The Economics of Everyday Things

Business #8All Genres #117

Who decides which snacks are in your office’s vending machine? How much is a suburban elm tree worth, and to whom? How did Girl Scout Cookies become a billion-dollar business? In bite-sized episodes, journalist Zachary Crockett looks at quotidian things and finds amazing stories. Join the Freakonomics Radio Plus membership program for weekly member-only episodes of Freakonomics Radio. You’ll also get every show in our network without ads. To sign up, visit our show page on Apple Podcasts or go to

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Recent Reviews
  • bradleysampson711
    Good Podcast, Bad Name
    This podcast is interesting and well-written. The title is just not appropriate for the content. Most episodes are about rare or niche things, definitely not everyday things.
  • etherdog
    We miss Bepu
    This podcast is so general that it is worthless. You THINK you are getting some nugget of wisdom but it is another airball. On the episode about animal urine there wasn’t much discussion of the conditions for the animals whose urine was collected. This is unconscionable and tacitly supports inhumane treatment of animals. I have to come down hard against this podcast. We don’t have a grudge against the host, Zachary Crockett, but we do object to Dubner’s churn—killing perfectly fine shows and hosts (and sometimes superior ones like Bapu Jena), just to show Leavitt that he can quit things, too. Maybe it is time for the Freakonomics management to step in to prevent Dubner from emulating Musk. After listening to the most recent episode, it seems that just when the information is getting deep enough and interesting, the show abruptly ends.
  • Chucksmomsays
    Answers to so many of my random internal questions
    Love this podcast! It succinctly answers many of the questions that have quickly passed through my mind during my day-to-day life, and it also answers so many of the questions I’ve never even thought to ask. Highly recommend!
  • akhilb1234567
    Dream Podcast!
    This is my dream podcast. Succinct and meaningful answers to questions I never thought to ask! Highly recommend!
  • Ali Schu
    Thank you so much
    I really enjoyed learning about prosthetics. Ali Schuback
  • Music. Lover
    i question if trex skeletons and superhot chili peppers are everyday things but for the most part this is very interesting
  • Kelamaddio
    Love it!
    This is one of my favorite podcasts. Only complaint is that I wish the episodes were longer and came out more often! I learn so much every time I listen.
  • Jbabz128
    Love this podcast
    I wish there was a new episode daily. Zachary does a great job! More please
  • Mshade88
    Love it
    Love this podcast. Funny segments about products and businesses you’d never think about. Wish it was a twice a week show.
  • Aozkan
    Fantastic show!!
    Zachary is a great host, I love the topics he covers and the questions he asks. I appreciate that he tells the listener when an ad is coming instead of doing the ad abruptly like other podcasts. The shows are the perfect length as well. I get so excited when I see a new episode.
  • ardilicious
    One of My Favorites!
    Interesting topics and a fun light hearted approach to economic topics you typically don’t think of. Always excited when a new episode drops!
  • elysian012
    Love the topics, love format, love length! I always wanted to know how private labels worked!
  • Kjsalmon
    Love it!
    I’m really enjoying learning the behind the scenes info about these topics. I also like the 20-30 minute episode length. Good stuff, keep going!!
  • SoCalCuster
    Mixed episodes
    Some are more sensationalist, such as the recent on on sex scenes. It was more gossip versus economics. Obviously a trade off for clicks.
  • TaxMatt
    The amount of entertaining and enlightening information packed into each short episode is unsurpassed by any other podcast that I’ve heard. I am looking forward to the next episode!! Matt
  • LittleRedwood
    Fun and educational
    This show is the number 1 podcast that both my 11-year-old and 14-year-old would listen to on car rides. It’s fun and educational. The subjects are unusual and they are truly about “everyday things”. Please make an episode about the latest viral trend on Stanley cups!
  • Jay Irillium
    Best Podcast EVER!
    Yes, this podcast is the best. Besides being entertaining, and educating at the same time, the subjects are so wacky and fun!
  • hiiii.
    So happy they brought this pod back. Thank you.
  • manyaKnoid
    Love this Podcast!
    Fun, informational, and full of surprises.
  • mlarson417
    Fun & Informational
    Loving this show! So interesting to learn about the economic behind every day things. Fun and thought provoking!
  • Duped…
    Who Decides What Is EVERYDAY?
    Interesting show but most of the topics are not everyday at all. Should be called the the economics of obscure things. As such the rules of economics are pretty warped.
  • Maria ZZ 76
    Private jets
    Interesting topic. However one thing ticked me off. You used Elon Musk as an example for using private jet. The guy runs several successful companies. Nothing about Bill Gates, John Kerry, all the ‘important’ people flying to Davos on private planes, to talk about ‘climate crisis’ and come with horrible solutions for the rest of us. You are so biased screaming liberal.
  • Anonymous47853
    High production value but bad content
    I have enjoyed this show in the past, but recently listened to an episode relating to an industry I work in. The episode did a terrible job of explaining the issues and was very inaccurate. Now when the show covers an industry I know nothing about, I have to assume they are also getting it wrong. If you want to be entertained, the show is great. Just don’t expect it to be accurate.
  • junior chomsky
    Answers to common questions
    You never know what episode topic will be next. The subjects are so wide-ranging. They are sometime about curiosities, but more often about answers to questions we always wondered about. The stories are compact, but never sound like a simple Wikipedia style eplanation.
