300 episodes

Interviews with Economists about their New Books

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    • Social Sciences

Interviews with Economists about their New Books

    Robert Frank, "Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work" (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Robert Frank, "Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work" (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Psychologists have long understood that social environments profoundly shape our behavior, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. But social influence is a two-way street―our environments are themselves products of our behavior. Under the Influence explains how to unlock the latent power of social context. It reveals how our environments encourage smoking, bullying, tax cheating, sexual predation, problem drinking, and wasteful energy use. We are building bigger houses, driving heavier cars, and engaging in a host of other activities that threaten the planet―mainly because that's what friends and neighbors do.
    In the wake of the hottest years on record, only robust measures to curb greenhouse gases promise relief from more frequent and intense storms, droughts, flooding, wildfires, and famines. In Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work (Princeton UP, 2020), Robert H. Frank describes how the strongest predictor of our willingness to support climate-friendly policies, install solar panels, or buy an electric car is the number of people we know who have already done so. In the face of stakes that could not be higher, the book explains how we could redirect trillions of dollars annually in support of carbon-free energy sources, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone.
    Most of us would agree that we need to take responsibility for our own choices, but with more supportive social environments, each of us is more likely to make choices that benefit everyone. Under the Influence shows how.
    Stephen Pimpare is Senior Lecturer in the Politics & Society Program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of The New Victorians (New Press, 2004), A Peoples History of Poverty in America (New Press, 2008), winner of the Michael Harrington Award, and Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford, 2017).
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    • 29 min
    Robert Frank, "Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work" (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Robert Frank, "Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work" (Princeton UP, 2020)

    Psychologists have long understood that social environments profoundly shape our behavior, sometimes for the better, often for the worse. But social influence is a two-way street―our environments are themselves products of our behavior. Under the Influence explains how to unlock the latent power of social context. It reveals how our environments encourage smoking, bullying, tax cheating, sexual predation, problem drinking, and wasteful energy use. We are building bigger houses, driving heavier cars, and engaging in a host of other activities that threaten the planet―mainly because that's what friends and neighbors do.
    In the wake of the hottest years on record, only robust measures to curb greenhouse gases promise relief from more frequent and intense storms, droughts, flooding, wildfires, and famines. In Under the Influence: Putting Peer Pressure to Work (Princeton UP, 2020), Robert H. Frank describes how the strongest predictor of our willingness to support climate-friendly policies, install solar panels, or buy an electric car is the number of people we know who have already done so. In the face of stakes that could not be higher, the book explains how we could redirect trillions of dollars annually in support of carbon-free energy sources, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone.
    Most of us would agree that we need to take responsibility for our own choices, but with more supportive social environments, each of us is more likely to make choices that benefit everyone. Under the Influence shows how.
    Stephen Pimpare is Senior Lecturer in the Politics & Society Program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of The New Victorians (New Press, 2004), A Peoples History of Poverty in America (New Press, 2008), winner of the Michael Harrington Award, and Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford, 2017).
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    • 29 min
    Peter J. Boettke, "F. A. Hayek: Economics, Political Economy and Social Philosophy" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

    Peter J. Boettke, "F. A. Hayek: Economics, Political Economy and Social Philosophy" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018)

    Today I spoke with professor Peter J. Boettke the author of a great new book on Friedrich August von Hayek. Dr. Boettke is University Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Director of the F. A. Hayek Program for Advanced Study in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, at George Mason University, USA.
    F. A. Hayek: Economics, Political Economy and Social Philosophy (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018) explores the life and work of Austrian-British economist, political economist, and social philosopher, Friedrich Hayek. Professor Boettke correctly argues that: ‘There is certainly little doubt that Hayek was among the most prodigious classical liberal scholars of the twentieth century. Though his 1974 Nobel Prize was in Economic Science, his scholarly endeavors extended well beyond economics.'
    Peter argued that his political influence (Thatcher, Reagan...) is overemphasized because '...his relationships with those in political power was remote at best as Hayek was never a political consultant to any leader in power; he was always a critical scholar who tried to speak truth to power from the outside.'
    Andrea Bernardi is Senior Lecturer in Employment and Organization Studies at Oxford Brookes University in the UK. He holds a doctorate in Organization Theory from the University of Milan, Bicocca. He has held teaching and research positions in Italy, China and the UK. Among his research interests are the use of history in management studies, the co-operative sector, and Chinese co-operatives. His latest project is looking at health care in rural China. He is the co-convener of the EAEPE’s permanent track on Critical Management Studies.
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    • 49 min
    Jodie Adams Kirshner, "Broke: Hardship and Resilience in a City of Broken Promise" (St. Martin's Press, 2019)

