The Indicator from Planet Money

The Indicator from Planet Money


A little show about big ideas. From the people who make Planet Money, The Indicator helps you make sense of what's happening today. It's a quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy, and everything else. Listen weekday afternoons.


Roller Coaster Economy (Scream Inside Only)

As Democrats, Republicans and the President fight about how much support to give laid-off workers during the pandemic, we take the temperature of this up-and-down economy.
10/08/209m 10s

Jobs, Labor And The 1936 GM Strike

The brutal unemployment situation in the US today is making a lot of people think again about labor unions. Which had their first major victory after a 1936 strike.
07/08/208m 49s

One Drug, Two Prices

Faced with the prospect of paying for an expensive drug to treat his daughter, this dad found a nearly identical product for thousands of dollars less. But the insurance company wouldn't let him.
06/08/209m 59s

Why Your Internet Sucks

We answer two questions today: Why is American internet so bad? And why was the unemployment benefit extension set at $600?
05/08/209m 11s

An Artful Pivot

How a theater company in Philadelphia is reacting to the existential threat posed by the coronavirus.
04/08/209m 48s

Protest And A Black-Owned Business

The Black Lives Matter demonstrations brought people together to protest injustice. But alongside the protests came riots, at a great cost to some Black-owned businesses.
03/08/209m 42s

Sharing The Vaccine

The biggest, wealthiest nations in the world are in a race to produce a coronavirus vaccine. It's obviously in a country's interest to win that race and protect its citizens. It's also in its interest to share.
31/07/209m 52s

GDP -32.9%???!!!

This quarter's Gross Domestic Product numbers could be the worst on record. But what do they mean, exactly?
30/07/208m 6s

The Coronavirus Housing Boom

Most of the U.S. economy is in crisis: Unemployment and bankruptcies are skyrocketing, and millions aren't paying rent. But home sales are skyrocketing, too. In fact, they're rising at a record pace.
29/07/209m 44s

Work After COVID

The use of technologies that help office workers do their work remotely could have unanticipated, long-lasting effects for low-skilled workers too.
28/07/208m 51s

The Extra $600

Nearly one in five U.S. workers is on unemployment benefits. And most of them are about to see their checks cut in half, as Congress' expanded benefits expire this month.
27/07/209m 7s

The Power Of Workers

The three main drivers behind the decline in worker power.
24/07/209m 16s

Can Restaurants Reopen?

Restaurants are going out of business in droves. But some are battling hard to keep their doors open.
23/07/209m 54s

Question Time!

What's the garbage situation? How can we invest in Black-owned businesses? And what's the state of the gig economy? Your questions, answered.
22/07/209m 41s

A Tale Of Two Camdens

The city of Camden, New Jersey is cited as an example of how cities can change their approach to policing. But the story of Camden and its cops isn't a simple one.
21/07/209m 28s

This Weekend's (Fiscal) Cliffhanger

Unless Congress acts, unemployment benefit enhancements will expire. And that could have big effects on the economy.
20/07/209m 22s

A Conversation With Gary Cohn

Gary Cohn was President Trump's economic advisor, and a prime mover behind the $2 trillion tax cut of 2017. We talk to him about the state of the economy.
17/07/209m 9s

A Race Reckoning In Economics

The economics profession has a serious inclusion problem, and that matters for how all of us understand the economy.
16/07/209m 46s

When SNAP Gets Squeezed

One in five American households doesn't have enough food to eat. And the program that's supposed to help is about to shrink.
15/07/209m 4s

Oil Storage Wars

Because of the global economic slowdown, there's a glut of oil on the market right now. And companies are coming up with creative ways to store it.
14/07/209m 20s

Leaving Prison In The COVID-19 Economy

Reentering the world and the workforce after you've been in prison is hard enough at the best of times. The coronavirus pandemic has made it a whole lot harder.
13/07/209m 39s

The Small Business Roller Coaster

Molly Moon's Homemade Ice Cream in Seattle has been on the same economic and political roller coaster ride many small businesses have. Now they're trying to open back up, survive and grow.
10/07/209m 31s

Texas Hospitals Battle COVID-19

Rural hospitals in Texas are scrambling for equipment and staff to combat the surge in coronavirus cases.
09/07/209m 51s

Why We Need Black-Owned Banks

Black-owned financial institutions are a shrinking part of the U.S. financial system. We look at what that means for America's entrenched racial disparities.
08/07/209m 54s

Live Music Industry Blues

Live music events are like micro-economies that support hundreds of small businesses. Coronavirus is hammering them.
07/07/209m 54s

Unintended Consequences, Hidden Deaths

The way organizations and governments respond to disasters often have hidden consequences; sometimes those consequences can be fatal.
06/07/209m 59s

Jobs In June

The BLS jobs report for June was better than expected, but showed the U.S. economy is still suffering badly from coronavirus.
02/07/209m 19s

The Market For Student Loans

Americans owe about $1.5 trillion in student debt. But who actually owns those loans? One borrower goes looking for an answer—and uncovers a multi-billion dollar shadow market.
01/07/209m 40s

Listener Questions: Past Pandemics And Property Prices

On the Spanish Flu, housing prices, and the resilience of Australia's economy. Indicator listener questions, answered.
30/06/209m 10s

The Uncounted Workforce

Incarcerated Americans make goods for American companies, and get paid next to nothing for their labor.
29/06/209m 28s

Sadie Alexander, America's First Black Economist

Sadie Alexander was the first African-American to earn a PhD in economics. We think her contributions deserve another look.
26/06/209m 18s

Liar Loans

Many businesses have been negatively affected by the pandemic. But some companies that have borrowed a lot of money are manipulating their numbers, to avoid breaking their debt agreements.
25/06/209m 43s

Black Workers And The Fed

How the Federal Reserve manages the economy can have an outsize effect on Black workers. Here's how to make sure it doesn't leave them behind again.
24/06/208m 19s

The Economics Of Vaccine Pricing

Governments and drug companies agree: We need to develop a vaccine for COVID-19. But their motives for developing a vaccine are different. And that will have a big effect on the vaccine's price.
23/06/209m 58s

Poker, Markets And Life

How a psychologist who learned how to play high stakes poker as a way to study human behavior learned a lot about risk management, mendacity and the markets.
22/06/209m 6s

Daymond John: Swimming With Sharks

Daymond John, founder of the iconic brand FUBU and investor on the reality show Shark Tank, talked to us about how he got his start and maintained his lead in the cutthroat world of fashion apparel.
19/06/209m 40s

When A Boomtown Goes Bust

Williston, North Dakota doubled in size during the shale oil boom a decade ago. Now oil prices have fallen and the town's facing hard times.
18/06/209m 55s

How Other Countries Handled Their Jobs Crises

Not all countries approached the COVID-19 economic crisis the way the U.S. did. How different strategies on unemployment had radically different outcomes.
17/06/209m 46s

Who Pays For The Police?

Police fines and fees have helped to fill city coffers, but they've done serious damage to community relations.
16/06/209m 49s

High-Frequency Indicators

Five "high-frequency" indicators help us track the health of the U.S. economy
15/06/208m 49s

The Business Of Police Surveillance

The companies that lead the field in surveillance technology are turning against it.
12/06/208m 39s

Story Of A Paper

Why a groundbreaking paper by Lisa Cook on the effects of racist violence took ten years to get published.
11/06/209m 44s

The Cost Of Contact Tracing

Contact tracing is one of the most effective ways to contain a pandemic and dates back to the 1300s. But the modern versions are coming at a real cost.
10/06/209m 42s

The Post Pandemic City

Big American cities might never look the same again, post coronavirus. And that could be the making of them.
09/06/209m 39s

The Minnesota Paradox

Minnesota is often touted as one of the best places to live in the U.S. — it has the numbers to prove it. And yet, the state has some of the worst racial disparities of any state in the country.
08/06/209m 42s

Unemployment And The Racial Divide

How well a family can endure a spell of unemployment depends on how much of a buffer it has to fall back on. And there are big racial and ethnic disparities in how big those buffers are.
05/06/209m 59s

The Business Of Antibody Tests

Companies all over the world are jockeying for position in the lucrative COVID-19 antibody testing market, but are quality standards getting lost in the shuffle?
04/06/209m 59s

Police Unions And Civilian Deaths

There appears to be a relationship between police unionization and the number of people killed by officers.
03/06/209m 4s

Where Are The Business Bankruptcies?

When the coronavirus hit, economists predicted a tsunami of bankruptcies. But that hasn't happened.
02/06/209m 6s

Racism And Economics

The coronavirus pandemic has been called "the great equalizer." But in fact, COVID-19 has disproportionately affected African Americans in all kinds of ways.
02/06/209m 6s

The Beige Book And The Pig Farmer

The Federal Reserve's Beige Book provides anecdotes from various parts of the economy. This month's edition illustrates the pain being suffered by pig farmers.
29/05/209m 28s

Melissa Dell On Security And Prosperity

Mellisa Dell, this year's John Bates Clark Medal winner, explains the relationship between security, prosperity and the rule of law.
28/05/209m 12s

#WFH Forever?