  • Jed-I jester
    Perfect length program with high production values
    I’ve been wanting programs to accompany household chores, but not long-format. It doesn’t take two hours to do the dishes (thank goodness). This one has fresh and interesting topics, and a polished sound.
  • abbyvero
    This show is excellent.
    It’s short. It’s interesting. It’s well produced. It’s very similar to planet money (which I also enjoy), but with a slightly less newsy, slightly less technical vibe. I may actually like this show better. I was so disappointed to hear that no more are coming out in the immediate future. I very much hope they’ll bring the show back.
  • Virginia D
    Great Family Car Trip Podcast!
    This podcast covers a variety of subjects that even if you aren’t initially interested in, you will be captivated by the fast pace and the subject expertise. There’s always something to learn on these podcasts, and it’s suitable for everyone in your vehicle from toddlers to grandmas.
  • coastalcalgal
    The Economics of Everyday Things
    well presented, fun, topics, and really interesting analysis. Another winner from the Freakonomics people. Wish the show had a better title because it’s much more lively than the title sounds.
  • mindbeggar
    Love the shorter format.
    Interesting and entertaining content in a shorter podcast. Sometimes you want a quick bite. So refreshing
  • Kadena Joe
    Great Show
    The show is excellent. Very informative and entertaining. Look forward to every new episode.
  • Mokeyt3/35
    Nice respite
    So far I’ve really enjoyed this podcast. I like politics, but sometimes you just have to get away from it. I do hope that liberal mind viruses don’t infect the show. Please keep it anti-woke. Thank you..
  • schlenky1
    R U Kidding?
    Great show but the Del license plate show made Ill! 🤢! So many people in need vs a car tag! This is why we have to tax the rich ! They have no idea!! Especially generational wealth!!! How do they sleep at night ? Family $$ is the worst !!
  • Listener in MD
    Lots of interesting information
    The topics are interesting and varied. I’m learning about the economy behind many “everyday things”. Worth your time.
  • Ecyar
    If only I had more stars!
    Even subjects that I had never been interested in become very, very interesting.
  • jenw12000
    Entertaining and easy to listen to
    I love this podcast! Zachary is an excellent host and I learn something new every episode!
  • maiafiller3
    Amazing podcast
    One of the best podcasts out there! Can’t wait for a new episode to drop every time. This is the only thing I want to listen to - short but full of interesting facts.
  • tacotruckcustomer
    Cool show
    Cool podcast; I’m learning about stuff I’d never would've thought about researching in my own. It’s awesome and short enough that I don’t even fast-forward through the commercials.
  • LilyViolet$
    Bowling episode
    I really liked this one. I grew up with bowling, my dad watched it on tv, my parents were in leagues, they had custom balls and bags, my high school p.e. Class took us to the nearby alley for our bowling instruction and the art of manual scorekeeping. It was a great double date place and to meet the gang on Friday or Saturday night. It was safe and secure and all ages could enjoy. I hope everyone can get back into the fun of it.
  • jackola45
    Concise and educational
    So happy to have a once a week show that gets to the point and you learn something.
  • Cyclist Edge
    The. Best. Show.
    Economics and economics shows bore you? This show won’t. Dinosaur bones. Coyote pee. Girl Scout cookies. This show’s got it all. I cannot get enough. And, you just might learn something. Best sorta-economics show on the interwebs!
  • USA Mknitter
    Super interesting!
    I learned of this podcast recently from another podcast. Your first episode quickly caught my attention, so I binged the rest of them! Please keep them coming! Also, I found it interesting how you went about collecting your information. I’m sure one learns more from “those who work in the trenches” than from supervisors or from people who THINK they know what they’re talking — nothing can make up for outright experience.
  • Sico.Rauve
    Subpar at best
    Truly a meh podcast if there ever was one with long commercials in the middle. The voice of the main speaker reeks of neo liberal entitlement, of someone for who ‘podcasting’ is a job and would do a Ted talk on its importance, in a self fellating manner.
  • SureFoot Fan
    Wonderful new podcast. Well told and interesting stories. I binged everyone to date.
  • Ainge1983
    Great Podcast
    Great interviews, awesome subjects, super editing and a quick pace. Love it!
  • trying2Brational
    MamamaMy, you’re onna!
    Love this podcast! Perfect length, taking the mundane to the brilliant, and wanting more. ‘For your edification!’
  • AndieFL
    I’m so happy this little gem is back! Far from boring economics, these entertaining nuggets are an excellent window into the hows and whys of modern life. Well written and engaging. Thank you!!!
  • dkgcl
    Bite-sized and fun
    Love the format and the eclectic topics! Unlike some podcasts, this host is not an intrusive part of the show. The last line of the Sharona episode made me laugh out loud. Keep ‘em coming!
  • Dr lancha
    love the show keep the episodes coning
  • Curious in Alamo
    Stuff I Certainly Wondered About
    These podcasts are short, fun, and provide better understanding of things I personally have wondered about. Knowing a bit more about how recording artists are paid or what happens to used hotel soaps is interesting. Please do more of these! Maybe how grocery stores are laid out or make money, why we have auto dealerships instead of ordering the exact car we want from manufacturers, or why we still get so much physical junk mail!
  • Bren0392
    Hoping to see more soon?
    Such a great podcast! Hope to see more soon?
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