Insights / Podcast series

The Pie: An Economics Podcast

Economists are always talking about The Pie – how it grows and shrinks, how it’s sliced, and who gets the biggest shares. Join host Tess Vigeland as she talks with leading economists from the University of Chicago about their cutting-edge research and key events of the day. Hear how the economic pie is at the heart of issues like the aftermath of a global pandemic, jobs, energy policy, and more.

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All Episodes

Podcast episode Jun 11, 2024

India’s Economic Future

India’s government has big goals for economic growth. The former Governor of the country’s Reserve Bank, Raghuram Rajan, argues that India won’t be able (and shouldn’t try) to follow...
Podcast episode May 28, 2024

ChatGPT: Who’s Adopting, Who’s Abstaining, and Why?

A year-and-a-half after its launch, half of workers report having used ChatGPT on the job. On this episode of The Pie, Anders Humlum, Assistant Professor at the Chicago Booth...
Podcast episode May 14, 2024

Is College Worth It? Measuring the Returns to Higher Education

College graduates earn more than those who didn’t attend college. Does this mean higher education boosts your income? Or, does college simply attract students who would’ve earned more anyway?...
Podcast episode Apr 30, 2024

Fighting Traffic in Chicago: Lower Fares, More Trains, Fewer Buses

American cities are overreliant on cars. Policies for reducing this gridlock and pollution range from changing public transit fares or frequencies to introducing new tolls. In this episode of...
Podcast episode Apr 16, 2024

Which Companies Discriminate Most? Experimental Evidence on Callback Rates by Applicant Race and Gender

A small number of companies are responsible for a substantial amount of the discrimination in today’s labor market. Who are they? In this episode of The Pie, Evan Rose,...
Podcast episode Apr 2, 2024

Recessions: What Are They Good For? Possibly Your Health

When the Great Recession hit in 2007, it produced the largest decline in US employment since the Great Depression. It also substantially reduced mortality. In this episode of The...
Podcast episode Mar 19, 2024

Knowing When to Stop: The Unintended Consequences of Monetary Policy

This episode of The Pie features a panel discussion following a talk from Raghuram Rajan, the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at Chicago Booth, about his...
Podcast episode Mar 5, 2024

From Authoritarianism to Democracy: The Political Economy of Latin America

Anti-democratic sentiment is on the rise across Latin America. This episode of The Pie explores the evolving political and economic landscape of Latin America, highlighting the region’s experimentation with...
Podcast episode Feb 20, 2024

Closing the Achievement Gap: Is There an App for That?

Children whose parents have college degrees are often more skilled readers than children whose parents didn’t attend college. In this episode of The Pie, Harris Policy Professor Ariel Kalil...
Podcast episode Feb 6, 2024

Two Economies, Two Years of War: An Update on Economic Conditions in Russia and Ukraine

Russian-born economist Konstantin Sonin, Professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, joins The Pie to provide an update on the economic impacts of the ongoing...
Podcast episode Jan 23, 2024

Conflict-Free or Conflict Displaced? Mine Certifications and Conflict in the Congo

Many mines in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo are controlled by armed groups that frequently engage in conflict with nearby civilians. In this episode of The Pie, Hans...
Podcast episode Jan 9, 2024

Tearing Down Healthcare to Rebuild it for Everyone: A Panel on the Economics of Insurance Reform

Most observers are convinced that America’s healthcare system needs reform. This episode of The Pie features a discussion among MIT health economist Amy Finkelstein, former commissioner of the US Food...
Podcast episode Dec 26, 2023

12 Months of Economics: Vultures, ChatGPT, Student Loans, and the Social Safety Net

What happens to humans when vultures go extinct? Why did the student loan pause increase debt? Do government benefits change how parents invest in their kids? To wrap up 2023, Tess...
Podcast episode Dec 12, 2023

The Economics of Reproductive Choice

Women who have unplanned births experience earnings losses of up at 25%, while planned births reduce earnings by roughly 15%. Yana Gallen, Assistant Professor at the Harris School of...
Podcast episode Nov 28, 2023

Are you Trapped on Social Media?