Many of us are working from home for now. Some could be destined to do it forever.
27/05/209m 45s

Rent In The Time Of Coronavirus

The landlord-tenant relationship is often a tense one and it's becoming a national problem.
26/05/209m 53s

Stocks Are Up But The Economy's Down

The stock market has recovered more than half the ground lost when it crashed nearly 34 percent starting in late February. But the economy hasn't recovered. Why is there such a stark disconnect?
22/05/209m 47s

Waiting For A Surge

Hospitals lost millions of dollars preparing for a surge of COVID-19 patients. Some were swamped, but others only saw a handful of coronavirus cases. Now many are struggling to survive.
21/05/208m 56s

The Persistence Of Poverty

Melissa Dell, winner of the John Bates Clark Medal for economics, on why poverty and insecurity are so persistent in certain parts of the world.
20/05/209m 9s

The Public Transit Problem

Public transit systems are vital to cities. Many have been shut down or slowed during the pandemic. Now city administrators have to figure out how to reopen them.
19/05/209m 41s

Small Banks' Corona Crunch

Many banks have changed the way they work, as they hurry to get billions in CARES Act cash to small businesses.
18/05/208m 58s

Waiting For A Check

State unemployment offices have been slammed, as 36 million Americans have lost their jobs. And now individuals and the U.S. economy are depending on these often underfunded operations to step up.
15/05/209m 45s

Reopening Sports: Does MMA Point The Way?

Mixed martial arts is the first major spectator sport in the U.S. to host live events since the coronavirus lockdown. Other sports are watching to see whether MMA could point the way.
14/05/209m 43s

Coronavirus, Farmworkers And America's Food Supply

The working conditions on many farms mean that agricultural laborers are at high risk of getting COVID-19. That poses a real threat to those workers and to the country's food supply.
13/05/209m 11s

Pay Cuts Vs. Layoffs

Companies hammered by the economic collapse due to the coronavirus pandemic are being forced to make a hard choice: lay staff off or cut their pay.
12/05/209m 37s

On Demand

The U.S. economy depends on consumer demand. And demand is way down because of the coronavirus pandemic. What happens if it doesn't come back?
11/05/209m 48s

A Brutal Jobs Report

The jobs report for this month was nightmarish. But as bad as it was, it hid some even worse news about the employment situation.
08/05/209m 52s

Gov. Newsom On Reopening California

California Governor Gavin Newsom talks with Stacey Vanek Smith about his plans to reopen the fifth largest economy in the world.
07/05/209m 32s

Masks En Vogue

If the pandemic goes on much longer, or its aftereffects linger, face masks will inevitably become a fashion accessory.
07/05/209m 45s

Italy Reopens: A Tale of Two Bookstores

Italy was one of the countries hardest hit by coronavirus, and was one of the first to shut down its economy. Now it's reopening. But not everyone's happy about it.
05/05/209m 39s

The Workplace In The COVID-19 Era

As businesses make plans to reopen their workplaces, we're probably going to find that these spaces will look very different than before.
04/05/209m 32s

Creating A Post Pandemic World

We're all thinking about what the world might look like after this pandemic. Several years ago, Justin Marks had a vision of how things might be, in his TV show, Counterpart.
01/05/209m 43s

Essential Workers

Essential workers put themselves at risk of infection every day to keep the economy running. But many aren't well protected or compensated for the dangerous work they do.
30/04/209m 19s

Getting Back To Business

Small and medium size enterprises tend not to have much of a cash cushion, so most are desperate to get back to work. But many are finding that reopening after a pandemic is a messy business.
29/04/209m 11s

Disease In A Globalized World

Globalization and urbanization historically have made the global economy more productive and efficient — and also more vulnerable to pandemics. But now they can be forces for good in the fight against disease.
28/04/209m 55s

The Bankruptcy Question

The COVID-19 pandemic is driving thousands of people and businesses into bankruptcy.
27/04/209m 13s

How The Fed Fights Coronavirus

Much has been made of the unprecedented legislation passed by Congress in its attempt to curtail the economic damage of COVID-19. But what about the Federal Reserve?
24/04/209m 59s

The Great Potato Giveaway

Supermarket shelves are empty, and food banks around the country are besieged. So why are farmers dumping, destroying and giving away food?
24/04/209m 24s

Why We Didn't Prepare For The Pandemic

We've had plenty of warnings over the years that we weren't ready for a pandemic. Today on the show: the psychology and economics of why.
22/04/209m 59s

Oil: Less Than Zero

The price of a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell below zero. In other words, suppliers were paying people to take it off their hands. How did that happen? And what does it mean?
21/04/209m 56s

Coronavirus And The Digital Divide

We're spending more time at home, and more time with technology — highlighting a deep digital divide in the United States and introducing thorny ethical dilemmas.
20/04/209m 57s

Where's My Stimulus Check?

Sending $1,200 checks to millions of Americans was a big part of the aid bill Congress passed last month. Around 80 million Americans got that money this week. But 60 million are still waiting.
17/04/209m 7s

Small Businesses On Their Own

Congress' recent aid package directed $370 billion to help small businesses. The fund is out of money, and it seems very few who applied got help.
17/04/209m 46s

Performing After A Pandemic

Live performance has always been a risky business, run on thin margins. The COVID-19 pandemic has ratcheted up that risk and sharpened those margins to a razor's edge.
15/04/208m 41s

Rural Hospitals: The Waiting Game

Rural hospitals already walk a scalpel's edge between solvency and collapse. Coronavirus threatens to push many of them over the brink.
15/04/209m 39s

The Story So Far

Five indicators provide a gauge of how daily economic life in America has changed.
13/04/208m 32s

Why Hospitals Are Laying People Off

Hospitals are ramping up and gathering supplies to deal with a deluge of coronavirus patients. At the same time, revenues are down. All of this means hospitals across the U.S. are laying off workers.
10/04/209m 53s

Why Sweden Isn't Locking Down

Most of the world's developed economies have gone on total economic lockdown to combat coronavirus. Sweden has kept its economy open. Sweden says this is better for the economy and for public health.
09/04/209m 57s

Coronavirus and Trade

The coronavirus pandemic may have pushed trade wars off the front page, but such wars are still with us — and they're complicating the world's ability to fight the virus.
08/04/209m 40s

Coronavirus And The Gig Economy

Many gig workers have suddenly found themselves providing essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic. But many also feel like they have to work in an unsafe situation.
07/04/209m 56s

Pandemic-onomics: Lessons From The Spanish Flu

Different cities responded in different ways to the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918. And their economies fared differently as a result.
06/04/209m 49s

The Jobs Crisis

We had almost a decade of growth in the jobs market. But in the last two weeks, nearly 10 million people lost their jobs. Today, we look at the labor market — what's happening and where it's headed.
03/04/209m 5s

The Coronavirus Pivot

Faced with the prospect of shutting up shop because of coronavirus, some companies are retooling and pivoting to keep their doors open and their workers employed.
02/04/209m 40s

Three Ideas To Fight The Recession

Policymakers can still do more to fight the coronavirus recession. Here are three ideas that we haven't yet tried.
01/04/209m 20s

Scarcity In The Emergency Room

Emergency rooms all over the country are struggling with limited resources: masks, ventilators, hospital beds, doctors. We talk to one ER doctor in New York about how she is managing those resources right now.
31/03/2010m 0s

Listeners Ask, We Answer

Coronavirus questions on the yield curve and refinancing. And some of the ways individuals can help.
30/03/209m 59s

When Should We Restart the Economy?

