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Roberts hosts the weekly podcast EconTalk—hour-long conversations with interesting thinkers. Past guests include Jill Lepore, Eric Topol, Martha Nussbaum, Milton Friedman, Thomas Piketty, Angela Duckworth, Sebastian Junger, Christopher Hitchens, Bill James, Emily Oster, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Stephen Kotkin, A.J. Jacobs, Mariana Mazzucato, Alan Lightman, and Michael Lewis. Over 825 episodes are available at no charge at EconTalk.org, iTunes, and places where people like to listen to podcasts.
His two rap videos on the ideas of John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek, created with filmmaker John Papola, have had more than twelve million views on YouTube, have been subtitled in eleven languages, and are used in high school and college classrooms around the world.
His animated poem, It’s a Wonderful Loaf, is an ode to the emergent order of our everyday lives.
His video series The Numbers Game looks at the challenges of measuring economic progress accurately.
His latest book is Wild Problems: A Guide to the Decisions That Define Us. The book looks at the challenge of making big life decisions–whether to marry, whether to have children, what career path to follow–when there is little analytical evidence to help us. Roberts urges the lens of human flourishing and the life well-lived as organizing principles when facing these kind of decisions rather than focusing on day-to-day satisfaction. The book releases August 2022.
In Gambling With Other People’s Money: How Perverse Incentives Caused the Financial Crisis. Roberts explores the role that past bailouts played in the risk-taking that led to the financial crisis of 2008.
In How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness (Portfolio/Penguin 2014), Roberts takes the lessons from Adam Smith’s little-known masterpiece, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, and applies them to modern life.
He is also the author of three economic novels teaching economic lessons and ideas through fiction. The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity (Princeton University Press, 2008) tells the story of wealth creation and the unseen forces around us creating and sustaining economic opportunity. The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance (MIT Press, 2002) looks at corporate responsibility and a wide array of policy issues including anti-poverty programs, consumer protection, and the morality of the marketplace. His first book, The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism (Prentice Hall, 3rd edition, 2006) is on international trade policy and the human consequences of international trade. It was named one of the top ten books of 1994 by Business Week and one of the best books of 1994 by the Financial Times.
A three-time teacher of the year, Roberts has taught at George Mason University, Washington University in St. Louis (where he was the founding director of what is now the Center for Experiential Learning), the University of Rochester, Stanford University, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He earned his PhD from the University of Chicago and his undergraduate degree in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.