Discussion Section 101: Names, Faces, and Ideas

Steve Levitt, a self-described poor student, discusses how he never intended to become an economist until he realized that he had been thinking like one since he was 8 years old.

Economics Toolkits and the Legacy of UChicago Economics

Understanding what economic idea, or tool, to apply to a given question is key to proper analysis. Steven Levitt describes how his own economic toolkit was sharpened by the many ideas and economists he encountered at UChicago.

The Value of Effective Communication

Steven Levitt describes the fine art of communicating economic ideas, and recounts what the success of the book “Freakonomics” taught him about the the value of communication and understanding your audience.

Understanding Incentives, Part 1

Incentives are key to understanding economics, and Steven Levitt illustrates this by, in part, telling personal stories that describe their importance.

Understanding Incentives, Part 2

In this second episode on incentives and the value of economic thinking, Steven Levitt and Kevin Murphy discuss the value of storytelling to educate people about economic principles and how they inform decision-making.

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Neither eligibility for nor information about the Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) program affect teachers’ employment decisions. Information increases application and TLF receipt rates for teachers who have already accrued the five years required to be eligible. In general, teachers appear...
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A combination of nudges and taxes always outperforms each policy in isolation; however, there is large variation in how much these combinations add to social welfare, reinforcing the importance of empirically quantifying welfare effects.
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Relative to borrowers who had to continue paying their loans, borrowers allowed to pause their payments sharply increased mortgage, auto, and credit card borrowing, with little effect on loan delinquencies.
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