President Trump got major backlash this week when he suggested businesses should reopen by Easter. Critics said that was way too early. How do we know when it's safe for businesses to reopen?
27/03/208m 41s

The Labor Market Catastrophe

Layoffs and furloughs due to the coronavirus clampdown have pushed 3.3 million Americans to apply for unemployment benefits, the largest weekly increase in U.S. history.
26/03/209m 59s

Stimulus Rex

The Senate has managed to negotiate a $2 trillion relief package to help keep the U.S. economy afloat as we deal with the coronavirus pandemic. What's in it and will it be enough?
25/03/209m 9s

Pandemic Bonds

A few years ago, the World Bank issued bonds designed to get cash to needy countries in the event of a pandemic. Sounds like a great idea! But the bonds haven't paid out yet and they may never.
24/03/209m 54s

The Most Vulnerable Workers

Because of social distancing, the U.S. restaurant industry has entirely disintegrated with unimaginable speed, leaving its workers to face an uncertain future.
23/03/209m 12s

Our COVID-19 Indicators Of The Week

Zero and 27 are our indicators of the week. Zero (or nearly zero) is the Fed's new benchmark interest rate. 27 is the number of days that around half of small businesses in the U.S. can go without making money.
20/03/209m 41s

The Test Shortage

A short supply of test kits, staff and equipment have put the U.S. behind in terms of coronavirus testing. We talk to one healthcare worker about what's been limiting their coronavirus testing ability.
19/03/209m 51s

China's New Normal

China appears to have stopped the spread of coronavirus within its borders. People there are now beginning to adjust to a new normal.
18/03/208m 38s

Working From Home

Millions of people all across the world are now having to work from home. Including team Indicator. Today, a look at how this might change the way we work... and what it's like to skip the office.
17/03/209m 59s

The Sudden Stop

As social distancing kicks in and cities begin moving aggressively to contain the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the U.S. economy is hitting the brakes. Hard.
16/03/209m 9s

Economic Fear Factor

The global economy is being hammered this week - markets have tanked, businesses are closing down. The spreading virus is part of it, but most of the effect is coming from fear.
13/03/209m 35s

Healthcare And Economic Despair

The U.S. spends more on healthcare as a share of its economy than any other wealthy country. In addition to making care less affordable, that also causes indirect damage to the rest of the economy.
12/03/208m 59s

Disease Detectives

As the outbreak of COVID-19 becomes officially classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, we look at the role of the Epidemic Intelligence Service the CDCs "disease detectives".
11/03/209m 59s

Tracking The Impact Of Coronavirus In Real Time

The economic effects of the coronavirus outbreak will take some time to show up in the most important economic indicators. We offer three high-frequency indicators to track its effects in real time.
10/03/208m 14s

Oil Shock

A spat between Russia and Saudi Arabia led to a collapse in oil prices over the weekend. Stock prices followed. What happened and what it means.
09/03/209m 59s

Coronavirus And The Labor Market

Today's healthy jobs report was uncontaminated by the coronavirus outbreak, but some parts of the labor market may be especially vulnerable in the months ahead.
06/03/209m 49s

Health Policy Is Economic Policy

U.S. policymakers are taking steps to limit the spread and impact of coronavirus. But they're not helped by American health policy, which could use an overhaul if it's to limit the spread of viral outbreaks.
05/03/209m 50s

The Corona Bump

As coronavirus wreaks havoc on the global economy, some businesses are actually experiencing a boom in demand. Today on the show, what happens when everyone suddenly wants to panic-buy your product.
04/03/209m 45s

Coronavirus: Update From Italy

The coronavirus continues to roil global markets and economies - including here at home, where the markets took yet another dive. Today, we look at an epicenter of the virus outbreak: northern Italy.
03/03/208m 56s

The Economic Lessons Of A Free Solo Climb

In 2017, rock climber Alex Honnold ascended Yosemite's rock formation El Capitan free solo, meaning without ropes or equipment. On today's show, we look at the economic lessons revealed by Honnold's extraordinary feat.
02/03/209m 30s

Coronavirus: A View From Hong Kong

As coronavirus fears roiled markets this week, we hear from Bloomberg's Tracy Alloway, who's based in Hong Kong, about what it's like to live in a city in the throes of an outbreak
28/02/209m 53s

How Wealth Has Changed

The world has changed, and nearly two thirds of global wealth is human capital. Policymakers and politicians may not understand just what that means for global politics.
27/02/209m 52s

The Rise And Fall (And Rise?) Of NASCAR

Last week's Daytona 500 came at a precarious time for NASCAR. Once a behemoth in the world of professional sports, the company is now trying to entice a new generation of race fans.
26/02/209m 59s

Why Netflix Turned To Junk

Netflix had to become a content producer to compete with other streaming services. To raise the money to pay for all that content, the company turned to junk bonds.
25/02/209m 41s

For Richer Or... Richer

The effects of assortative mating, or, what happens when people increasingly marry only other people with similar incomes and education.
24/02/209m 10s

The Indicator The Candidates Should Be Talking About

Political Economist Jared Bernstein watched this week's Democratic debate. Many economic issues came up, but he thinks the candidates need to start talking about how much U.S. households are saving.
21/02/209m 53s

Timecard Capitalists

People who make the highest salaries are increasingly the same people who draw the highest incomes from their capital.
20/02/209m 48s

Meet Our Junk Bond!

Last year, Team Indicator bought a junk bond! The bond was from a company called Hornbeck Offshore Services. On today's show, we learn more about the company and we check in on our investment.
19/02/209m 13s

Listener Questions: Minimum Wage & Gender-Fluid Tadpoles

Cardiff takes on the national debt, minimum wage, and gender-fluid tadpoles to get answers to your burning questions.
18/02/209m 0s

How Economists Do Valentines

It's an Economic Valentine! Economics isn't known as a language of love. But economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers say it's central to their relationship and to their decisions as a couple.
14/02/209m 51s

For Rent: Fast Fashion

Buy or rent? That's becoming a question for manufacturers of more and more types of products. Now fast fashion brands are trying to get in on the movement, too.
13/02/209m 10s

The First Milestone In The History of Economics

The first milestone in the history of economics was an 8th century B.C. poem — a lecture by an ancient Greek poet to his deadbeat brother.
12/02/209m 51s

Why Cheap Solar Could Save the World

In the last fifteen years, the cost of solar energy has declined so sharply that it has recently become the cheapest form of energy in the world. Now, major companies are jumping in to invest, but will the markets follow?
11/02/209m 41s

Coronavirus And The Global Economy

The coronavirus has sickened more than 40,000 people and killed more than 900. In addition to that devastating human toll, the outbreak is likely to have economically destructive effects as well.
10/02/209m 39s

Jobs Friday: The Racial Unemployment Gap

The unemployment rate for black workers is roughly twice that of white workers - and has been for half a century. Today we discuss the reasons for the gap, and how to shrink it.
07/02/209m 9s

Betting On The Oscars

Betting on the Oscars is now legal in New Jersey and Indiana, so we went down to Atlantic City to place a bet on Best Picture. And we spoke to a few experts beforehand to understand how to make a better bet.
06/02/209m 55s

Triple-A Ratings Are So Yesterday

It used to be that companies strove for the best credit rating possible. Today, however, almost everyone's happy to slide by with a barely passing grade.
05/02/209m 59s

Peak Misery And The Happiness Curve

How do you measure happiness? Economist David Blanchflower says age has a lot to do with it.
04/02/209m 42s

Even The Facts Are Polarized

As Iowans prepare to make their selection for the Democratic presidential nominee, a new study sheds light on just how polarized Americans are, even when it comes to reality itself.
03/02/209m 29s

A Business Owner's View On Brexit

Today is Brexit Day. As of 11:00pm tonight (GMT), the UK will no longer be part of the European Union. We spoke to a small business owner about what that might mean.
31/01/209m 46s

American Dynamism In Decline

America has a hard-earned reputation for being the most dynamic economy on the globe. But that dynamism could be waning.
30/01/209m 53s

The Economic Impact Of An Infectious Disease

As the coronavirus spreads internationally, we wanted to know what it looks like when an infectious disease shuts down one of the world's largest economies. We speak with NPR Beijing correspondent, Emily Feng.
29/01/209m 37s

Weird (Amazon) Flex, But Okay

Nearly half of Amazon's packages are delivered not by UPS or USPS, but by the company itself. Amazon employs thousands of gig workers to make its deliveries, administering them through an app called Amazon Flex.
28/01/209m 34s

The Indicator Plays 'Ms. Monopoly'

Monopoly recently rolled out a version of its classic board game, meant to highlight female contributions to the economy as well as women's economic issues. Today on the show, we play Ms. Monopoly.
27/01/209m 59s

Fun Fact Friday: Aggressively Passive Edition

Cardiff is back to present three economic facts for Stacey to deem fun, not fun, or just plain fascinating.
24/01/209m 56s

Buddhists, Sociopaths And The Art Of Investing

There's been a lot of troubling economic and political news over the last few years. In spite of that, the stock market has just kept on climbing.
23/01/209m 59s

Dueling Indicators: Stock Market Edition

Stacey and Cardiff face off on the question of whether the stock market is overvalued or undervalued.
22/01/209m 58s

Can You Name Five Fine Artists That Are Women?

On average, work by women artists sells for 40% less than work by male artists. Their work also represents just a small sliver of what's displayed in museums. So, how did women get shut out of the art world?
21/01/2010m 11s

A Bag of Bolívares: And Other Indicators From Venezuela

Venezuela started 2019 with rolling blackouts, hyperinflation, and crippling food shortages. Things have actually gotten a little better, mostly thanks to the economic innovations of everyday people.
17/01/209m 54s

China Trade Deal: A Truce Awakens?

