent return to take the risks involved."
— Jane Sasseen of BusinessWeek Magazine on the government creating a "bad bank" to help buy up toxic debt

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