Russell Roberts

John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow
Biography: 

Russell Roberts is the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Roberts hosts the weekly podcast EconTalk--hour-long conversations with authors, economists, and business leaders. Past guests include Milton Friedman, Nassim Taleb, Christopher Hitchens, Marc Andreessen, Joseph Stiglitz, and John Bogle. EconTalk was named podcast of the year in the 2008 Weblog Awards. Over 425 episodes are available at EconTalk.org and on iTunes at no charge.

His two rap videos on the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek, created with filmmaker John Papola, have had more than seven million views on YouTube, been subtitled in eleven languages, and are used in high school and college classrooms around the world. 

His latest book is How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness (Portfolio/Penguin 2014). It takes the lessons from Adam Smith's little-known masterpiece, The Theory of Moral Sentiments and applies them to modern life.  

He is also the author of three economic novels teaching economic lessons and ideas through fiction. The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity (Princeton University Press, 2008) tells the story of wealth creation and the unseen forces around us creating and sustaining economic opportunity. The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance (MIT Press, 2002) looks at corporate responsibility and a wide array of policy issues including anti-poverty programs, consumer protection, and the morality of the marketplace. His first book, The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism (Prentice Hall, 3rd edition, 2006) is on international trade policy and the human consequences of international trade. It was named one of the top ten books of 1994 by Business Week and one of the best books of 1994 by the Financial Times.

A three-time teacher of the year, Roberts has taught at George Mason University, Washington University in St. Louis (where he was the founding director of what is now the Center for Experiential Learning), the University of Rochester, Stanford University, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He was a national fellow and visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution from 1985 to 1987. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago and received his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Jennifer Burns On Ayn Rand And The Goddess Of The Market

by Russell Robertsinterview with Jennifer Burnsvia EconTalk
Monday, October 23, 2017

Jennifer Burns of Stanford University and the Hoover Institution talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about her biography of Ayn Rand, Goddess of the Market. They discuss Rand's philosophy, her influence, her relationship with the conservative movement, and the intersection of her personal life with her philosophical principles.

Analysis and Commentary

Megan McArdle On Internet Shaming And Online Mobs

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, October 16, 2017

Author and journalist Megan McArdle of Bloomberg View talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how the internet has allowed a new kind of shaming via social media and how episodes of bad behavior live on because Google's memory is very, very good.

Analysis and Commentary

Tim O'Reilly On What's The Future

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, October 9, 2017

Author Tim O'Reilly, founder of O'Reilly Media and long-time observer and commenter on the internet and technology, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his new book, WTF? What's the Future and Why It's Up to Us.

peace
Analysis and Commentary

Robert Wright On Meditation, Mindfulness, And Why Buddhism Is True

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, October 2, 2017

Robert Wright, author of Why Buddhism Is True, talks with Hoover Institution fellow and EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the psychotherapeutic insights of Buddhism and the benefits of meditation and mindfulness. Wright argues our evolutionary past has endowed us with a mind that can be ill-suited to the stress of the present. He argues that meditation and the non-religious aspects of Buddhism can reduce suffering and are consistent with recent psychological research.

Analysis and Commentary

Philip Auerswald On The Rise Of Populism

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, September 25, 2017

Author and professor Philip Auerswald of George Mason University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the rise of populism in the United States and throughout the world.

Analysis and Commentary

Gabriel Zucman On Inequality, Growth, And Distributional National Accounts

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, September 18, 2017

Gabriel Zucman of the University of California, Berkeley talks with Hoover Institution fellow and EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research on inequality and the distribution of income in the United States over the last 35 years. Zucman finds that there has been no change in income for the bottom half of the income...

Analysis and Commentary

The World Turned Upside Down (And What To Do About It)

by Russell Robertsvia Medium
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The current state of the country and the current state of political and intellectual conversation depresses me in a way that it never has before. You have to understand — I’m never happy with the state of the country — that’s the inevitable fate of holding an ideological position that rarely gets any traction — I’m a classical liberal who’d like government to be dramatically smaller than it is now.

Analysis and Commentary

Gillian Hadfield On Law And Rules For A Flat World

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, September 11, 2017

Law professor Gillian Hadfield of the University of Southern California and author of Rules for a Flat World talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in her book for regulating the digital future. Hadfield suggests the competitive provision of regulation with government oversight as a way to improve the flexibility and effectiveness of regulation in the dynamic digital world we are living in.

Analysis and Commentary

Rob Reich On Foundations And Philanthropy

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, September 4, 2017

Is private charity always a good thing? Do large foundations have too much power? Political Scientist Rob Reich of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the power and effectiveness of foundations--large collections of wealth typically created and funded by a wealthy donor.

Analysis and Commentary

Write A Song With My Dad

by Russell Robertsvia Medium
Sunday, September 3, 2017

My dad is 87 years old. His dad was a peddler who dropped out of school in the sixth grade but who read Shakespeare and Macauley and Sir Walter Scott. My dad was the first person in his family to go to college. He entered the computer business in 1957 or so and ended up working on early warning systems trying to figure out where a Soviet missile might land if they launched a nuclear attack. 

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