The U.S. and China signed a trade deal yesterday - one where China has pledged to buy $200 billion worth of U.S. goods over the next two years. Seems like a big win for the U.S., but is it?
16/01/209m 46s

How The FCC Is Trying To Take On Robocalls

In October 2019, Americans received a record number of robocalls: 5.7 billion. We talked to Los Angeles Times columnist David Lazarus about these pesky calls and how we can avoid them.
15/01/209m 16s

How Amazon's Counterfeit Products Threaten Safety

Over half of sales on Amazon are from third-party sellers, some of whom are selling counterfeit goods. Faulty car seats are threatening children's safety, but is Amazon being held liable?
14/01/209m 59s

How Trade Wars Fill The Swamp

How lobbyists' campaigns for exclusions to the trade war have skewed incentives and disadvantaged small businesses.
13/01/209m 54s

Episode 500! And Jobs Friday

Two reasons to blow the airhorn today: it's Jobs Friday, and The Indicator's 500th episode!
10/01/209m 31s

What To Watch In 2020

Predictions can be a fool's errand. Instead, we take a look at economic trends that we're planning to keep an eye on this year.
09/01/209m 39s

The Popularity Of (And Problem With) Municipal Bonds

Thirsty for yield, and eager for tax breaks, investors are falling over themselves to buy municipal bonds. That could be a problem if the economy turns sour.
08/01/209m 20s

All The Single Ladies...Are Losing In The Housing Market

A home is the largest purchase most Americans will ever make. Why single women are losing out in both buying and selling compared to their male counterparts.
07/01/209m 9s

The Business Behind The Color Of The Year

Since 2000, the Pantone Color Institute has announced a "color of the year." This year's color: Classic Blue.
06/01/209m 59s

The Skyrocketing Cost Of Air Ambulances

After a catastrophic accident, you may be rushed to the hospital in an air ambulance. It could save your life, but there's no way to predict how much it will cost.
03/01/209m 59s

The Bubble That Broke Kuwait

How a simple financial innovation turned a parking garage in Kuwait into one of the most important markets in the world... and how it all came crashing down.
02/01/209m 42s

The Great British Bicycle Bubble

We continue our series on financial bubbles with the British bicycle mania of the 1890s and the trail of bankrupt companies it left behind.
31/12/199m 33s

The Roman Financial Crisis Of A.D. 33

What lessons should we learn from one of the earliest documented financial crises in history?
30/12/199m 49s

The Work Week, Episode 4: Is The Unemployment Rate Broken?

Economist Jared Bernstein thinks it's about time we admit that the unemployment rate is not as useful as it used to be. He offers three alternative indicators.
27/12/199m 59s

The Work Week, Episode 3: Gender Segregation In The Workplace

The most common jobs for men and the most common jobs for women tend to be different — and this separation has big effects for everyone.
26/12/199m 33s

The Work Week, Episode 2: What Happened To U.S. Workers?

The share of people aged 25 to 54 in the labor force has fallen in the past couple of decades. What happened?
24/12/199m 48s

The Work Week, Episode 1: The Strike That Changed U.S. Labor

The 1937 union agreement between General Motors and the United Auto Workers union ushered in a period of tremendous worker prosperity and union strength. But today, labor is nowhere near a powerful as it used to be. What happened?
23/12/199m 14s

Fun Fact Friday!

Stacey busts out the funometer and casts judgment on Cardiff's facts.
20/12/199m 58s

We Buy A Junk Bond!

Cardiff said the best gift he could imagine getting was a junk bond... so we thought, "Can we actually buy one of those? Also, what exactly is a junk bond?"
19/12/199m 59s

How Economics Excludes Black Women

Economics is an academic field notorious for its lack of diversity. This is especially true for black female economists. Why are they being left out?
18/12/199m 57s

A Guide To Holiday Scams

"It's the most wonderful time of the year. But for consumers, it's also the most dangerous." David Lazarus of the Los Angeles Times discusses some of the major scams that arise during the holidays.
17/12/199m 59s

The Efficient Christmas: Why Economists Hate Gifts

When economists see holiday gifts, they see waste: sweaters that never get worn; books that never get read. Many recommend cash or no gift at all. Economist Tim Harford may have a compromise.
16/12/199m 52s

A Trade War Truce?

The Trump administration announced it would hit the brakes on a new set of tariffs that were set to go into effect on Dec. 15. Could it be the start of a détente in the ongoing trade war?
13/12/199m 59s

Underrated Trends Of The 2010s

The 2010s have been a rich decade for economic megatrends. But some trends haven't gotten the attention they deserve.
12/12/199m 58s

Debt And The Dairy Farmer

Mary Rieckmann and her husband run a small dairy in rural Wisconsin. But a perfect storm of factors has plunged farmers like her into crippling debt.
11/12/199m 59s

The Disappearing Small Farmer

It's been a tough year for small farmers hit by trade wars and extreme weather. And as Time's Alana Semuels reports, this latest trouble is just part of a decades-long decline in small-scale farming.
10/12/199m 55s

New York City's Luxury Condo Hangover

When the rich stop buying luxury condos, sale prices drop for everyone. But rents are a different story.
09/12/199m 52s

Job(-switch) Friday!

It's time for our favorite Friday of every month: Jobs Friday! This week, we look at job switching and what it reflects about the tightening labor market.
06/12/199m 45s

Nike Swooshes Out Of Amazon

Nike, the country's largest sporting brand, is pulling its products off of Amazon. What spurred this decision, and will other companies follow suit?
05/12/199m 44s

The Case For Hope In 2020

Today, the show takes a distinctly positive stance in making the case for being optimistic about the economy in 2020. Five reasons why you should, plus kittens and rainbows.
04/12/199m 58s

The Map That Made Manhattan

Manhattan is known for being a grid. But 200 years ago, it was a hilly, bucolic wilderness. The transformation all started with a secret map. And the reason was all about economics.
03/12/199m 59s

Hudson's Kill

Back in the early 1800s, Manhattan was a wild, sparsely populated place, but it was just about to be developed big-time. There was a lot of money to be made knowing what would go where.
02/12/199m 37s

The Sahm Rule With The Eponymous Economist

Economist Claudia Sahm explains the eponymous Sahm Rule, and how changes in the unemployment rate point to whether or not we are in a recession.
27/11/198m 43s

Niche Products In Our Grocery Stores

Niche food products at grocery stores have been getting more and more popular. But, what took so long?
26/11/199m 45s

The $100 Million Apple

Next week, a new product will hit store shelves. It's been in development for 20 years and cost millions of dollars to bring to market. It's a new kind of apple. And the stakes are high.
25/11/199m 59s

Saudi Arabia's IPO Fail?

After years of teasing, deliberating and negotiating, oil behemoth Saudi Aramco finally looks poised to go public. But the IPO is shaping up to be a lot more modest than the original plan.
22/11/199m 26s

Ready Your Wallet For Thanksgiving Dinner

What will Thanksgiving dinner cost you this year? Also, Cardiff brings back the debate on which is better, pumpkin or pecan pie.
21/11/199m 1s

Lancaster Spotlight, Part 2: A Refugee's Tale

In our second spotlight episode on Lancaster County, we look into what Lancaster's success can tell us about the relationship between refugees and the local economy.
20/11/199m 51s

Grocery Store Wars

The profit margin for groceries is razor thin. To stay competitive against increasingly large competitors like Amazon Prime, retailers are turning to a new service: curbside pickup.
19/11/199m 42s

How Does The Economy Influence Voters?

The economy is one of the most important factors in how people vote. But its influence has been changing and it has everything to do with politics.
18/11/196m 59s

Fun Facts Fridays

Cardiff surprises Stacey with three feel-good facts about the economy, and she decides whether or not those facts are awesome.
15/11/199m 33s

Winning The Nobel

Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee talk about their work and what happens when you win a Nobel Prize.
14/11/199m 15s

Politics And The Trade War

Did President Trump's trade policies cost Republican votes last year? We talk to economist Chad Bown to find out.
13/11/199m 25s

The Great Cranberry Scare Of 1959

Sixty years ago, a food scare nearly crushed the cranberry business. Cranberries have bounced back since then, but the industry is facing new threats.
12/11/199m 59s

Why Sam Sanders Is Binging 'Friends'

Netflix, HBO, Amazon, Hulu, Disney, NBC, they're all at war for your eyeballs. Today on the show, the streaming wars. Who the major players are, what's at stake and what it will mean for you.
11/11/199m 39s

The Lancaster, Pa., Puzzle

A heavily rural county with a big manufacturing base and a low share of college graduates has found a way to thrive.
08/11/199m 25s

Your Secret Score

It's no secret that every online platform you use is keeping track of your information. But what if this data is being used to give you a 'score' as a customer?
08/11/199m 44s

What's The Beef? The Declining American Leather Industry

The leather manufacturing industry was once a backbone of the American economy. Now the industry is in decline, and the trade war isn't helping.
06/11/199m 49s

Openness Versus National Security: A Dilemma For U.S. Schools

Last year, the Education Department reported that U.S. universities received over $1.3 billion dollars in the form of gifts and contracts. Most of this money came from China.
05/11/199m 58s

The American Dream And The Children Of Immigrants

A new working paper suggests that children of poor immigrants have higher rates of upward economic mobility than children of poor US-born parents. What factors are at play?
04/11/1911m 14s

Jobs Friday: The Broken Unemployment Insurance System

In this week's edition of jobs friday, we look into why 72% of unemployed people do not have unemployment insurance.
01/11/199m 45s

Scary Stories From The Eek-conomy: Part II

In our second episode on scary stories on the economy we ask Tim Harford and Jared Bernstein what keeps them up at night. Also, has anxiety about the economy spooked off the Halloween spirit?
31/10/199m 59s

Lights Out For California

PG&E announced it was shutting off power to thousands of Californians to lessen the risk of wildfire. This is costing residents and businesses dearly and PG&E says it will likely be the new normal.
30/10/199m 31s

Are The Humanities Underrated? (And Other Questions)

We invite Tyler Cowen once again to play another round of overrated/underrated.
29/10/199m 5s

Can Global Shipping Go Zero Carbon?