    Jodie Adams Kirshner, "Broke: Hardship and Resilience in a City of Broken Promise" (St. Martin's Press, 2019)

    In her new book Broke: Hardship and Resilience in a City of Broken Promise (St. Martin's Press, 2019), Jodie Adams Kirshner tells the story of the people of Detroit before, during, and after its bankruptcy, offering lessons about urban governance, post-industrial economics, development, and the usefulness of bankruptcy itself as a tool to aid U.S. cities. Join us to hear the fascinating, infuriating, and heartbreaking stories of Detroiters struggling to build better lives for themselves and their neighborhoods.
    Stephen Pimpare is Senior Lecturer in the Politics & Society Program and Faculty Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He is the author of The New Victorians (New Press, 2004), A People’s History of Poverty in America (New Press, 2008), winner of the Michael Harrington Award, and Ghettos, Tramps and Welfare Queens: Down and Out on the Silver Screen (Oxford, 2017).
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    • 28 min
    R. Scott Huffard, Jr., "Redemption: Railroads and the Reconstruction of Capitalism in the New South" (UNC Press, 2019)

    R. Scott Huffard, Jr., "Redemption: Railroads and the Reconstruction of Capitalism in the New South" (UNC Press, 2019)

    R. Scott Huffard Jr. is the author of Engines of Redemption: Railroads and the Reconstruction of Capitalism in the New South, published by the University of North Carolina Press in 2019. Engines of Redemption is a fascinating history of capitalism in the South, which tells the story of how railroads revitalized the region following the Civil War. Huffard examines the myriad of was that railroads were used to secure political and economic growth and power in the South throughout the Reconstruction era. Railroads, however, were not always seen as a blessing, and Huffard pays close attention to how the rapid southern growth of the locomotive was accompanied by rising anxieties, from race to disease.
    R. Scott Huffard Jr. is Assistant Professor of History at Lees-McRae College.
    Derek Litvak is a Ph.D. student in the department of history at the University of Maryland.
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    • 37 min
    Christopher Frank, "Workers, Unions and Payments in Kind: The Fight for Real Wages in Britain, 1820-1914" (Routledge, 2020)

    Christopher Frank, "Workers, Unions and Payments in Kind: The Fight for Real Wages in Britain, 1820-1914" (Routledge, 2020)

    The passage of the 1831 Truck Act was intended to end throughout the United Kingdom the practice of paying employees in truck, or goods, rather than in money. As Christopher Frank reveals in Workers, Unions and Payments in Kind: The Fight for Real Wages in Britain, 1820-1914 (Routledge, 2019), though, this merely redefined a struggle that continued through the Victorian era into the early 20th century. As Frank demonstrates, employers soon developed ways to work around the ban in the law, which proved difficult to enforce. While as early as the 1850s governments considered new legislation to clamp down further on truck, efforts to do so ran into both laissez-faire and paternalistic arguments that together successfully frustrated passage of new measures. It was only with the increasing influence of the New Model Unions and the growing enfranchisement of workers from the 1860s onward that the issue became more of an electoral priority. While this pressure led to new legislation in 1887 and again in 1896 that improved enforcement of the ban on truck as well as introducing restrictions on fines and other pay deductions, concerns about wage theft persisted for workers up to the start of the First World War, when Britain’s entry into the conflict disrupted further pursuit of legislative amelioration.
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    • 55 min

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