Would you rather keep things as is, or, remove yourself and all your friends from social media? You aren’t alone if you chose the latter. Recent research from UChicago...
Podcast episode Nov 14, 2023

The New Normal: Working from Home in 2023

Roughly a quarter of all paid workdays are now done from home, up from 7% in 2019. How did this shift unfold across different areas, industries, and worker demographics?...
Podcast episode Oct 17, 2023

Restorative Justice: What Happened When Chicago Public Schools Replaced Suspensions with Restitution?

The rate of school suspensions has more than doubled for Black and Latino children since 1974, inspiring a small but growing movement aimed at finding new disciplinary solutions that...
Podcast episode Oct 3, 2023

A New Tactic for Police Reform: Using Behavioral Economics to Curb Unnecessary Arrests

Police use of force has prompted a national debate around misconduct and how to solve what many believe to be a systemic issue. Harris Policy’s Oeindrila Dube and Chicago...
Podcast episode Sep 19, 2023

How Much Would it Cost to Save the Rainforest?

As a massive carbon sink, the Brazilian Amazon plays a crucial role in stabilizing the global climate. It’s also valuable farmland. How do economists measure this tradeoff? Lars Peter...
Podcast episode Sep 5, 2023

Lessons from Pandemic Unemployment Benefits: When Government Generosity Becomes Necessity

The U.S. government swung into action when the ranks of the pandemic unemployed swelled almost beyond recognition. Three years on, economists are continuing to study the effects of the...
Podcast episode Aug 22, 2023

The Hidden Economic Forces That Determine How Much You Earn

How much effect do government policies have on doctors’ wages? And when those wages are high, does it drive inequality in other jobs? And how does Taylor Swift factor...
Podcast episode Aug 8, 2023

A Case for Public School Choice? Lessons from Los Angeles

When the Los Angeles Unified School District combined some neighborhood high schools into Zones of Choice, schools had to compete for students. The result? Achievement gaps narrowed, and more...
Podcast episode Jul 25, 2023

Do You Even Crypto, Bro?

The use of cryptocurrency is on the rise, but who exactly is on the bandwagon? Chicago Booth’s Michael Weber has examined the crypto market – who’s in it, why...
Podcast episode Jul 11, 2023

Social Distancing in 2023: The Economic Costs of Lingering COVID Fears

Many, if not most, citizens of working age have gone back to their jobs in the three-plus years since the start of the pandemic – but not everybody has....
Podcast episode Jun 27, 2023

Harvesting Green Investments: The Promise and Perils of ESG

In the stock market, we all want to do well, but for some investors it’s also important to do good. In this episode, Chicago Booth’s Lubos Pastor joins to...
Podcast episode Jun 6, 2023

How Debt Relief Raised Debts: The Untold Story of the Student Loan Moratorium

Did borrowers and the American economy benefit from the federal government’s 2020 student debt moratorium? The picture is complicated according to new research from UChicago Economics’ Michael Dinerstein and...
Podcast episode May 30, 2023

Quid Pro Vote: The Politics and Economics of Vote-Buying

Vote-buying, or influencing voters’ decisions through favors or gifts, is pervasive in areas such as Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. UC Berkeley’s Frederico Finan, a TC Liu Distinguished...
Podcast episode May 16, 2023

Can ChatGPT Describe Company Performance Better than… the Company?

The number of ways we can use AI is exploding, and it’s expected to change how entire industries function. Chicago Booth professor Maximilian Muhn and PhD student Alex Kim...
Podcast episode May 3, 2023

Misperceived Truths: Global Support for Women in the Workplace is More Than You Might Think

Around the world, people underestimate support for basic women’s rights. In new research, UChicago Economics’ Leonardo Bursztyn documents these misperceptions and shows how they restrict women’s progress. Aligning people’s...
Podcast episode Apr 18, 2023

Inflation: The Good, the Bad, and the Baffling

Nobody ever wants to pay more for anything, especially when prices rise drastically – but can inflationary episodes be good for the economy? Harris Policy’s Carolin Pflueger joins The...
Podcast episode Apr 4, 2023

Sometimes Bigger IS Better: The Case for Bringing Rural Healthcare to Urban Hospitals

When rural patients need care that local medical facilities can’t provide, what’s the best way to ensure they get the care they need? Chicago Booth’s Jonathan Dingel and Harris...
Podcast episode Mar 21, 2023

Social Media Algorithms: How You’re Curating a Biased News Feed

Social media behaviors, moving at an ever faster pace, may not reflect what users really want, according to new research from economists Sendhil Mullainathan (Chicago Booth) and Amanda Agan...
Podcast episode Mar 7, 2023

