This is a collection of curated podcast episodes around the topic of economics, to expose the students of Oxford College of Emory's Principles of Economics course to podcasts that touch on economics and economic adjacent topics.
Econtalk: Noah Smith on Worker Compensation, Co-determination, and Market Power
1:15:17Bloomberg Opinion columnist and economist Noah Smith talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about corporate control, wages, and monopoly power. Smith discusses the costs and benefits of co-determination--the idea of putting workers on corporate boards. The conversation then moves to a lively discussion of wages and monopoly power and how the American worker has been doing in recent years.
Freakonomics radio: Why Rent Control Doesn’t Work (Ep. 373)
51:55As cities become ever-more expensive, politicians and housing advocates keep calling for rent control. Economists think that’s a terrible idea. They say it helps a small (albeit noisy) group of renters, but keeps overall rents artificially high by disincentivizing new construction. So what happens next?
Planet Money: A Bet On The Future Of Humanity (Ep508)
20:31A famous biologist, Paul Ehrlich, predicts that overpopulation will lead to global catastrophe. He writes a bestselling book — The Population Bomb — and goes on the Tonight Show to make his case.An economist, Julian Simon, disagrees. He thinks Ehrlich isn't accounting for how clever people can be, and how shortages can lead to new, more efficient ways of doing things. So Simon challenges Ehrlich to a very public, very acrimonious, decade-long bet. On today's show: The story of that bet, and what it tells us about the future of humanity.
WSJ - The Journal: The World Has Too Much Oil
15:06Demand for oil has plummeted as the coronavirus has shut down much of the world, but most producers are still pumping. WSJ's Russell Gold explains the global game of chicken inside the oil industry.
Planet Money: Why The Price of Coke Didn't Change For 70 years
20:34Prices go up. Occasionally, prices go down. But for 70 years, the price of a bottle of Coca-Cola didn't change. From 1886 until the late 1950s, a bottle of coke cost just a nickel. On today's show, we find out why. The answer includes a half a million vending machines, a 7.5 cent coin, and a company president who just wanted to get a couple of lawyers out of his office
Today in Focus (The Guardian): The global race for face masks
27:07The world economy may have dramatically dipped and the price of oil crashed, but one commodity is seeing an unprecedented boom: the face mask. Samanth Subramanian explores the newly distorted marketplace for masks and the lengths some will go to get them When the coronavirus began spreading beyond China in January, the race to buy up any available protective face masks went global. It caused a frenzy of buying as prices rocketed and suppliers were overwhelmed by the demand. For one man, Ovidiu Olea, a businessman in Hong Kong, it was the start of a wild ride from mask buyer to mask dealer to ultimately, mask producer. The Guardian writer Samanth Subramanian caught up with him as he begins production. He tells Rachel Humphreys about how distortions in the mask market have led to diplomatic incidents. But with mask sales rocketing and many governments starting to either recommend or insist on their use, the evidence about their efficacy is still inconclusive. And some fear that widespread rush to buy up stocks will prevent them reaching the people who need them most: frontline workers and medics.
Planet Money: The Pickle Problem
31:19In our second class, we find markets everywhere and discuss what makes them work and when they fail. We start off with the basic tools to understand a market: supply and demand. We find that the price of an item isn't just about money; a price reflects all the information inside a market, from a buyer's willingness to pay to a supplier's cost to make that item. Then, we put the concepts to work with the parable of the pickles. A food bank in Alaska gets sent a truckload of pickles, more than it could ever use. A food bank in Idaho gets sent a truckload of potatoes, the last thing it needs. With the help of economists, the food banks figure out a way to create a trading market, complete with information sharing and prices. We see how that works out as the food banks compete for the most coveted prize of all: a shipment of breakfast cereal.
The Indicator: Unintended Consequences, Hidden Deaths
9:58The ways people and sometimes policymakers respond to disasters can have hidden and unintended consequences. And sometimes those consequences can be tragic. On today's show, our old friend Tim Harford, an economist and host of the Cautionary Tales podcast, joins us to talk about unintended consequences. FWe discuss how our minds are better at solving problems that we can see directly than they are at anticipating problems and risks that our decisions might be creating further down the line. And we talk about how a better understanding of unanticipated consequences and the ""identifiable victim effect"" can help us respond to the coronavirus pandemic in ways that can make it less likely that those consequences will be fatal.