Russell Roberts

John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow
Biography: 

Russ Roberts is the John and Jean De Nault Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution. He founded the award-winning weekly podcast EconTalk in 2006. Past guests include Milton Friedman, Thomas Piketty, Christopher Hitchens, Bill James, Nassim Taleb, Michael Lewis, and Marc Andreessen. All 600+ episodes remain available free of charge at EconTalk.org.

His two rap videos on the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek, created with filmmaker John Papola, have had more than 10 million YouTube views, been subtitled in 11 languages, and are used in high school and college classrooms around the world. His poem and animated video “It’s a Wonderful Loaf” is his ode to emergent order. His series on the challenge of using data to establish truth, The Numbers Game, can be found at PolicyEd.org.

He is the author of three novels teaching lessons and ideas through fiction. The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity tells the story of wealth creation and the unseen forces around us creating and sustaining economic opportunity. The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance 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, was named one of the top ten books of 1994 by Business Week and one of the best books by the Financial Times.

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

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 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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Featured

Jordan Peterson On 12 Rules For Life

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, February 19, 2018

Jordan Peterson, author of 12 Rules for Life, talks about the book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Topics covered include parenting, conversation, the role of literature in everyday life, and the relationship between sacrificial rites and trade.

Analysis and Commentary

My Twelve Rules For Life

by Russell Robertsvia Medium
Monday, February 12, 2018

This list is inspired by Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life. Some of these rules show up in passing in How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life. These are my 12 rules today.

Education Image
Analysis and Commentary

Bryan Caplan On The Case Against Education

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, February 12, 2018

Bryan Caplan of George Mason University and the author of The Case Against Education talks about the book with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Caplan argues that very little learning takes place in formal education and that very little of the return to college comes from skills or knowledge that is acquired in the classroom.

Analysis and Commentary

Helen Pluckrose And James Lindsay On The Enemies Of Modernity

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Saturday, February 3, 2018

Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about their essay on the enemies of modernity. Pluckrose and Lindsay argue that modernity--by which they mean democracy, reason, and individual liberty--is under attack from pre-modern and post-modern ideological enemies. They discuss why modernity is under attack and encourage people on the political left and right to support modernity.

Featured

The Paradox Of Household Income (Part 2)

by Russell Robertsvia Policyed.org
Thursday, February 1, 2018

Changes in family structure make it difficult to measure economic progress for the middle class and to get an accurate picture of the effectiveness of the American economy. The rise in divorce and the decrease in marriage rates especially among less-educated Americans distorts the standard measures of economic progress. What’s really going on is more complicated than the standard story of economic stagnation. Hoover Fellow, Russ Roberts, will present this video on 2/6 at the Hoover Institution. Register for this event today. 

Analysis and Commentary

Marian Goodell On Burning Man

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Sunday, January 28, 2018

Marian Goodell, CEO of the Burning Man Project, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about Burning Man, the 8-day art and music festival in the Nevada Desert. Goodell explains how Burning Man has evolved over the years, the principles and rules that govern the experience today, and plans for expanding the Burning Man experience around the world.

Analysis and Commentary

John Ioannidis On Statistical Significance, Economics, And Replication

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Saturday, January 20, 2018

John Ioannidis of Stanford University talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his research on the reliability of published research findings. They discuss Ioannidis's recent study on bias in economics research, meta-analysis, the challenge of small sample analysis, and the reliability of statistical significance as a measure of success in empirical research.

Analysis and Commentary

Bill James On Baseball, Facts, And The Rules Of The Game

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, January 15, 2018

Baseball stats guru and author Bill James talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the challenges of understanding complexity in baseball and elsewhere. James reflects on the lessons he has learned as a long-time student of data and the role it plays in understanding the underlying reality that exists between different variables in sports and outside of sports.

Analysis and Commentary

Dick Carpenter On Bottleneckers

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, January 8, 2018

Dick Carpenter of the Institute for Justice and author of Bottleneckers talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about his book--a look at how occupational licensing and other regulations protect existing job holders from competition.

Analysis and Commentary

Kelly Weinersmith And Zach Weinersmith On Soonish

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, January 1, 2018

Ecologist Kelly Weinersmith and cartoonist Zach Weinersmith--creator of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal--talk with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about their new book, Soonish--a look at cutting-edge and not-quite cutting edge technologies.

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