EconTalk
Russ Roberts

Podcast episode Gabriel Zucman on Inequality, Growth, and Distributional National Accounts

EconTalk Episode with Gabriel Zucman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

rich%20and%20poor.jpg Gabriel Zucman of the University of California, Berkeley talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research on inequality and the distribution of income in the United States over the last 35 years. Zucman finds that there has been no change in income for the bottom half of the income distribution over this time period with large gains going to the top 1%. The conversation explores the robustness of this result to various assumptions and possible explanations for the findings.

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This is a Job for Super Regulator!

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

legal infrastructure.jpg What if librarians were charged with coming up with the next search engine? Would the legal infrastructure in place today support, complicate, or even hinder their efforts? Would the American Library Association be of help? Would they be able to do it fairly, allowing open access to others?

This compelling thought experiment closed this week's EconTalk episode with University of Southern California professor of law and economics Gillian Hadfield. Hadfield argues that the US legal structure, while well-suited to the 2oth century, is in need of an update. She has suggestions for this process, which host Russ Roberts says suffer a marketing problem. Can you help?

1. Why do we need to "reinvent the law," according to Hadfield, and what does she suggest such a reinvention might entail?

2. What is "super-regulation" and how might this allow regulatory regimes to be more innovative? Why does Roberts suggest that this idea has a marketing problem? Do you think this problem is surmountable? Why or why not?

3. How do "certification regimes" (such as for Kosher food and organic products) differ from Hadfield's "super-regulatory" structure? Which would be better equipped to manage the future of autonomous vehicles, and why? (You may wish to revisit the recent episode with Benedict Evans for inspiration.)

4. Why does Hadfield assert that the US legal infrastructure would be better served if the legal profession were structured more like the medical profession? To what extent do you agree, and why? (Another hint: You may wish to revisit Roberts's conversation with Christy Ford Chapin on the role of the American Medical Association in the evolution of the American health care system...)




Podcast episode Gillian Hadfield on Law and Rules For a Flat World

EconTalk Episode with Gillian Hadfield
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Rules%20for%20a%20Flat%20World.jpg Law professor Gillian Hadfield of the University of Southern California and author of Rules for a Flat World talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in her book for regulating the digital future. Hadfield suggests the competitive provision of regulation with government oversight as a way to improve the flexibility and effectiveness of regulation in the dynamic digital world we are living in.

Size:30.9 MB
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Podcast episode Rob Reich on Foundations and Philanthropy

EconTalk Episode with Rob Reich
Hosted by Russ Roberts

giving%20money.jpg Is private charity always a good thing? Do large foundations have too much power? Political Scientist Rob Reich of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the power and effectiveness of foundations--large collections of wealth typically created and funded by a wealthy donor. Is such a plutocratic institution consistent with democracy? Reich discusses the history of foundations in the United States and the costs and benefits of foundation expenditures in the present.

Size:29.2 MB
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Where has all the Parking Gone?

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

garage.jpg What will the cars of the future look like? Will they resemble the teacups at Disneyland? How long will it take us to stop referring to "driving" when humans no longer do? (Think about how seldom you use your phone to "phone" someone...) And what will be the fate of all the parking lots and garages of today? Will they be used for other purposes or replaced entirely?

These are just some of the questions that come up in this week's EconTalk episode with Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz. Evans suggests that we have a difficult time making predictions about the future when we extrapolate from that with which we're familiar today. But let's give it a shot...We always love to hear your thoughts.

1. As we move from the cars of today to autonomous (Evans dislikes the term "driverless") vehicles, which elements will become more expensive and which less expensive? Which complementary industries will be most affected, and why?

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Podcast episode Benedict Evans on the Future of Cars

EconTalk Episode with Benedict Evans
Hosted by Russ Roberts

driverless%20cars.jpg Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about two important trends for the future of personal travel--the increasing number of electric cars and a world of autonomous vehicles. Evans talks about how these two trends are likely to continue and the implications for the economy, urban design, and how we live.

Size:30.9 MB
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paper TOWELS or PAPER towels

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

paper towels.jpg Emergent order has long been a common EconTalk theme, and this week's fascinating episode is no exception. This week, host Russ Roberts welcomed Columbia University linguist John McWhorter to the program to discuss the evolution of language and his new book, Words on the Move. Language as an emergent order has also long been a theme of political economy, but McWhorter's engaging examples and explanations breathe new life into the subject. It's a must listen (and I mean listen, as you'll miss a tremendous amount of auditory nuance.) For example, is it paper TOWELS, or PAPER towels? BLACKboard or blackBOARD? Let us know your thoughts today!

1. Let's start with perhaps the most controversial question... Should we re-word Shakespeare for the modern audience? Why or why not?


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Podcast episode John McWhorter on the Evolution of Language and Words on the Move

EconTalk Episode with John McWhorter
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Words%20on%20the%20Move.jpg How did bad come to mean good? Why is Shakespeare so hard to understand? Is there anything good about "like" and "you know?" Author and professor John McWhorter of Columbia University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the unplanned ways that English speakers create English, an example of emergent order. Topics discussed include how words get short (but not too short), the demand for vividness in language, and why Shakespeare is so hard to understand.

Size:29.7 MB
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Soul in the Game

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

circuit breaker.jpg EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes back popular guest Nassim Nicholas Taleb in this week's episode to chat about the manuscript of his forthcoming book, Skin in the Game. In their wide-ranging conversation, the discuss the value of employees versus slaves, the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to work, and the power of minorities. Even though Taleb counsels listeners to beware of "good advice," trust us...take ours and have a listen!

We'd love to get your reactions to this week's episode, so please share with us today. As always, we love to hear from you.

1. Why does Taleb think we are more "slave-burdened" today than in the past? To what extent do you agree with him?

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Podcast episode Nassim Nicholas Taleb on Work, Slavery, the Minority Rule, and Skin in the Game

EconTalk Episode with Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Hosted by Russ Roberts

NassimNicholasTaleb.png Nassim Nicholas Taleb talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the manuscript version of his forthcoming book, Skin in the Game. Topics discussed include the role of skin in the game in labor markets, the power of minorities, the Lindy effect, Taleb's blind spots and regrets, and the politics of globalization.

Size:38.8 MB
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