Jacob Goldstein

This episode is a rerun. It originally ran in 2014. We're playing it again because Bill Nordhaus shared the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science today! We based this episode on one of his papers.

Note: This episode contains explicit language.

In that photo up there, the man on the right is handing an envelope of cash to the man on the left, in exchange for secret information. It is a photo of insider trading as it happens. Today on the show: the man on the left explains everything — what he did, how he did it, and why. Though he's still struggling with that last one.

Also, when someone trades on insider information, they probably are going to make a lot of money. But who loses that money? We try to solve that brain teaser.

Note: This episode originally ran in 2014.

Certain things are just hard to improve. The classic example: the mousetrap. And for a while, the pallet was the mousetrap of good transportation.

In its way, the pallet is perfect. It's cheap and easy to make. It keeps things a few inches off the floor and works with a forklift. If you get cold, you can burn them. Amazing.

Today on the show: Yes, you can build a better pallet.

It's Janet Yellen's last week running the Federal Reserve.

On today's show, we focus on a single speech Yellen gave last year.

In the speech, Yellen lays out one of the most baffling mysteries in the American economy right now.

Also, the speech reveals a certain boldness that Yellen brought to the job. Superficially, it looks like one more speech about monetary policy. But look a little deeper and you see Yellen is asking some radical questions.

Weed GDP

Jan 30, 2018

When the Canadian government said it would legalize recreational marijuana in the summer of 2018, some people thought: I am going to have an amazing party. Others worried about what to tell their kids.

James Tebrake had a different thought: "We have one chance to collect as much information as possible about a very interesting and important issue."

That issue: What happens to a country's economy when a popular drug goes from being illegal to being legal?

This morning, the federal government released the JOLTS report. (The name is an acronym for Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey.)

The has a bunch of useful data points about the jobs market. But, more than that, it implies a really dynamic, exciting way of looking at the job market.

Among its insights: Workers are getting more power relative to employers. Also, quitting is awesome.

Bonus: Our guest, Nick Bunker, tells the JOLTS story in graphs.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In two new studies, Harvard economist Raj Chetty and his colleagues found that where poor kids grow up has a huge effect on how much money they earn as adults.

In one study, families living in public housing were randomly selected to be eligible for housing vouchers that required them to move to low poverty neighborhoods. Kids whose families received the vouchers grew up to earn significantly more than those whose families remained in public housing.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: