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The Health of Nations

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

For decades, GDP has been the yardstick for measuring living standards around the world. Martha Nussbaum would rather use something that actually works.

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In their books Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomicsSteven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner use the tools of economics to explore real-world behavior. As boring as that may sound, what they really do is tell stories — about cheating schoolteachers, self-dealing real-estate agents, and crack-selling mama’s boys. American Public Media’s Marketplace and WNYC are now bringing those Freakonomics stories — and plenty of new ones — to the radio, with Dubner as host. Just like the books, Freakonomics Radio will explore “the hidden side of everything.” It will tell you things you always thought you knew but didn’t, and things you never thought you wanted to know, but do.

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