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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Analysis and Commentary

Leo Katz On Why The Law Is So Perverse

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, August 29, 2016

Leo Katz, professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book, Why the Law Is So Perverse.

Featured

Munger On Slavery And Racism

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, August 22, 2016

Michael Munger of Duke University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how attitudes in the American South toward slavery evolved over time and what we can learn from that evolution about the role culture plays in our lives.

Analysis and Commentary

Chuck Klosterman On His Book "But What If We're Wrong"

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, August 15, 2016

Chuck Klosterman, author of But What If We're Wrong, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the possibility that things we hold to be undeniably true may turn out to be totally false in the future. This wide-ranging conversation covers music and literary reputations, fundamentals of science, and issues of self-deception and illusion.

Featured

Adam D'Angelo On Knowledge, Experimentation, And Quora

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, August 8, 2016

Adam D'Angelo, CEO of the question and answer website, Quora, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the history, evolution, and challenges of Quora. Along the way they discuss the aggregation of knowledge and the power of experiments for improving the day-to-day performance of the site.

Analysis and Commentary

Matthew Futterman On Players And The Business Of Sports

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, August 1, 2016

Fifty years ago, many of the best players in the National Football League took jobs in the off-season to augment the salaries they earned playing football.

Analysis and Commentary

Ryan Holiday On Ego Is The Enemy

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, July 18, 2016

How does our attitude toward ourselves affect our success or failure in the world of business or in friendship? Ryan Holiday, author of Ego Is the Enemy, talks with Econtalk host Russ Roberts about the role of ego in business, our personal lives, and world history.

Analysis and Commentary

Jonathan Skinner On Health Care Costs, Technology, And Rising Mortality

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, July 11, 2016

Technology and innovation usually mean higher quality and lower prices. Is health care different? Jonathan Skinner of Dartmouth College talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about how technology and innovation affect the cost and efficacy of health care.

Analysis and Commentary

Yuval Levin On The Fractured Republic

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, July 4, 2016

Yuval Levin, author and editor of National Affairs, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the ideas in his latest book, The Fractured Republic. Levin argues that both major political parties suffer from a misplaced nostalgia--a yearning for a time when things were better even though the policies that created those good times are no longer as relevant to today.

Richard A. Epstein
Featured

Richard Epstein On Cruises, First-Class Travel, And Inequality

by Russell Robertsinterview with Richard A. Epsteinvia EconTalk
Monday, June 27, 2016

Hoover Institution fellow Russ Roberts interviews Hoover Institution fellow Richard Epstein about cruise lines that offer special amenities for top-paying travelers as well as first-class sections of airplanes. They note that these kinds of unequal treatment provide benefits beyond those who receive the top-of-the-line option. The conversation then moves on to a general discussion of inequality, taxation, and redistribution.

Analysis and Commentary

Kevin Kelly On The Inevitable

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, June 20, 2016

Futurist, author, and visionary Kevin Kelly talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his latest book, The Inevitable, Kelly's look at what the future might be like and the role of the human experience in a world increasingly filled with information, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and the connecting of the planet's population.

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