Episode 206: Lessons From 2020

…world itself. (Amit)
5. We should think more about inter-generational tradeoffs, and consider lowering the voting age. (Shruti)
6. Software is eating the biological world. (Alex)
7. Science is not the problem. The problem is economic illiteracy. (Shruti)
7.5. We should move from collectivized decision-making to respecting individual choice. (Alex)
8. We need to rethink education. Not just the delivery of it, but how we think of education itself. (Amit)
9. A bigger problem than state capacity is state will. (Alex)
10. Politicians don’t always behave in a rational, self-interested way. (Shruti)
11. Politics is driven only by tribalism. (Amit)
12. The internet is even better than we thought. (Alex)
13. Markets don’t solve everything. (Shruti)
14. We should worry more about computer viruses. (Alex)
15. We should take a closer look at how we relate to other…

Episode 180: Elite Imitation in Public Policy

Indian decision makers often blindly copy public policy from abroad, without considering whether it would work in local conditions. Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok join Amit Varma in episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen to explain the damage caused by such ‘isomorphic mimicry,’ and why it happens in the first place.

Also check out:
1. Premature Imitation and India’s Flailing State — Shruti Rajagopalan & Alexander Tabarrok.
2. Modern Principles of Macroeconomics — Tyler Cowen & Alex Tabarrok.
3. Modern Principles of Microeconomics — Tyler Cowen & Alex Tabarrok.
4. DeMon, Morality and the Predatory Indian State — Episode 85 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
5. The Delhi Smog — Episode 44 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul).
6. Is India a Flailing State? — Lant Pritchett.
7. We Are…

Episode 176: The Nuances of Lockdown

…joins Amit Varma in episode 176 of The Seen and the Unseen to share his insights on these subjects and more.

Also check out:
1. Anup Malani’s homepage.
2. Taking Stock of Covid-19 — Episode 169 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
3. We Are Fighting Two Disasters — Amit Varma.
4. The Economic Approach to Human Behaviour — Gary Becker.
5. Learning During a Crisis: the SARS Epidemic in Taiwan — Daniel Bennett, Chun-Fang Chiang, Anup Malani.
6. Identifying Placebo Effects with Data from Clinical Trials — Anup Malani.
7. FSI (Floor Space Index) — Episode 11 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Alex Tabarrok).
8. Rent Control — Episode 14 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Alex Tabarrok).
9. Slums — Episode 21 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Pavan Srinath)….

Episode 138: Twelve Dream Reforms

…Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan)
7. GST Revisited — Ep 28 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul)
8. Early Indians — Ep 112 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Tony Joseph)
9. Immigration — Ep 4 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shikha Dalmia)
10. Rent Control — Ep 14 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Alex Tabarrok)
11. FSI — Ep 11 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Alex Tabarrok)
12. Women at Work — Ep 132 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Namita Bhandare)
13. IL&FS and the Indian Financial System — Ep 91 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul & Ashutosh Datar)
14. The DNA of the NPA — Ep 32 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul & Kumar Anand)
15. Demystifying GDP — Ep…

Episode 11: FSI (Floor Space Index)

Mumbai is one of the most expensive cities in the world, and one of the reasons is that there is too little land and too much sky. Alex Tabarrok joins Amit Varma to discuss Mumbai’s insanely low Floor Space Index (FSI), a key reason why real estate here is at such a premium.

Episode 14: Rent Control

Rent control is a classic example of a regulation meant to help the poor that ends up hurting everyone. Alex Tabarrok joins Amit Varma to discuss how real estate in Mumbai would be so much cheaper if not for such government regulation.

Episode 100: The 100th Episode Ramble

The Seen and the Unseen reaches 100 episodes! Yea! Economist Shruti Rajagopalan, the most frequent guest on the show, joins host Amit Varma as they shoot the breeze about the 99 episodes before this, the horrors of 2018, and the further horrors of 2019.

Also check out:
These past episodes with Gunvant Patil, Vikram Doctor, Harsha Bhogle, Gideon Haigh+Prem Panicker, Rajesh Jain, Vishwanath S, Parth Shah, Amit Chandra, Alex Tabarrok, Naveen Noronha, Kumar Anand, Vivek Kaul, Ashok Malik, Nikita+Supriya (on #MeToo), Devika+Nidhi+Hamsini and Matt Ridley.

And also with Shruti on the Right to Property, DeMon, GST, #MeToo and Caste.

And ah, The Matunga Racket.

Episode 154: The Art and Science of Economic Policy

…Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul)
6. Public Choice Theory — Ep 121 of The Seen and the Unseen
7. Narendra Modi takes a Great Leap Backwards — Amit Varma
8. Three Reasons Why A Cashless Society Would Be A Disaster — Amit Varma
9. Where Have All the Leaders Gone? — Amit Varma
10. India’s Agriculture Crisis — Ep 140 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Barun Mitra & Kumar Anand)
11. Premature Imitation and India’s Flailing State — Shruti Rajagopalan & Alex Tabarrok (pdf link)
12. Our Political Discourse — Ep 49 of The Seen and the Unseen (w transcript)
13. The Facts Do Not Matter — Amit Varma

Follow The Seen and the Unseen on iTunes, Stitcher, and Tunein. You can also listen to us on Spotify and the Saavn app.

Episode 169: Taking Stock of Covid-19

How should India handle Covid-19? Every option on the table carries huge costs, and will take countless lives. Shruti Rajagopalan joins Amit Varma in episode 169 of The Seen and the Unseen to help navigate the complex decisions that policy makers are being forced to make with little information.

Also check out:
1. India must shut itself down to contain the coronavirus — Shruti Rajagopalan (Mar 16)
2. Shruti Rajagopalan on India and the coronavirus — Marginal Revolution (Mar 25)
3. The lockdown may be doing us more harm than good — Shruti Rajagopalan (Mar 30)
4. Assessing Healthcare Capacity in India — Shruti Rajagopalan and Abishek Choutagunta
5. Pandemic Policy in Developing Countries: Recommendations for India — Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok
6. We have miles of roadblocks to remove before we sleep (Apr 13) — Shruti…

Episode 191: Our Cities After Covid-19

…Spatial Economics: The Declining Cost of Distance — Karen Harris, Andrew Schwedel and Austin Kimson.
8. Triumph of the City — Edward L Glaeser.
9. Order Without Design – How Markets Shape Cities — Alain Bertaud.
10. The Importance of Cities — Episode 108 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Reuben Abraham & Pritika Hingorani.)
11. The Seen and the Unseen episodes with Alex Tabarrok on FSI and Rent Control.
12. Urban Governance in India — Episode 31 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
13. Taking Stock of Covid-19 — Episode 169 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan).
14. The Nuances of Lockdown — Episode 176 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Anup Malani).
15. India’s Economy in the Time of Covid-19 — Episode 177 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Vivek Kaul).<br…

Episode 200: The Hunter Becomes the Hunted

…Rajeswari Sengupta (1, 2), Aanchal Malhotra, Alex Tabarrok (1, 2, 3), Madhavi Menon and Mohit Satyanand (1, 2, 3, 4)
2. A Godless Congregation — Amit Varma.
3. Agarkar’s Donkeys: A Meditation on God — