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, Martha Nussbaum, Thomas Piketty, Christopher Hitchens, Bill James, Nassim Taleb, Michael Lewis, and Mariana Mazzucato. All 675+ episodes remain available free of charge at EconTalk.org and reach an audience of over 100,000 listeners around the world.

His two rap videos on the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and Friedrich Hayek, created with filmmaker John Papola, have had more than 10 million YouTube views, have 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” (wonderfulloaf.org) is an ode to emergent order. His series on the challenge of using data to establish truth, The Numbers Game, can be found at PolicyEd.org. 

His latest book is Gambling with Other People's Money: How Perverse Incentives Caused the Financial Crisis (Hoover Institution Press, 2019). His book How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness takes the lessons from Adam Smith's little-known masterpiece The Theory of Moral Sentiments and applies them to modern life.

Roberts is the author of three novels teaching lessons and ideas through fiction—The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and ProsperityThe Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance,and The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism, which was named one of the top ten books of 1994 by Business Week and one of the best books of the year by the Financial Times

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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Analysis and Commentary

Dani Rodrik On Neoliberalism

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, September 23, 2019

Dani Rodrik of Harvard University talks about neoliberalism with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Rodrik argues that a dogmatic embrace of markets has increased inequality and limited who benefits from economic growth. He argues for a more interventionist approach to the economy with the goal of better-paying jobs and more widely shared prosperity.

In the News

Prosperity Is More Than Wages

featuring Russell Robertsvia Competitive Enterprise Institute
Friday, September 20, 2019

In a new video for the PolicyEd channel, economist Russ Roberts takes on the popular—though misleading—narrative that ordinary working Americans haven’t made any real economic progress in the last generation or so.

Featured

Am I A Market Fundamentalist?

by Russell Robertsvia Medium
Wednesday, September 18, 2019

I’ve noticed a growing tendency for economists and others to critique “market fundamentalism/neoliberalism/free market dogma.” If you ask these critics, they will say that people in these camps have a naive faith that “markets solve all problems.”

Featured

George Will On The Conservative Sensibility

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, September 16, 2019

George Will talks about his new book, The Conservative Sensibility, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Will argues for a conservative vision that embraces the dynamic nature of life. Topics discussed include the current political landscape, the American founding, James Madison's vision of government vs. Woodrow Wilson's, Friedrich Hayek, and of course, a little baseball.

The Numbers GameFeatured

Let's Party Like It's 1973!

by Russell Robertsvia PolicyEd
Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The American standard of living has improved for more people than the numbers suggest.

Analysis and Commentary

Daron Acemoglu On Shared Prosperity And Good Jobs

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, September 9, 2019

Economist and author Daron Acemoglu of MIT discusses with EconTalk host Russ Roberts the challenge of shared prosperity and the policies that could bring about a more inclusive economy. Acemoglu argues for the importance of good jobs over redistribution and makes the case for the policies that could lead to jobs and opportunities across skill levels.

Analysis and Commentary

David Deppner On Leadership, Confidence, And Humility

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, September 2, 2019

Can a great leader or manager be humble in public? Or is exuding confidence, even when it may not be merited, a key part of leadership? In this episode of EconTalk, host Russ Roberts talks with David Deppner, CEO of Psyberware, about an email David sent Russ wondering how Russ might reconcile his passion for humility and honesty with the demands put upon leaders to inspire followers with confidence in their vision.

Featured

Andrew Roberts On Churchill And The Craft Of Biography

by Russell Roberts interview with Andrew Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, August 26, 2019

Historian Andrew Roberts talks about the life of Winston Churchill and the art of biography with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. How did Churchill deal with the mistakes he inevitably made in a long career? Was he prescient or just the right man in the right place at the right time? Was he an alcoholic?

Analysis and Commentary

Tyler Cowen On Big Business

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, August 19, 2019

Author and economist Tyler Cowen of George Mason University talks about his book, Big Business, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Cowen argues that big corporations in America are underrated and under-appreciated. He even defends the financial sector while adding some caveats along the way. This is a lively and contrarian look at a timely issue.

Analysis and Commentary

Arthur Diamond On Openness To Creative Destruction

by Russell Robertsvia EconTalk
Monday, August 12, 2019

Arthur Diamond of the University of Nebraska at Omaha talks about his book, Openness to Creative Destruction, with EconTalk host Russ Roberts. Diamond sings the sometimes forgotten virtues of innovation and entrepreneurship and argues that they should be taught more prominently as a central part of economics.

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