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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Other Media

Nicholas Vincent On The Magna Carta

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, May 18, 2015

Did an 800-year old piece of parchment really change the world? Nicholas Vincent of the University of East Anglia talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the Magna Carta, the founding document of English law and liberty. The Magna Carta was repudiated just ten weeks after King John issued it. Yet, its impact is still with us today. In this conversation, Vincent explains what led to the Magna Carta and how its influence remains with us today in England and elsewhere.

Football in motion over grass
Blogs

The Patriots And Confirmation Bias

by Russell Robertsvia Cafe Hayek
Wednesday, May 13, 2015

I really wanted the Wells Report to exonerate the Patriots. It did not. So being a huge Patriots fan, I read the Report carefully hoping to find a flaw. At first, I thought the engineering consulting firm, Exponent, had left a huge puzzle unexplored–while it’s true that the Pats balls apparently deflated a lot more than the Colts balls after being used in the first half, they seemed to deflate a lot less than the physics would predict. This would imply some kind of measurement error.

Healthcare Costs
Other Media

Eric Topol On The Power Of Patients In A Digital World

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, May 11, 2015

We're in the middle of a healthcare revolution but it's about more than marvelous life-saving and life-enhancing apps on our smartphone. Eric Topol of the Scripps Translational Science Institute and author of The Patient Will See You Now argues that the digital revolution will give us more control of our health information and data.

Other Media

Michael O'Hare On Art Museums

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, May 4, 2015

Michael O'Hare of the University of California, Berkeley talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the management of art museums. O'Hare suggests a number of changes that would allow museums to be more effective and to justify their non-profit status--lower admission prices, selling part of their substantial unseen inventory to other museums, and broadening the activities of the museum to include educational exhibits on the creation of art and the commercial side of art.

Other Media

Leonard Wong On Honesty And Ethics In The Military

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, April 27, 2015

Leonard Wong of the Strategic Studies Institute at the U.S. Army War College talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about honesty in the military. Based on a recent co-authored paper, Wong argues that the paperwork and training burden on U.S. military officers requires dishonesty--it is simply impossible to comply with all the requirements.

Russell Roberts
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My Stage Debut as Adam Smith: Economic Lessons from Off-Off-Broadway

by Russell Robertsvia Fellow Talks
Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Russell Roberts is the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at Hoover.  He hosts the award-winning weekly podcast EconTalk, featuring conversations with authors, economists, and business leaders. Roberts shares his experience of playing Adam Smith and the economic lessons he learned. 

Other Media

Scott Sumner On Interest Rates

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, April 20, 2015

Scott Sumner, of Bentley University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about interest rates. Sumner suggests that professional economists sometimes confuse cause and effect with respect to prices and quantities.

Other Media

Phil Rosenzweig On Leadership, Decisions, And Behavioral Economics

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, April 13, 2015

Phil Rosenzweig, professor of strategy and international business at IMD in Switzerland and author of the book Left Brain, Right Stuff: How Leaders Make Winning Decisions talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book.

EconTalk
Other Media

Vernon Smith And James Otteson On Adam Smith

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, April 6, 2015

Vernon Smith and James Otteson talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Adam Smith in front of a live audience at Ball State University. Topics discussed include Smith's view of human nature, the relevance of Smith for philosophy and economics today, and the connection between Smith's two books, The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations.

Other Media

Campbell Harvey On Randomness, Skill, And Investment Strategies

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, March 23, 2015

Campbell Harvey of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research evaluating various investment and trading strategies and the challenge of measuring their effectiveness.

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