EconTalk
Russ Roberts

Learning How (Not?) to Learn

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

by Alice Temnick

What does the "sheepskin effect" tell us about earning a college degree? Does a college education buy more than a Grade A premium employee stamp?

sheepskin.jpg Bryan Caplan discusses human capital, the ability bias, and the particular importance of signaling as the reason for the greater earnings of college graduates as compared to high school graduates. In questioning the difficulty of measuring the value of a college education, host Russ Roberts steers this week's conversation toward how we learn, some of the shortcomings of K-12 and college education, and how we apply what we learn in practical settings.

1. Given the value of signalling and the findings of the sheepskin effect, to what extent is a college education a waste of time and/or money? What other factors, such as the acquisition of the first post-college job in one's desired field, to their eventual career trajectory?

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Podcast episode Bryan Caplan on the Case Against Education

EconTalk Episode with Bryan Caplan
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Case%20Against%20Ed.jpg Bryan Caplan of George Mason University and the author of The Case Against Education talks about the book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Caplan argues that very little learning takes place in formal education and that very little of the return to college comes from skills or knowledge that is acquired in the classroom. Schooling, he concludes, as it is currently conducted is mostly a waste of time and money. Caplan bring a great deal of evidence to support his dramatic claim and much of the conversation focuses on the challenge of measuring and observing what students actually learn.

Size:32.8 MB
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Modernity Under Attack?

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

by Alice Temnick

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In this week's episode, Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay discuss the threat to modernity, the increasing polarization of society and associated break-down in discourse as a global phenomenon. Host Russ Roberts probes with questions about the pre-modern and post-modern extremists and the challenges faced by the spectrum that makes up the middle. Where do you fall on the political spectrum? How do you see modernity's influence on human flourishing?

1. The Oxford English Dictionary defines manifesto as a public declaration of policy and aims. Is the authors' support of modernity an anti-authoritarian claim against the political far-left and/or far-right? Is it a call for moderates from across the political spectrum to come together? To what extent is collective action a concern to Pluckrose and Lindsay?

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Podcast episode Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay on the Enemies of Modernity

EconTalk Episode with Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay
Hosted by Russ Roberts

choose%20center.jpg Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about their essay on the enemies of modernity. Pluckrose and Lindsay argue that modernity--by which they mean democracy, reason, and individual liberty--is under attack from pre-modern and post-modern ideological enemies. They discuss why modernity is under attack and encourage people on the political left and right to support modernity.

Size:31.9 MB
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by Alice Temnick

Burning Man.jpg What does an eight day participatory city with nothing for sale look like? In this week's episode, Marian Goodell, CEO of the Burning Man Project, and EconTalk host and Russ Roberts discuss various aspects of the annual phenomenon event that takes place in the Nevada desert and the global reach of Burning Man's influence.

1. What is the mix of planning and emergent order that enables the annual production of Burning Man? Could an eight day "city" emerge without a central plan? How necessary is cultural acceptance of the rules of the game?

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Podcast episode Marian Goodell on Burning Man

EconTalk Episode with Marian Goodell
Hosted by Russ Roberts

10principles-banner-credit-300x203.jpg Marian Goodell, CEO of the Burning Man Project, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Burning Man, the 8-day art and music festival in the Nevada Desert. Goodell explains how Burning Man has evolved over the years, the principles and rules that govern the experience today, and plans for expanding the Burning Man experience around the world.

Size:33.3 MB
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Lies, Lies, and Statistical Significance

EconTalk Extra
by Amy Willis

by Alice Temnick

How do p-hacking, type M errors, and the "winners curse" affect the research findings that make weekly news? Or the research findings published in academic journals? In this week's episode, Stanford University's John Ioannidis and host Russ Roberts discuss the surprising frequency and enormity of the problem as well as some causes of false research findings.

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1. What concerns you most about the extent of the false research findings surrounding us, and why?

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Podcast episode John Ioannidis on Statistical Significance, Economics, and Replication

EconTalk Episode with John Ioannidis
Hosted by Russ Roberts

stat%20hacking.jpg John Ioannidis of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research on the reliability of published research findings. They discuss Ioannidis's recent study on bias in economics research, meta-analysis, the challenge of small sample analysis, and the reliability of statistical significance as a measure of success in empirical research.

Size:29.9 MB
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Podcast episode Bill James on Baseball, Facts, and the Rules of the Game

EconTalk Episode with Bill James
Hosted by Russ Roberts

baseball%20numbers.jpg Baseball stats guru and author Bill James talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of understanding complexity in baseball and elsewhere. James reflects on the lessons he has learned as a long-time student of data and the role it plays in understanding the underlying reality that exists between different variables in sports and outside of sports. The conversation closes with a discussion of our understanding of social processes and the connection to public policy and the ideologies we hold.

Size:28.6 MB
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Podcast episode Dick Carpenter on Bottleneckers

EconTalk Episode with Dick Carpenter
Hosted by Russ Roberts

Bottleneckers.jpg Dick Carpenter of the Institute for Justice and author of Bottleneckers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book--a look at how occupational licensing and other regulations protect existing job holders from competition.

Size:34.5 MB
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