The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at the University of Chicago (BFI) serves as a hub for cutting-edge analysis and research across the entire UChicago economics community to uncover new ways of thinking about the field. Featuring conversations and lectures from premier BFI events, this podcast explores the latest economic insights and trends from leading voices in policy, business, the media, and academia, revealing how rigorous thinking shapes our understanding of the world.
Can Economics Save the World? A Panel Discussion with 2019 Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee
The United States is facing a range of challenging policy issues, from trade to inequality to climate change. The good news is that academic economists are doing cutting-edge work to help solve the challenges of the day, at the University of Chicago and institutions around the world. Over the past 20 years, there has been increasing momentum toward evidence-informed policymaking. While this seems promising, barriers still exist to bridging the divide between academia and government.
On November 19, the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI) welcomed MIT Professor of Economics Abhijit Banerjee, recipient of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economics and co-author of the forthcoming book, Good Economics for Hard Times. Banerjee joined a panel of experts, including UChicago’s Katherine Baicker, Michael Greenstone and Steve Levitt, along with the Obama Foundation’s Adewale “Wally” Adeyemo, to share their experiences and perspectives on the potential for economics to improve policy outcomes, the obstacles that exist to evidence-informed policymaking, and opportunities for improvement.
Follow along with Banerjee's opening remarks and view his presentation: https://bfi.uchicago.edu/wp-content/uploads/CanEconomicsSavetheWorld_Presentation.pdf
For more on the event, visit: https://bfi.uchicago.edu/event/can-economics-save-the-world/
Crony Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics, Featuring Chang-Tai Hsieh
The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics (BFI), the Chicago Economics Society (CES), and the Booth Alumni Club of Washington, DC, welcomed Chang-Tai Hsieh, Phyllis and Irwin Winkelried Professor Of Economics, Chicago Booth School of Business, for cocktails and a conversation on Crony Capitalism with Chinese Characteristics. David Rank, former Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge’ d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in China, moderated a discussion following Professor Hsieh’s remarks.
Professor Hsieh discussed how China’s fast-paced growth over the past three decades is one of the most remarkable events in world economic history. This growth was fueled by the introduction of pro-market policies, especially in agriculture and trade. However, China’s national institutions continue to restrict property rights and hinder private business development, among other obstructive policies. To counter those forces, China has developed a system of crony capitalism at the local level that has allowed businesses to thrive. Political leaders benefit when local businesses succeed, so those leaders use their power to enhance certain businesses’ success. Local political leaders then compete with other cities for businesses, creating a competitive market that helps drive economic growth.
Friedman Forum: How Do Individuals Repay Their Debt, Featuring Neale Mahoney
When faced with debt across multiple credit cards, do people pay down their balances in a way that makes financial sense? On February 1, BFI hosted Chicago Booth Professor Neale Mahoney for a Friedman Forum luncheon lecture on his recent working paper, “How Do Individuals Repay Their Debt? The Balance-Matching Heuristic.”
In the paper, Professor Mahoney and his colleagues examine how credit card holders in the United Kingdom divide their payments between credit card balances. Instead of paying down the card with the highest interest rate first, the authors find people make payments based on the size of the balances on each credit card. These findings reveal the large gap between the optimal way to repay debt, and reality of how people repay their credit card debt.
A Conversation with Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler
Traditional economics assumes rational actors. In daily decision-making, however, we all make decisions influenced by our biases and beliefs, whether which car to buy or who to vote for at the polls. As a result, outcomes often deviate from the standards of rationality assumed by economics.
Combining discoveries in human psychology with a practical understanding of economics – including incentives and market behavior – Booth Professor Richard Thaler, recipient of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics, and Harvard Law School Professor Cass Sunstein, recipient of the 2018 Holberg Prize and former Administrator of the White House Office of Information & Regulatory Affairs, have revolutionized our understanding of how human behaviors can impact markets. Their work highlights opportunities to drive decision-making in a direction that improves outcomes for businesses, government, and society as a whole.
The Becker Friedman Institute for Economics welcomed Thaler and Sunstein, authors of the best-selling book "Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness," for a discussion about the power of behavioral economics to affect decision-making. BFI Director Michael Greenstone, the Milton Friedman Professor of Economics, the Harris School and the College, moderated the discussion.
Becker Brown Bag: Learning From Data, Featuring Steve Levitt
Chicago Booth Professor Steve Levitt, co-author of Freakonomics, discussed modern data science techniques at BFI's latest Becker Brown Bag talk.
Discussion Section Uncut: Nancy Stokey
In this episode, Murphy talks with Nancy Stokey, The Frederick Henry Prince Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, about the transformative effects that technology has on economies.
Excellent and thought-provoking
This is quickly becoming my favorite podcast. Interesting Economists talking about interesting stuff. If you like either or both of those things, you’ll probably like this.
Just started listening... and I love it!
This is a very educational podcast with in-depth discussion of academic writings. If you are interested in economics, this is the podcast for you.
If you love Econ, you will love this podcast. Cancel your radio and listen!