EconTalk
Russ Roberts

Podcast episode Leo Katz on Why the Law is So Perverse

EconTalk Episode with Leo Katz
Hosted by Russ Roberts

katz.jpg Leo Katz, professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, Why the Law Is So Perverse. Katz argues that certain seemingly inexplicable features of the law are the result of conflicts between multiple objectives that the law or the courts must trade off against each other. Katz also argues that structure of the law and how it is enforced are analogous to certain inevitable ambiguities of collective choice and voting theory.

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Ugly Emergence

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

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EconTalk host Russ Roberts welcomes back favorite guest Michael Munger of Duke University for a complex discussion of slavery and the evolution of racial attitudes in the 19th century American South. Munger argues that white Southerners evolved over time as a way of rationalizing an increasingly unattractive institution. How did white Southerners' attitudes change over time? And how are we to feel about emergent orders with ugly consequences?

As I mentioned earlier this week over at EconLog, this episode is a tough listen. But I learned a lot, and it's really made me think. How about you? As always, we love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts with us in the Comments.

1. There's a lot of discussion of the role of incentives in perpetuating slavery. Roberts argues that incentives are not destiny. What does he mean? Don't economists believe that incentives explain behavior? To what extent do the financial incentives of slavery contribute to our understanding?

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Podcast episode Munger on Slavery and Racism

EconTalk Episode with Mike Munger
Hosted by Russ Roberts

slave%20cabin.jpg Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how attitudes in the American South toward slavery evolved over time and what we can learn from that evolution about the role culture plays in our lives.

Size:34.2 MB
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You Can't Handle the Truth

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

wrong.jpg Did you know Moby Dick was a flop until well after Herman Melville's death? Which author of today will be the most highly regarded 100 years from now? Which rock star? Which TV show? Fun to ponder, but we'll never really know...But that's exactly the sort of metaphysical space this week's EconTalk episode stakes out. Host Russ Roberts welcomes writer Chuck Klosterman to talk about his new book, But What If We're Wrong?

So what's the point in seeking truth if it whatever we find will ultimately prove false? (Next, we'll ask about the meaning of life...) Give it some thought...and please share your thoughts with us here. We love to hear from you!

1. One of the fundamental questions posed by Klosterman's project is, why do so many things we're so sure about today turn out to be wrong? How does he answer this question? Do you think our power to predict is better or worse than Klosterman suggests?

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Podcast episode Chuck Klosterman on But What If We're Wrong

EconTalk Episode with Chuck Klosterman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

But%20What%20If.jpg Chuck Klosterman, author of But What If We're Wrong, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the possibility that things we hold to be undeniably true may turn out to be totally false in the future. This wide-ranging conversation covers music and literary reputations, fundamentals of science, and issues of self-deception and illusion.

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Competition, Community, Transaction Costs

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

knowledge.jpg Is it possible to capture all the world's knowledge in one place, and make it universally shareable? While this seems like a tall order, it's exactly what Adam D'Angelo is trying to do on Quora. This week EconTalk host Russ Roberts sat down with D'Angelo in Quora's offices to talk about the project.

So where do you go to look for answers? Have you ever stumbled across knowledge on the web that changed your life? Should Russ cut the intro to EconTalk??? We'd love to hear your thoughts on these questions and more...So please share your responses in the Comments today!

1. Why are transaction costs such an important concept to Quora's business?

2. BOOK BONUS QUESTION: Is there a concept, such as transaction costs, that you're learned about through EconTalk that's radically changed the way you think about some aspect of your life? If so, share the story with us. We'd like to share some of them in turn, and of course we'll share books with our faves!

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Podcast episode Adam D'Angelo on Knowledge, Experimentation, and Quora

EconTalk Episode with Adam D'Angelo
Hosted by Russ Roberts

quora.jpg Adam D'Angelo, CEO of the question and answer website, Quora, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the history, evolution, and challenges of Quora. Along the way they discuss the aggregation of knowledge and the power of experiments for improving the day-to-day performance of the site.

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Faster, Higher, Stronger

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

Why do sports contests have such a unique propensity to engage- and even inspire- us? Is this a phenomenon unique to the past few decades, or has this always been the case? EconTalk host Russ Roberts sat down with Matthew Futterman, author of Players: The Story of Sports and Money and the Visionaries Who Fought to Create a Revolution.

Arnold Palmer and Roger Staubach both had side jobs while they were professional athletes...Why don't Phil Mickelson and Tom Brady have to do the same today? What are you looking forward to seeing from the upcoming Olympics in Rio- the events themselves, or Bob Costas's commentary?

Share your thoughts with us today...We love to hear from you.

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1. What is the nature of the "real revolution" that Futterman argues has occurred in professional sports over the last thirty years or so? How has it changed the experience of sports for the fans? Is this change for the good? What do you think the next 30 years will bring?

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Podcast episode Matthew Futterman on Players and the Business of Sports

EconTalk Episode with Matthew Futterman
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Players.jpg Fifty years ago, many of the best players in the National Football League took jobs in the off-season to augment the salaries they earned playing football. Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal and author of Players talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how much football and so many aspects of sports--from tennis to golf to apparel to broadcasting to Olympics--has become incredibly more lucrative. Futterman shares the insights from his book and how all that money has changed sports, the athletes who compete, and the fans who watch.

Size: 29.5 MB
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The Right Practice

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

What's the secret of success? Doesn't everyone want to know the answer to that question??? This week, EconTalk host Russ Roberts sat down with Angela Duckworth to discuss her work on Grit, which she defines as a combination of passion and perseverance for challenging, long-term goals.

Can grit be taught? How important is practice to success, and what kind of practice is best? Is there any role left for innate talent in success today? These and other questions spring to mind listening to this fascinating conversation. So post your own question...or post a comment in response to one of ours. Either way, we love to hear from you.

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1. How "gritty" are YOU? Take Duckworth's "grit scale" quiz. (I'm a 3.90 on the scale...) What do you think you could do to increase your grit? What have you done in the past to do so?

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