© 2023 WRVO Public Media
Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Freakonomics Radio
Sundays at noon

"Freakonomics Radio" is an award-winning weekly podcast with 7 million downloads a month; it also airs on public-radio stations across the country. Host Stephen Dubner has surprising conversations that explore the riddles of everyday life and the weird wrinkles of human nature -- from cheating and crime to parenting and sports. Dubner talks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, social scientists and entrepreneurs -- and his "Freakonomics" co-author Steve Levitt.

"Freakonomics Radio" is produced by Dubner Productions and WNYC Studios.

Stay Connected
  • Every language has its taboo words (which many people use all the time). But the list of forbidden words is always changing — and those changes tell us some surprising things about ourselves. The post Swearing Is More Important Than You Think appeared first on Freakonomics.
  • Delaware is beloved by corporations, bankruptcy lawyers, tax avoiders, and money launderers. Critics say the Delaware “franchise” is undemocratic and corrupt. Insiders say it’s wildly efficient. We say: they’re both right. The post Why Does One Tiny State Set the Rules for Everyone? appeared first on Freakonomics.
  • Many companies say they want to create more opportunities for Black Americans. One company is doing something concrete about it. We visit the South Side of Chicago to see how it’s working out. The post A Radically Simple Way to Boost a Neighborhood appeared first on Freakonomics.
  • Every year, Americans short the I.R.S. nearly half a trillion dollars. Most ideas to increase compliance are more stick than carrot — scary letters, audits, and penalties. But what if we gave taxpayers a chance to allocate how their money is spent, or even bribed them with a thank-you gift? The post How to Hate Taxes a Little Bit Less (Replay) appeared first on Freakonomics.
  • In this installment of the Freakonomics Radio Book Club, the economist Amy Finkelstein explains why insurance markets are broken and how to fix them. Also: why can’t you buy divorce insurance? The post “Insurance Is Sexy.” Discuss. appeared first on Freakonomics.
  • People who are good at their jobs routinely get promoted into bigger jobs they’re bad at. We explain why firms keep producing incompetent managers — and why that’s unlikely to change. The post Why Are There So Many Bad Bosses? (Replay) appeared first on Freakonomics.
  • Most travelers want the cheapest flight they can find. Airlines, meanwhile, need to manage volatile fuel costs, a pricey workforce, and complex logistics. So how do they make money — and how did America’s grubbiest airport suddenly turn into a palace? (Part 3 of “Freakonomics Radio Takes to the Skies.”) The post Is Your Plane Ticket Too Expensive — or Too Cheap? appeared first on Freakonomics.
  • Thanks to decades of work by airlines and regulators, plane crashes are nearly a thing of the past. Can we do the same for cars? (Part 2 of “Freakonomics Radio Takes to the Skies.”) The post Why Is Flying Safer Than Driving? appeared first on Freakonomics.
  • It’s an unnatural activity that has become normal. You’re stuck in a metal tube with hundreds of strangers (and strange smells), defying gravity and racing through the sky. But oh, the places you’ll go! We visit the world’s busiest airport to see how it all comes together. (Part 1 of "Freakonomics Radio Takes to the Skies.”) The post Air Travel Is a Miracle. Why Do We Hate It? appeared first on Freakonomics.
  • Adam Smith famously argued that specialization is the key to prosperity. In the N.F.L., the long snapper is proof of that argument. Here’s everything there is to know about a job that didn’t used to exist. The post Why Does the Most Monotonous Job in the World Pay $1 Million? (Update) appeared first on Freakonomics.
  • Hotel guests adore those cute little soaps, but is it just a one-night stand? In our fourth episode of The Economics of Everyday Things, Zachary Crockett discovers what happens to those soaps when we love ’em and leave ’em. The post The Economics of Everyday Things: Used Hotel Soaps appeared first on Freakonomics.
  • For decades, the U.S. let globalization run its course and hoped China would be an ally. Now the Biden administration is spending billions to bring high-tech manufacturing back home. Is this the beginning of a new industrial policy — or just another round of corporate welfare? The post Will the Democrats “Make America Great Again”? appeared first on Freakonomics.