Episodes
Moving to the big city used to provide an escalator to a more prosperous life, even if you didn't have a college degree. But now economists are wondering: Are cities overrated?
Published 06/14/19
Barely workout? Gyms like it that way. They're one of a few businesses that benefit from low attendance. Economics explains why gyms encourage members to commit, but not too much.
Published 06/12/19
In the 1800s, every town had its own "local time," which was not only confusing, but sometimes dangerous. So railroads implemented the standardized time we have today.
Published 06/07/19
People in Japan never ate raw salmon. Then Norway had a salmon surplus—and persuaded Japanese sushi eaters to try something new.
Published 06/05/19
The unemployment rate in the U.S. is just 3.6%. Many people think we are at, or near, full employment. For the first time in a long while, power is shifting toward workers.
Published 05/31/19
Jordan Thomas represents Wall Street whistleblowers in some of the biggest SEC cases against banks. In addition to protecting their secrets, he's also kept some of his own.
Published 05/29/19
David Goldstein decides to copy Cambridge Analytica and run an experiment on actual voters during the 2017 Alabama special election.
Published 05/24/19
After Donald Trump's companies declared four bankruptcies, several major banks stopped loaning him money. But Deutsche Bank didn't.
Published 05/23/19
From renting hotels to a jobs report-like census in the night, we look at ways communities are helping the homeless.
Published 05/18/19
The story of Luca Pacioli, who brought double-entry bookkeeping to the masses, transforming accounting and businesses around the world.
Published 05/15/19
How James Holzhauer built on the strategies of Ken Jennings, Roger Craig, and Monica Thieu, to crack the game show Jeopardy.
Published 05/10/19
What's the cost of being tall? Are people less productive when the weather is bad? Why is vanilla so expensive? Answers to those questions and more.
Published 05/08/19
Alice Wu's undergraduate senior thesis on gender bias on the Econ Job Rumors forum sparked a movement to address sexism in the field of economics.
Published 05/03/19
For 70 years, the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola stayed a nickel. Why? The answer includes a half a million vending machines and a 7.5 cent coin.
Published 05/01/19
Every six hours a new dollar store opens in the U.S. Are they killing grocery stores?
Published 04/27/19
The remarkable story of the online "CAPTCHA" tests we've all taken to prove that we're not robots.
Published 04/24/19
The Indicator from Planet Money explores trade wars, peanuts, hurricanes, and happiness.
Published 04/19/19
We wanted to understand an eerie phenomenon that drives everything from the stock market to the price of orange juice. So we asked you to guess the weight of a cow.
Published 04/17/19
How a ruthless dictator, and a bunch of economists known as the Chicago Boys, took Chile from socialism to capitalism.
Published 04/12/19
In the late 1950's and early '60's a handful of Chilean students went to study economics at the University of Chicago. What they learned changed their country.
Published 04/11/19
Copyrighting comedy is expensive. So comedians have devised an informal system of sanctions to protect their jokes from theft. Sometimes it works.
Published 04/06/19
Joe Bankman, professor at Stanford, figured out a way to make filing your taxes easy and painless. Then the tax lobby found out about it.
Published 04/04/19
Some colleges are offering students a new way to pay. It's not a scholarship. It's not a loan. It's more like the students are selling stock in themselves.
Published 03/29/19
The story behind two sneaky forces that drive us to buy more products, more often: Planned obsolescence and psychological obsolescence.
Published 03/28/19
There's an industry of people working to eliminate bad police behavior. They're not activists or protestors. They're insurers.
Published 03/22/19