A lot of the stuff we buy comes via ship, using a particularly dirty kind of fuel. Now the shipping industry wants to change.
28/10/199m 59s

WeWork And The Future Of Co-Working

WeWork has had a rough few weeks — its CEO was fired, it's lost billions of dollars and it's laying off thousands of workers. What happened? And what does that mean for the business of co-working?
25/10/199m 41s

Is The Unemployment Rate Broken?

Economist Jared Bernstein thinks it's about time we admit that the unemployment rate is not as useful as it used to be. He offers three alternative indicators.
24/10/199m 6s

Scary Stories From The Eek-conomy

We ask economists what scares them about the US economy right now.
23/10/199m 58s

Housing: It's About More Than Money

Our housing options matter not just for how much money we spend, but also in other ways that have a lasting impact on our quality of life.
22/10/199m 45s

Brexit: It's Complicated

Tomorrow the UK Parliament will vote on Brexit... again. Today, we take a look at what's happening, why Brexit is taking so long and what's at stake.
21/10/199m 59s

The 2019 IPO Awards!

2019 has been a very dramatic year for the IPO market. From Uber to Pinterest to WeWork--the headlines just kept coming. We celebrate it all with the first Annual IPO Awards!
18/10/199m 40s

The Jekyll And Hyde Economy

There are so many conflicting indicators about the economy's health, it's difficult to know where we're headed. We present the Jekyll and Hyde economy.
17/10/199m 1s

How Stories Shape The Economy

Nobel Laureate Robert Shiller talks about his new book, which looks at how narratives drive economic change and may help economists more accurately forecast recessions.
16/10/199m 28s

Of Diet Coke And Nobel Prizes

We talk to newly-minted Nobel Prize winner Michael Kremer about using economics to solve real-world problems and what it's like to receive his field's highest honor.
15/10/198m 55s

What The %!&$# Is The Repo Market?

Lots of people have been freaking out over the repo market... but what IS the repo market?
11/10/197m 57s

The U.S. And Global Economy: A New Relationship

The global economy used to have a simple rule: the US leads, everybody else follows. Things have changed.
10/10/199m 31s

The Cost Of Climate Change

Climate activists have long used political and social pressures to decrease the use of fossil fuels and preserve forests... but now many are following the money to try and affect change.
09/10/199m 52s

Five Economic Firsts

We're seeing a lot of firsts in this economy. Some good, some not so good, some surprising.
08/10/199m 44s

Forever 21's Fast Fashion Fail

Forever 21's bankruptcy filing highlights the flaws in fast fashion.
07/10/199m 49s

Jobs Friday: Crunching The Numbers

On the first Friday of every month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases a jobs report which includes the number of new jobs added to the U.S. economy. But how is that number calculated?
04/10/1910m 0s

How Iceland's Tourism Bubble Deflated

The tourism explosion in Iceland helped the tiny island recover from the 2008 financial crisis, but did the tourism industry grow too big, too fast?
03/10/199m 59s

The Rise And Fall Of Iceland's WOW Air

A budget airline, WOW Air, helped fly the tiny island nation of Iceland out of a financial crisis — but then it all came crashing down.
02/10/199m 2s

Is Cash Overrated? And Other Questions

We play Overrated, Underrated with Jill Schlesinger, CBS business analyst and author of The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money.
01/10/199m 46s

What's Gonna Trip Us Up In Q4?

Another quarter ends today, but the news is nuts right now, so we take a step back and guide you through the big themes we'll be looking at in the fourth quarter of the year.
30/09/199m 59s

Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 6: Nuns & Guns

In an attempt to stem the tide of gun violence, a group of religious organizations turned to an unlikely place: the markets.
27/09/199m 58s

The Probiotics Heist

Probiotics are increasingly popular — flying off of the shelves, even being stolen from pharmacies. But the jury's still out on their safety and efficacy. So, how did they get on store shelves?
26/09/199m 25s

Millennial Mythbusting

Data shows that many of the popular assumptions about millennials are dead wrong.
25/09/199m 57s

How Much Are Thoughts And Prayers Worth?

A gesture which is given out freely to victims of big, catastrophic events are thoughts and prayers. But what if you could assign a monetary value to this gesture?
24/09/199m 13s

Our Five Favorite Fun Facts & Figures

We stumble on interesting nuggets of economic information all the time. Here are some of our recent favorites.
23/09/199m 59s

Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 5: Why Fees Matter

Do hedge funds and private equity firms charge too much money to their investors — including, potentially, your pension fund?
20/09/199m 59s

Unsung Economists: Edith Penrose

Edith Penrose transformed our understanding of how businesses grow, and also lived a remarkable life full of adventure, intrigue, and tragedy.
19/09/199m 58s

What Separates Urgent Care And The ER? Your Bill.

Urgent care centers look a lot like emergency rooms. But they're a lot cheaper, both for patients and operators.
18/09/199m 58s

Physical Stores Are Back, Again

Brands are struggling to strike a balance between the real and digital worlds.
17/09/199m 59s

An Attack On Saudi Arabia's Oil

What the attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil production facilities could mean for the global oil industry.
16/09/199m 26s

How China Transformed The Luxury Goods Market

Chinese consumers not only account for a growing share of high-end luxury goods purchases; they're transforming the way the market works.
13/09/199m 22s

The White Claw Tax Law Flaw

White Claw could be the hottest alcoholic beverage of the summer of 2019. You can thank tax policy for (some of) that.
12/09/198m 59s

The Debt That Never Dies: China's Imperial Bonds

Bonds issued by Chinese governments more than a century ago could come back to haunt the People's Republic of China.
11/09/199m 59s

The Olympic Bounce

When new sports are added to the Olympics — like surfing and sports climbing — they see a bump in the year following the games. But, what happens after that?
10/09/199m 20s

Listener Q&A, Another Policy Wonkout

NPR politics correspondent Danielle Kurtzleben answers your questions about student loans, taxes and tariffs.
09/09/199m 14s

Jobs Friday: Future Edition

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has some predictions about the future of the US labor market.
06/09/198m 21s

Tech's Convenience Store

Amazon is opening new stores — in the real world. And in true Big Tech fashion the experience is meant to emphasize convenience. All you need to do is walk in, grab your stuff, and go.
05/09/199m 55s

What Medicare For All Might Mean For Jobs

Proponents of Medicare for All argue it'll give all Americans health insurance and cost less. But even supporters admit it could mean job losses in the short term.
04/09/199m 45s

How A String Quartet Explains Healthcare Costs

The costs of education and healthcare have climbed faster than other prices throughout the economy — for decades. An under-appreciated economic theory explains why.
03/09/199m 22s

Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 4: The Worry of Wall Street

There's a trend emerging in the finance world: Billionaire financiers are increasingly — if belatedly? — acknowledging inequality in America.
30/08/198m 56s

America's Rare Earth Conundrum

America doesn't produce much in the way of rare earths. As the trade war with China intensifies, that's becoming a problem.
29/08/199m 54s

Listener Q&A, Policy Wonkout Edition

Policy can take a back seat to politics in the run-up to elections. But that's no excuse for not watching to see what effects policy can have on an economy.
28/08/199m 43s

Not All Goods Are Traded Equal

Not all goods are created equal: some are exempt from tariffs.
27/08/199m 55s

More Money, More Votes?

The 2020 election cycle is almost in full swing. People can barely go a day without seeing an ad from candidates asking for money. But does more money really mean more votes?
26/08/199m 57s

Finance Friday With Mary, Volume 3: Snack-Sized Questions

Our inbox is pretty much always filled with great questions about business, the economy and how the markets behave. Today, we answer three questions specific to the financial world.
23/08/199m 19s

The Economics of Music Festivals

Music festivals like Coachella and Lollapalooza have gotten a lot more expensive, and the reasons behind that increase can tell us a lot about how the economy is changing.
22/08/199m 40s

The R-Word

Our inbox is chock full of listener questions about whether there's a recession coming, and what we should do about it. Today, we answer.
21/08/199m 22s

Why China's Buying Rice From America

China is the world's biggest rice producer. So why did China agree to buy two shipping containers of rice from the U.S.?
20/08/197m 39s

Trump And Trade: The Point Of No Return?

