|Debut||March 16, 2006|
EconTalk is hosted by the Library of Economics and Liberty (sponsored by the Liberty Fund). The podcast received 2nd place awards in 2006 and 2007 in the Weblog Awards, followed by 1st place in 2008. Roberts has interviewed several Nobel Prize laureates on EconTalk.
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2011)|
Major themes include the way markets evolve, spontaneous order, and the division of labor. Guests often include authors of recently published books of current interest in economics. A few guests appear regularly and converse with Roberts about questions that arise in the press or in classrooms. Topics of interest to guests as well as topics suggested by commenters and listeners sometimes become extended themes in subsequent podcasts. Additional themes include the economics of sports, health, the law, public choice, and education.
Roberts has a particular interest in spontaneous order and related Hayekian themes which emphasize the role and nature of knowledge. This often finds form in how societies organize themselves in not just economic but in social and political spheres as well. A running question Roberts poses to guests in this vein is how we should set out to describe this critical idea, as normal conversation rarely captures the essence of the idea.
The division of labor
Adam Smith's division of labor plays a recurring role in the podcasts, particularly in how it contributes to the creation of wealth. These increases in productivity are notably striking and often appear in conversations concerning trade, growth, and technology.
Roberts sometimes asks his guests if they are optimistic about the future, particularly at the end of the interview. Guests occasionally speculate on what may evolve in the long run.
Invited guests sometimes include controversial authors or areas of discussion in economics where there is current disagreement. Authors on opposing sides of an economic debate are invited to present their perspectives and are challenged with ideas on the opposing side.
See List of EconTalk episodes for a full list of episodes.