The best economics podcasts in 2018
My favourites are:
- NPR’s Planet Money remains an outstanding show, with stories, humour, very clear explanations and high production values. But – horrors! – they’ve poached the amazing Cardiff Garcia from the FT, and Cardiff is co-presenting (with Stacey Vanek Smith)…
- …NPR’s The Indicator which is basically a shorter, chattier version of the same thing. Available daily. Works very well.
- A new entry is Tyler Cowen’s Conversations with Tyler. This is so wide-ranging that it barely qualifies as an economics podcast, but it’s a joy to listen to. Tyler’s questioning style is unique and he has a remarkable range of people on the podcast – Martina Navratilova, Charles Mann, Garry Kasparov, Agnes Callard, Matt Levine…
- Freakonomics Radio remains a favourite. Stephen Dubner asks questions that others don’t think to ask, slips between serious and silly topics and generally gets a top-notch line-up of interviewees.
- Slate Money, presented by Felix Salmon, who is great but still interrupts his (changing crew of) co-hosts a little too too much. Always very smart and sometimes very well informed too.
- Behavioural economics enthusiasts should try The Hidden Brain with Shankar Vedantam. Guests have included Daniel Pink, Phil Tetlock, Alison Gopnik, Richard Thaler, Daniel Kahneman… even me.
- Try the Trade Talks podcast with Chad Bown and Soumaya Keynes for a nerdy (but witty) dive into the details of how trade negotiations and agreements work. Ordinarily I would suggest that this might be a little too geeky, but this is a fast-moving subject at the moment, and Bown and Keynes have a light touch, too.
- Russ Robert’s EconTalk offers long, searching conversations between Russ and a wide variety of guests, often with interesting books or essays to discuss. The sound quality can be patchy and the tone of the interviews varies a lot depending on whether the subject is the evidence for education, or the importance of meditation. But it’s a very good source of smart ideas.
Excellent not-quite-economics podcasts include:
- Revisionist History with Malcolm Gladwell
- Start Up
- Reply All
- TED Radio Hour
- 99% Invisible
- The Digital Human
- Stephen Fry’s Great Leap Years
My employers at the FT have some very fine podcasts at the moment. I particularly recommend:
- FT Banking Weekly
- FT Money
- FT Brexit Unspun
Then there are MY PODCASTS:
- More or Less, a weekly guide to the numbers that surround us.
- Pop Up Economics, mostly by me but also featuring guests including Gillian Tett and Malcolm Gladwell. 13 episodes, currently dormant but enjoy the archive.
- 50 Things That Made the Modern Economy – although there are actually 52 episodes. Series 1 is complete, but subscribe and watch this space.
That should be plenty to be going on with.
And if you want to make your own podcast, have a listen to some of the recommendations above and grab yourself a microphone (UK) (US). “Out On The Wire” (UK) (US) is a superb guide to how some of the top shows are made.