Economics & policy media

Economics and policy media

  • Freakonomics Radio. Fun, quirky takes on economic thinking.

  • VoxEU. Readable versions of important or novel recent research.

  • IZA World of Labor. Similar to VoxEU, but focused on labor economics.

  • Energy Institute at Haas (UC Berkeley) blog. Posts on energy and climate policy from top economists.

  • Capitalisn't. An economics podcast featuring Luigi Zingales (Chicago Booth) and Bethany McLean.

  • Conversations with Tyler. Economist Tyler Cowen (George Mason) asks unusual, useful questions. Both academic and non-academic guests are included. While the podcast is produced by the Mercatus Center, I have not noticed a particularly libertarian slant.

  • Mindscape. More of a natural science podcast, but an excellent one, and it makes occasional forays into social science.

Books on economics, applied statistics, and mathematics

  • The Undercover Economist, Tim Harford

  • The Drunkard's Walk, Leonard Mlodinow

  • The Signal and the Noise, Nate Silver

  • The Ghost Map, Steven Johnson

  • Democracy in Chains, Nancy MacLean

  • Flash Boys, Michael Lewis

  • The Music of the Primes, Marcus du Sautoy

  • The Book of Why, Judea Pearl. This excellent book includes my favorite discussion of the Monty Hall problem, with two helpful explanations. One requires Pearl's causal diagrams and is best read in context. The second, Bayesian explanation is worth quoting here: "...how come your belief in Door 2 has gone up from one-third to two-thirds? The answer is that Monty could not open Door 1 after you chose it--but he could have opened Door 2. The fact that he did not makes it more likely that he opened Door 3 because he was forced to. Thus there is more evidence than before that the car is behind Door 2. This is a general theme of Bayesian analysis: any hypothesis that has survived some test that threatens its validity becomes more likely. ... Door 2 was vulnerable to refutation (i.e., Monty could have opened it), but Door 1 was not. Therefore, Door 2 becomes a more likely location, while Door 1 does not. The probability that the car is behind Door 1 remains one in three."

  • The Worldly Philosophers, Robert Heilbroner. It has been a long time since I read this one, but it's a concise introduction to thinkers from Adam Smith and David Ricardo through John Maynard Keynes and Joseph Schumpeter.

  • Memoirs of an Unregulated Economist, George Stigler

Other media

  • In Our Time, BBC Radio 4. A wonderful discussion program ranging from history and literature to mathematics and science.