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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Recent Commentary

In the News

Friedman on Capitalism and Freedom

by Russell Roberts with Milton Friedmanvia EconTalk
Monday, September 4, 2006

Russ Roberts talks to Milton Friedman about the radical ideas he put forward almost 50 years ago in Capitalism and Freedom...

In the News

Milton Friedman on Money

by Russell Roberts with Milton Friedmanvia EconTalk
Monday, August 28, 2006

Russ Roberts talks with Milton Friedman about his research and views on inflation, the Federal Reserve, Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke, and what the future holds…

In the News

The Political Economy of Power

by Russell Roberts with Bruce Bueno de Mesquitavia EconTalk
Monday, August 14, 2006

Russ Roberts talks with Hoover Institution and NYU political scientist Bruce Bueno de Mesquita about his theory of political power--how dictators and democratically elected leaders respond to the political forces that keep them in office…

The Ultimate Chain Letter

by Russell Robertsvia Hoover Digest
Saturday, April 30, 2005

How doing business with strangers creates the extraordinary web that is the modern economy. By Russell Roberts.

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The High Price of Cheap Drugs

by Russell Robertsvia Hoover Digest
Friday, July 30, 2004

Why low drug prices in Canada are too good to be true. By Russell Roberts.

The Great Outsourcing Scare of 2004

by Russell Robertsvia Hoover Digest
Friday, April 30, 2004

Outsourcing doesn’t mean the end of the American economy. It means growth. By Hoover fellow Russell Roberts.

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