President Trump has kept his protectionist promises, but his scorched earth approach to dealmaking could have damaged global trading relationships for good.
19/08/199m 36s

The Gender Gap Series: The Problem With The Pink Tax

Women pay more than men for many consumer products. Why some economists say that's a good thing.
16/08/199m 58s

The Gender Gap Series: Tampons - That Bloody Sales Tax

Most states in the U.S. have a sales tax on menstrual products. Some states have repealed this so-called Tampon Tax, on the grounds that it's unfair to women. But the repeals come at a cost.
15/08/199m 3s

The Gender Gap Series: Saving Women

Women invest far less of their paychecks than men do. Sallie Krawcheck spent her career on Wall Street and she says this is a problem we need to solve.
14/08/199m 31s

The Gender Gap Series: Working Women- Why the U.S. is Behind

When it came to the female labor force participation rate, America used to lead the world. But we've fallen behind. Today on the show: What happened?
13/08/199m 57s

The Gender Gap Series: Where The Gender Pay Gap Is Widest

A report from Glassdoor reveals which industries have the starkest gender pay gaps.
12/08/199m 59s

Finance Fridays With Mary, Volume 2: Short Selling

Short sellers are investors who bet against companies. They're the detectives of the stock market, unearthing flaws and making markets more efficient, though they also attract controversy.
09/08/199m 57s

Sports Teams Need To Fill Stadiums

Sporting event attendance is down. So teams are trying out creative, new ways to win back fans.
08/08/199m 29s

Why Grad Students Are Taking On More Debt

Graduate students are increasingly shouldering the country's student debt.
07/08/199m 7s

Currency Wars & A Pepperoni Problem

Listener questions! How the U.S.-China trade war has escalated, including a move by China to devalue its currency. Plus the history of pepperoni on pizza.
06/08/199m 59s

The Delicate Macho Movie Brand

The stars of the new Fast & Furious movie will go to extraordinary lengths to protect their "tough guy" brands, even going so far as to negotiate to make sure their characters never lose a fight.
05/08/199m 59s

Jobs Friday Meets Listener Q&A

Happy Jobs Friday! The U.S. economy created 164,000 jobs in July, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged. But to send you into your weekend with more pep, we answer some listener questions.
02/08/199m 54s

The View From The Boardroom

Some presidential candidates have supported a policy — known as co-determination — that would see workers represented on corporate boards. We talked to one worker who already has a seat at the table.
01/08/199m 59s

Workers Take A Seat At The Table?

The board of directors for most U.S. companies is made up of shareholders--not workers. A corporate system called co-determination aims to put employees at the table where big decisions are made.
31/07/1910m 0s

Stacey vs Cardiff: The Fed Cut Throwdown!

The economy's looking pretty good. So, do we really need a rate cut right now? Stacey and Cardiff duke it out.
30/07/199m 48s

It's Check-Up Time, America!

The Federal Reserve is set to cut interest rates this week. We also just passed the half-year mark. Two good reasons to check in on the health of the U.S. economy.
29/07/199m 59s

America's Tijuana Tech Boom

A growing workforce of high-tech specialists is luring American companies to Tijuana
26/07/199m 57s

Waiting For The Tariff Storm

The trade war between the U.S. and China started a little over a year ago, but the oft-predicted economic storm is yet to break.
25/07/199m 54s

The Fed Cuts Loose?

An economic principle that has guided the Federal Reserve for decades is increasingly being questioned.
24/07/199m 59s

Rhino Bonds

Investors will soon be able to bet on black rhinos. A conservation group is rolling out a 5 year, 50 million dollar rhino bond to help save the species.
23/07/199m 51s

Rethinking Economics

Jared Bernstein has a shortlist of economic ideas that he thinks his colleagues have been getting wrong for decades.
22/07/199m 54s

Women, Men And Hedge Funds

Introducing a new series: Finance Fridays With Mary!
19/07/199m 47s

Gold Rush 2.0

The price of gold is at a six-year high and gold bugs say it's the safest place to put your money in uncertain times. But is it actually a good investment?
18/07/199m 50s

Yield Curve: You Asked, We Answer

The yield curve is inverted! We answer a few questions we have gotten from our listeners about our beloved recession predicting indicator.
17/07/199m 58s

Tricking Myself Into Paying My Student Loans

About 44 million people owe nearly 1.5 trillion dollars in student loans all together. But for some people — like our producer Darius Rafieyan — paying them requires some mental adjustments.
16/07/199m 59s

Can GIPHY Make It Rain?

GIPHY makes those viral mini-videos that people use to color their texts and emails. They're super popular, but they're free. So how does GIPHY plan to make money?
15/07/199m 47s

Bitcoin's Energy Bill

The computers that mine Bitcoin use a lot of electricity. That's created some unique arbitrage opportunities in different parts of the world. And causing governments some concern.
12/07/199m 58s

Japan's Worker Shortage

Japan's worker shortage has gotten so bad it's forced some companies to declare bankruptcy. The solution? Telling workers to work less.
11/07/199m 59s

Deutsche Bank Breaks The Pizza Barrier

One of the biggest international banks--Deutsche Bank--is laying off 18,000 workers and cutting costs to try and save itself from going under. How did things get so bad?
10/07/199m 53s

Is LA Ready For A Big Earthquake?

Last week's California quakes have reinforced fears of "the big one", the high-magnitude trembler that seismologists say is inevitable. How ready is the city of Los Angeles?
09/07/199m 56s

Jobs Friday...On Monday

The monthly pace of jobs growth has slowed this year. But that's not necessarily a problem.
08/07/199m 51s

The American Economy Of 1776

A look at the assets and liabilities of the American colonies on the eve of revolution.
05/07/199m 52s

The Cows Are Taking All The Land

The U.S. is a big place, nearly 1.9 billion acres. On today's Indicator, we look at how all that land is divvied up.
03/07/199m 42s

Listener Questions: Consumption & A New Curriculum

Today we answer listener questions: why is so much consumption necessary for a healthy economy (or as our listener put it — why do we have to buy so much crap for the economy to be healthy?). Plus, what are some good economic resources for teenagers?
02/07/199m 12s

Amazon #FAIL...?

One of the largest companies in the world, Amazon, just shuttered its food delivery service, Amazon Restaurants. But Amazon's fails are a bit different.
01/07/199m 31s

The Rise Of American Oil

What it means that the U.S. is now the biggest consumer and producer of crude oil in the world.
28/06/198m 15s

The Private Firefighter Industry

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West got a lot of blowback for using private firefighters to protect their California home from a wildfire. Today on The Indicator, the business of private firefighting.
27/06/199m 58s

Niche Sports Cashing In

Basketball, football and baseball may draw big crowds and score primetime television spots, but niche sports, like cornhole, axe throwing and even professional arm wrestling, are beginning to attract interest and money.
26/06/199m 57s

The Protest Tipping Point

If you're considering a popular uprising against a government, it turns out there may be a recipe that can almost guarantee your success.
25/06/199m 17s

The Rise Of The Blue-Collar Noncompete

Traditionally, noncompete clauses have been reserved for whiter collar professionals. But as the labor market tightens, employers increasingly want blue-collar workers to adhere to these agreements too.
24/06/199m 20s

Women's Soccer Sues For Equal Pay

The U.S. women's soccer team is way more successful than the men's. Yet they say they get paid less than half, on average, compared to the men's team.
21/06/199m 59s

Slack Goes Public

Shares in the online chat service Slack hit the stock market today. But Slack went public in an unconventional way.
20/06/199m 55s


This week Facebook announced plans for its own cryptocurrency, the Libra. Regulators are cautious, and no one really knows how it will work. But Wall Street is excited.
19/06/199m 49s

Japan's Inflation Gamble

Japan is still recovering from a brutal recession that lasted ten years. The country has tried a variety of fiscal and monetary measures to bring its economy back.
18/06/199m 59s

The Economic Expansion Turns 10!

The U.S is about to mark the longest economic expansion in its history. It's an impressive achievement, but in many ways the economy is still struggling.
17/06/199m 46s

Animal Spirits

People hear the word 'economics' and probably think: numbers, equations, and percentages. But hidden underneath the math, is a force that can't be quantified.
14/06/199m 57s

The Governor Is Suing My Hometown

The mayor of Huntington Beach says he wants less housing development in his city. The governor of California says that's against the law.
13/06/199m 59s

The Water Marketplace

New rules governing water use in California have sparked innovation in agribusiness, including a brand new market for water.
12/06/199m 45s

Your Questions: Meatless Meat And GDP

Today we answer listener questions: How does U.S. gross domestic product break down into different industries, and how do meat alternatives compare to the real thing?
11/06/199m 35s


The introduction of the three-point line changed how people play basketball. And it has some compelling parallels to economics.
10/06/199m 52s

Jobs Friday: Summer Slowdown Edition

Happy Jobs Friday! The labor market is showing signs of slowing down. The unemployment rate is still low at 3.6 percent, but only 75,000 jobs were added in the month of May — a lot fewer than what economists expected.

