8 episodes

Have you ever heard a commonly held belief or a fast-developing worldview and asked: Is that idea right? Or just good on paper? Each week, host Jerusalem Demsas and a guest take a closer look at the facts and research that challenge the popular narratives of the day, to better understand why we believe what we believe.

Good on Paper The Atlantic

    • News
    • 4.4 • 149 Ratings

Have you ever heard a commonly held belief or a fast-developing worldview and asked: Is that idea right? Or just good on paper? Each week, host Jerusalem Demsas and a guest take a closer look at the facts and research that challenge the popular narratives of the day, to better understand why we believe what we believe.

    A Remarkable School-Choice Experiment

    A Remarkable School-Choice Experiment

    School choice is usually about providing parents an option outside the traditional public school system. Between 2010 and 2021, public charter school enrollment in the U.S. more than doubled.

    But LAUSD did something different. It recognized the growing appetite for choice and wondered whether the normal public school system could help satisfy it. It set up a limited school choice program in 2012, the kind of experiment ripe for an economics paper, and thankfully economist Christopher Campos took notice. Host Jerusalem Demsas talks to Campos about his paper, revealing that when public high schools were forced to compete for enrollment, achievement gaps narrowed, and college enrollment took off.

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    • 45 min
    Are We Talking About Therapy Too Much?

    Are We Talking About Therapy Too Much?

    Does everyone really need therapy?
    The destigmatization of mental health problems—and the normalization that many people do struggle with severe mental illnesses—has been one of the great cultural transformations of the 21st century. But has this shift carried unintended consequences?
    After all, what if therapy is less like exercise—something everyone should do to be healthy—and more like prescription medication—something you should only really use if you need it? Host Jerusalem Demsas talks to Dr. Lucy Foulkes, a researcher at the University of Oxford who has become increasingly concerned that raising awareness is not unambiguously good.
    Get more from your favorite Atlantic voices when you subscribe. You’ll enjoy unlimited access to Pulitzer-winning journalism, from clear-eyed analysis and insight on breaking news to fascinating explorations of our world. Subscribe today at TheAtlantic.com/podsub.
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    • 50 min
    The Coming Labor Shortage Is Not Good News

    The Coming Labor Shortage Is Not Good News

    Does an aging workforce mean greater worker power?
    One of the takeaways from pro-worker advocates during the pandemic financial crisis was that employees saw fantastic gain. As demand for workers skyrocketed, employees got to be choosy. What bosses called “The Great Resignation” was actually workers having the power to demand better wages and working conditions, as well as the willingness to quit jobs that wouldn’t offer those things.
    But economist Adam Ozimek warns that people may be taking the wrong lesson about tight labor markets, and that the coming labor shortage isn’t cause for celebration—but concern.
    Get more from your favorite Atlantic voices when you subscribe. You’ll enjoy unlimited access to Pulitzer-winning journalism, from clear-eyed analysis and insight on breaking news to fascinating explorations of our world. Subscribe today at TheAtlantic.com/podsub.
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    • 42 min
    Are Young Men Becoming More Sexist?

    Are Young Men Becoming More Sexist?

    Are young men becoming radicalized? Could they be further to the right than even their fathers and grandfathers? These are big questions that have yet to be answered definitively, but in some countries, electoral results and polls suggest that a meaningful contingent of young men are frustrated and may be finding a home in radical spaces. 
    Host Jerusalem Demsas talks to Dr. Alice Evans, a researcher at Stanford University who has been traveling the world, diving into qualitative and quantitative research to uncover why some societies are more equal than others. Her insights help tease out why some young men may be turning against the tide of egalitarianism.
    Get more from your favorite Atlantic voices when you subscribe. You’ll enjoy unlimited access to Pulitzer-winning journalism, from clear-eyed analysis and insight on breaking news to fascinating explorations of our world. Subscribe today at TheAtlantic.com/podsub.
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    • 50 min
    Who Really Protests, and Why?

    Who Really Protests, and Why?

    In 2020, two major protest movements defined our political landscape: the racial justice protests after the murder of George Floyd and the anti-lockdown protests pushing against COVID-19 restrictions. At the time, these movements were seen by many as near polar opposites and were often defined by their extremes.
    But did the two actually have much in common?
    Host Jerusalem Demsas talks to Nick Papageorge, an economist at Johns Hopkins University, who co-authored a paper called, “Who Protests, What Do They Protest, and Why?” His research calls into question our assumptions about the participants of mass protest. Are they really dominated by fringe elements? How can we tell? And what does it mean to misunderstand the people that make up social movements?
    Get more from your favorite Atlantic voices when you subscribe. You’ll enjoy unlimited access to Pulitzer-winning journalism, from clear-eyed analysis and insight on breaking news to fascinating explorations of our world. Subscribe today at TheAtlantic.com/podsub.
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    • 39 min
    The Truth About Immigration and Public Opinion

    The Truth About Immigration and Public Opinion

    In recent years, there's been an overarching narrative that immigration is seen as an obvious political loser for the left and a clear political winner for the right. But does that theory make sense?
    Host Jerusalem Demsas talks to John Burn-Murdoch, columnist and chief data reporter for the Financial Times, about the factors that influence public opinion on immigration—and why it may not be as simple as political commentators would have you believe.
    Get more from your favorite Atlantic voices when you subscribe. You’ll enjoy unlimited access to Pulitzer-winning journalism, from clear-eyed analysis and insight on breaking news to fascinating explorations of our world. Subscribe today at TheAtlantic.com/podsub.
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    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
149 Ratings

149 Ratings

EMichaelson ,

Thought Provoking

I enjoy this podcast because the subjects and research are amazing.

katie-gray ,

Great!!

Whew! This is the podcast we need right now. So excited for it!

LeighOnCreamery ,

Great topics

Hard to listen to the host’s rapid firing rattling on. Take a breath.

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