Evaluating US Healthcare 3 Years after Lockdown

At the third anniversary of COVID-19 lockdowns, this episode takes a look at ongoing healthcare market failures and the pandemic’s role in making them plain. Katherine Baicker, healthcare economist...
Podcast episode Feb 21, 2023

Scavenging for Answers: The Human Toll of Vulture Population Collapse

What can vultures and economics tell us about the cost of losing a keystone species? New research from environmental economist Eyal Frank of the Harris School of Public Policy...
Podcast episode Feb 7, 2023

Law of Unintended Consequences: Welfare Reform and Crime

When policymakers passed a historic welfare reform law in 1996, they likely did not anticipate what would happen when youth with disabilities turned 18 and lost their support. We...
Podcast episode Jan 24, 2023

Economics of Discrimination: How to Measure Systemic Injustices

How can discrimination by race, gender, or other factors be measured – especially when its causes may be systemic in nature? Chicago Booth’s Alex Imas studies behavioral science and...
Podcast episode Jan 10, 2023

What Drives Racial Differences in Speeding Tickets and Fines?

New research finds minorities are 24-33% more likely to be stopped for speeding and will pay 23-34% more in fines, relative to a white driver traveling the exact same...
Podcast episode Dec 27, 2022

2023: An Economic Nudge for the New Year

Can ‘nudges’ improve your New Year’s resolutions? Today we’re looking back at one of our most popular episodes. Host Tess Vigeland sat down with Nobel laureate Richard Thaler in...
Podcast episode Dec 13, 2022

China Faltering? Why the End of Zero Covid Won’t Fix Its Economic Problems

How will China’s economy respond after the lifting of ‘Zero Covid’ policy? UChicago economist Chang-Tai Hsieh joins The Pie to discuss the surprising party response to political protests, emerging...
Podcast episode Nov 30, 2022

Economic Warfare: Are Russian Sanctions Working?

Ten months into a devastating war, the Russian and Ukrainian economies are struggling yet resilient. Russian-born economist Konstantin Sonin joins The Pie to provide an update on the economic...
Podcast episode Nov 15, 2022

Fighting Inflation: Is the Fed’s Work Just Beginning?

The Federal Reserve’s latest 75 basis point rate hike brought interest rates up again on everything from mortgages to car loans and credit cards. Will it be enough to...
Podcast episode Nov 1, 2022

Tax vs Ban: The Unexpected Results on Gun Sales

In this episode, we’re talking about guns. Chicago Booth economist Brad Shapiro has quantified—for the first time—American consumer demand for guns, and how that demand shifts in response to...
Podcast episode Oct 18, 2022

COVID and Schools: Elementary Lessons

Did closing schools during the COVID-19 pandemic serve students and society at-large? As part of a World Bank Advisory Panel, University of Chicago economist Rachel Glennerster is taking a...
Podcast episode Oct 4, 2022

WFH… Gone Global

The remote work revolution is now more than two years old, and it’s a worldwide phenomenon, at least in wealthier countries. Chicago Booth economist Steven Davis has been studying...
Podcast episode Sep 26, 2022

We’re Back with More of The Pie

Last season, we were at the height of the COVID-19 crisis, affecting every aspect of our lives and the economy. This season, we’re back looking at the aftermath of...
Podcast episode Mar 30, 2022

How Does Access to Safe Water Affect Child Mortality?

A new meta-analysis by Michael Kremer and co-authors suggests water treatment could reduce child mortality by about 30% in low- and middle-income countries, making it a highly cost-effective treatment...
Podcast episode Dec 2, 2021

Global Warming, Local Impact: The Economic Landscape of Climate Change

Which economies will suffer most from global warming, and by just how much? Will others see benefits? The differences are key to understanding how the global economy will look...
Podcast episode Oct 21, 2021

Can Monetary Policy Solve Inflation and Unemployment?

Inflation has spiked, even while the economy still recovers. What can the Fed do? It’s one of the biggest and most rapidly evolving questions facing macroeconomists today. In this...
Podcast episode Aug 5, 2021

Nudge: The Final Edition Book Talk with Richard Thaler

How can a small nudge make a big impact? Since publishing the first edition of Nudge more than 10 years ago, Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler have changed the...