The Battle For The Office Thermostat

Office temperature can affect more than comfort; a recent study shows it has serious implications for productivity. We talked to one economist who quantified the effects of temperature on men and women.
06/06/199m 59s

Returning To Paradise

The deadliest wildfire in California's history destroyed thousands of homes in Butte County. The area is still an active disaster zone. But insurance companies are making residents move back.
05/06/199m 54s

All WeWork And No Play

Co-working spaces might just be the future of work. Take WeWork. It's been cropping up in cities all over the world--borrowing billions to fuel its growth. Now, it's planning to go public.
04/06/199m 58s

Weaponized Interdependence: The End of Globalization?

The trade war between the U.S. and China is challenging a long-standing assumption about globalization — that economic ties between countries would deepen with minimal political interference.
03/06/1910m 1s

Why Is Trump Threatening Mexico (Again)?

President Trump has threatened to impose new tariffs on Mexico unless the country stops the flow of migrants entering the U.S. But, Mexico is one of the biggest trade partner the U.S. has.
31/05/199m 55s

The Super-Villain Economist

The Avengers super-villain Thanos saw the universe as a place of too many people and too few resources: a classic economic dilemma. His solution: Kill half the population.
30/05/199m 43s

An Economist Goes To The Hospital

Economist Jared Bernstein recently survived a brain hemorrhage. The experience got him thinking about some of the economics in our healthcare system.
29/05/199m 55s

Is Time Really On Your Side?

Economics is all about scarcity — and time is a scarce resource. We talk to economist Daniel Hamermesh, whose new book Spending Time examines time's complicated relationship to money, stress, and gender.
28/05/199m 56s

What Trump's Latest Aid Package Means For Farmers

President Trump announced an aid package for farmers yesterday worth $16 billion. It's meant to offset losses from the trade war with China. We spoke to one U.S. farmer about how helpful it will be.
24/05/199m 59s

Canada's Tariff Hangover

Canada and the U.S. have come to an agreement on trade, and lifted their punitive tariffs on each other's goods. But some small businesses are still feeling the pain.
23/05/199m 50s

What Surfing Can Teach Us About Risk

Surfing and financial markets have a lot in common when it comes to taking and managing risk.
22/05/199m 57s

The Nordic Paradox

Norway is regarded as one of the most progressive nations in the world when it comes to encouraging female participation in the workforce. Yet the country still has relatively few female business leaders.
21/05/199m 59s

Economy Of Thrones

We have five economic indicators to help you understand the world of Game of Thrones.
20/05/199m 59s

Is Buying A Home A Bad Investment?

Home ownership used to be a central pillar of the American Dream. Today, maybe not so much.
17/05/199m 53s

The Real Minimum Wage

Many states and cities have their own minimum wages, which are higher than the federal minimum of $7.25 per hour. One economist calculated a single measure that accounts for all those differences.
16/05/199m 55s

Psssst...Want To Buy A Tarantula?

The market for animal smuggling is relatively new. But it's gotten really big, really fast.
15/05/199m 56s

The World's Identity Crisis

Around one in seven people do not have any official ID, according to the World Bank.
14/05/199m 48s

Does The Deficit Matter?

Budget deficits used to be seen as a bad thing. Today, not so much...and some economists even say they don't really matter. What changed?
13/05/199m 28s

Wyatt Cenac On School Funding... And Thor

The comedian and former Daily Show correspondent takes on complex social issues in his HBO show, Problem Areas. He discusses his approach to melding comedy with social commentary.
10/05/199m 59s

Will China Overtake The US?

China is so big and growing so fast that many people say it will inevitably become a bigger economy than the U.S. in every way. But there are several good reasons for skepticism.
09/05/199m 15s

The Problem With Banning Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are no boon to the environment — but banning them might be worse.
08/05/199m 54s

Subway's Five-Dollar Footlong Fail?

Subway has more restaurants in the U.S. than any other fast food company. It did spectacularly well during the recession thanks, in part, to it's famous $5 footlong deal. But that deal has come back to haunt it.
07/05/199m 50s

Japanese Womenomics

Women have long been an untapped economic resource in Japan. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe decided to change that. Six years after he launched "womenomics," is it working?
06/05/199m 58s

Jobs Friday: The Part-Time Penalty

Part-time workers make less per hour than full-time workers do. That has big implications for women and mothers.
03/05/199m 59s

All The Bucks On Broadway

The Tony nominations were announced this week and that got us does the business of Broadway work?
02/05/199m 57s

The Fed's Messaging Dilemma

Right now the economy looks good, but inflation is lower than the Federal Reserve would like. A future rate cut could juice prices, but the messaging has to be right.
01/05/199m 42s

How Grocery Shelves Get Stacked

The pay-to-play way your supermarket's shelves work.
30/04/199m 59s

Where The Gender Pay Gap Is Widest

A report from Glassdoor reveals which industries have the starkest gender pay gaps.
29/04/199m 36s

Why Superman Doesn't Take Over The World

Superman could easily take over the world. But there are some good economic reasons why he doesn't.
26/04/1910m 0s

Selling A T-Rex On eBay

On eBay right now: A baby T-Rex. The price? $2.95 million.
25/04/199m 40s

Is Everything Awesome In The Economy?

The first few months of 2019 looked troubling. But now we seem to be on the upswing.
24/04/199m 59s

What Happened To U.S. Workers?

The share of people ages 25 to 54 in the labor force has fallen in the past couple of decades. What happened? Listen to an excerpt from our live event with the Financial Times Alphachat.
23/04/199m 57s

The Traffic Tariff

New York will soon charge drivers to enter the most crowded parts of the city. Congestion pricing: Does it work? Who's doing it? And is it coming to a city near you?
22/04/199m 41s

A Brief History of Income Taxes

Taxes have been around forever. But the income tax? In the U.S., it's relatively recent.
18/04/199m 55s

Why Do Introverts Get Paid Less?

There's a gap in career earnings between introverts and extroverts.
17/04/199m 26s

Why Do We Still Use QWERTY Keyboards?

The story behind the first six keyboard letters are driven by economics.
16/04/199m 57s

The Cost Of Measles

The cost of a measles outbreak - to individuals, families, communities, and the country - is high.
15/04/198m 42s

Solving Problems Caused By International Trade

Free trade may solve problems for businesses transacting across borders, but it can make life painful for their workers.
12/04/199m 41s

How Trade Helps Explain Inequality

Trade makes for peaceful relationships between nations, but gains for consumers and workers aren't spread evenly.
11/04/198m 59s

The Maple Syrup Cartel

Prices for most agricultural products change with supply and demand. Not maple syrup.
10/04/199m 50s

Trade War With Cheese: Trump's New EU Tariffs

A new round of U.S. tariffs could hit European wine, cheese, aircraft, and escargots.
09/04/199m 1s

How To Measure Happiness

The U.S. is one of the world's largest economies, but it lags when it comes to happiness: the World Happiness Report ranks America number 19.
08/04/199m 53s

Jobs Friday: Chillaxing Edition

Happy Jobs Friday! The economy is still adding jobs, unemployment remains low, and wage growth is fine. It's all good...right?
05/04/198m 57s

The China Corruption Crackdown: Sincere Or Cynical?

A recent paper examines the motivations behind Xi Jinping's corruption crackdown and arrives at a surprising answer.
04/04/198m 13s

The 20-Year Quest To Save Nutella

Global demand for hazelnuts is growing, thanks to the popularity of products like Nutella. So it should be a great time to be in the hazelnut business... but there's one big problem.
03/04/199m 35s

What Sex Work Reveals About Risk

Allison Schrager is an economist and journalist who visited a number of brothels to examine how we understand and deal with risk.
02/04/199m 42s

A Crisis Of Consumer Confidence?

The Conference Board's Consumer Confidence Index is one of the indicators retailers, policy-makers and manufacturers use to gauge the health of the economy. But what is the index, exactly?
01/04/199m 45s

An Indicator In The Hand

On the one hand, you could say the economy's looking rocky; on the other hand you could argue it's in good health. We lay out both sides.
29/03/199m 20s

Dry Cleaners, Housing, The Stock Market And Rip It

Today, answers to your questions on dry cleaner pricing, and the comparative investment virtues of the housing and stock markets.
28/03/199m 51s

An Economist in Caracas: Day In The Life

Gabriela Saade is a 27-year-old economist in Caracas, Venezuela. Yesterday, she walked us through Venezuela's staggering numbers. Today, we walk a mile in her shoes.
27/03/199m 53s

Venezuela By The Numbers

The crisis in Venezuela continues to deepen, with nationwide blackouts hitting the country again this week. Today, we talk to a Caracas-based economist about what's happening in her country.
26/03/199m 59s

Spotify's Long, Winding Road To India

Spotify recently launched in India, but that path was long and complicated. We take the experience of Spotify and use it as a lens to look at why breaking into India is so difficult.
25/03/199m 17s

Are Neighbors Overrated? (And Other Questions)

The latest edition of "Overrated, Underrated" with economist Tyler Cowen.
22/03/197m 24s

Lyft Going Public: The Dual-Class Share Dilemma

All shares of stock are not created equal. Stock can come in different classes now: Class A, Class B. Some of this stock comes with superpowers... and some of it comes with almost no power at all.
21/03/199m 51s

Why Are Venezuelans Starving?

Venezuelans are starving because there isn't enough food. But the country has so much fertile land, water, and sunshine — shouldn't it be a farmer's paradise?
20/03/199m 44s

Coffee? Thank U, Next

Your average cup of coffee is getting more expensive — but the price for coffee beans is going down. How can that be?
19/03/199m 59s

The Cost Of Student Debt

Should you take out a student loan? Jill Schlesinger, author of "The Dumb Things Smart People Do With Their Money," does the math.
18/03/199m 58s

Buying A College Degree: Did Aunt Becky Overpay?

The scandal that dominated the news this week involved parents paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their kids into the right college. But what is a college degree really worth?
15/03/199m 43s

Saying 'I Do' To Lab-Grown Diamonds

A lot of money is pouring into the global diamond industry, but demand for diamonds has been less than lustrous of late. But, at the same time, money has been pouring into the industry. Why? We have on our hands – a four carat mystery.
14/03/199m 57s

The Economy Inside Your Head

Economics looks at how we make decisions in a world of scarce resources. What happens when the scarce resource is our attention?
13/03/199m 49s

A Tale Of Two Dollar Stores

Dollar stores thrived during the economic downturn--opening thousands of locations across the country. They were recession-proof...but are they recovery-proof?
12/03/199m 58s

March Madness: Britain Leaving The EU

Leaving the EU is unprecedented, but leaving a large trading bloc is not.
11/03/199m 54s

Gender Segregation In The Workplace

The most common jobs for men and the most common jobs for women tend to be different — and this separation has big effects for everyone.
08/03/199m 43s

Inequality In America

Technology is bringing us closer together, but it's also making the world a more unequal place.
07/03/199m 41s

Tampons: That Bloody Sales Tax

Most states in the U.S. have a sales tax on menstrual products. Some states have repealed this so-called Tampon Tax, on the grounds that it's unfair to women. But the repeals come at a cost.
06/03/199m 18s

Trade War And Peace

Trade negotiators from China and the U.S. seem to be closing in on a deal. But it's not clear what the terms will be.
05/03/199m 5s

5 Misconceptions About The Chinese Economy

Five things that a lot of people get wrong about the world's second largest economy - and what robots and zombies have to do with it.
04/03/199m 59s

Who Is The Neoliberal Shill Of The Year?

"Neoliberalism" has become a loaded term.
01/03/198m 43s

Dancing On The Debt Ceiling

Tomorrow is the day the U.S. hits its debt limit. What happens if Congress doesn't raise the debt ceiling?
28/02/199m 59s

More Debt, Less Problems

Americans have more consumer debt, and they're also in better financial health. How can that be?
27/02/199m 25s

TV Vs. Video Games: Who's Winning?

Both video games and television have radically improved in the past two decades. Have they also changed the way Americans spend their time?
26/02/199m 51s

Payday Loans And Debt Traps

Earlier this month, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced payday regulations would be delayed. We look at the business of payday loans, and what it's like to get into a debt cycle with payday lenders.
25/02/199m 59s

Unsung Economists #1: Sadie Alexander

Sadie Alexander was the first African-American to earn a PhD in economics. We think her contributions deserve another look.
22/02/199m 59s

Investing: Wait For It...?

Personal finance specialist, author and former trader Jill Schlesinger explains market timing--that is, trying to figure out when to buy and sell stock--and why it's a fool's errand.
21/02/199m 53s

Why Americans Can't Quit Tipping

Tipping is ingrained in America's retail culture. And there's not much we can do to stop that.
20/02/199m 14s

The Super Bowl: Key Housing Indicator

Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman told us last year that Super Bowl weekend is one of the most accurate indicators of the health of the housing market for the year ahead. Well, the Patriots won - what happened with housing?
19/02/198m 25s

What Does "National Emergency" Actually Mean?

President Trump asked Congress for funds to build an extension of the wall on the border with Mexico. Congress refused, so Trump declared a national emergency. But what does that mean?
15/02/199m 51s

Your Questions, Answered ❤️

Today we answer listener questions about age discrimination; how work hours are counted; and whether the economy is running out of people to take jobs.
14/02/199m 57s

The Strike That Changed U.S. Labor

The 1937 union agreement between GM and the United Auto Workers union ushered in a period of strength for organized labor. Today, labor is nowhere near as powerful as it used to be. What happened?
13/02/197m 54s

Fortnite Vs. Backpack Kid: Dance Battle Royale

An Instagram celebrity and a video game company are battling over who gets to own a dance move once it goes viral.
12/02/199m 54s

How Violence Limits Economic Activity

Economist Lisa Cook examined how race riots, lynchings, and segregation at the turn of the 20th century reduced the number of patents filed by African-Americans.
11/02/199m 51s

Small Town Boom

Small towns in rural areas across America are seeing a regeneration to advance technology, jobs and economic prospects.
08/02/199m 55s

The Disease Detectives

The dedicated officers of the epidemic intelligence service are foot soldiers in a relentless battle against infectious disease.
07/02/199m 58s

India's Poverty Paradox

India's government has proposed a plan to pay some of the country's poorest farmers a guaranteed income. What would this mean for the country's economy?
06/02/198m 7s

The Fed's Sweet Spot For Interest Rates

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell says inflation isn't a problem right now, and that the short term interest rate, at 2.5 percent, is right where it should be.
05/02/199m 49s


Parts of America are in the grip of a cold snap. Others are being drenched by rain. How do we measure the cost of extreme weather conditions? We called a scientist to find out. It turns out storms are getting more and more expensive.
04/02/198m 23s

The Jobs Friday 5

Jobs: Is the economy creating enough of them? Are they paying more than they used to? Do people have the jobs they want? All this and more.
01/02/197m 55s

Lights Out For PG&E?

How the once fairly-stable business of public utilities is changing.
31/01/199m 45s

How To Price A Government Shutdown

The Congressional Budget Office estimated the economic impact of the longest shutdown in history.
30/01/199m 37s

A Bond Is Born

How the invention of the government bond saved a bunch of mid-level politicians from certain death and became one of the most important pieces of financial technology the world has ever seen.
29/01/198m 19s

Globalization At Davos: What Happened?

The annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland is supposedly an unabashed celebration of globalization. Not this year.
28/01/199m 42s

The End Of The Shutdown?

The shutdown is over... for now. Today on the Indicator, we talk to one of the 800,000 formerly-furloughed federal employees about his experience of the shutdown.
25/01/197m 33s

HAIL To College Access

An economics experiment that streamlines the application and financial aid process for low-income students.
24/01/199m 55s

When Tariffs Hit Home

How the trade war with China is playing out on one peanut farm in Georgia.
23/01/199m 29s

Shooting Bambi To Save Mother Nature

The number of hunters in the U.S. is falling, which is bad news for wildlife conservation.
22/01/199m 58s

What Keeps Economists Up At Night? And Other Stuff

We armed The Indicator's producers with your questions, and they unleashed them on a roomful of economists at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association.
18/01/199m 56s

R.I.P. Jack Bogle, Democratizer Of Investing

John Clifton "Jack" Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group, passed away yesterday at the age of 89. Today we look back at his life and career.
17/01/199m 53s

The Extremely Cautious Case For Extremely Mild Optimism

Interest rates are higher, global growth is slowing, and the government is at an impasse. But there are also reasons for near-term optimism about the U.S. economy.
16/01/199m 56s

Working Women: Why The U.S. Is Behind

When it came to the female labor force participation rate, America used to lead the world. But we've fallen behind. Today on the show: what happened?
15/01/199m 46s

10,000 Economists Walk Into A Bar

Which economic indicators do we pay too much attention to? Not enough? It's Overrated/Underrated: Economic Indicator edition
14/01/199m 45s

Shutdown Economics

The U.S. partial government shutdown is on track to be the longest in history. Whatever its political consequences, the economic costs to the private sector will increase the longer it lasts.
11/01/199m 57s

U.S.-China Trade: Where Are We Now?

Today on The Indicator: an update on the trade spat between China and the U.S.
10/01/199m 46s

Are We Ready For A Recession?

Some signals on the economic dashboard are warning we could be heading for a downturn within a couple of years. Are we ready to fight off a recession?
09/01/199m 59s

Don't Fear The Fear Index

2018 was one of the most volatile stock market years on record. And the market continues volatile today. But that's not necessarily a bad thing.
08/01/199m 45s
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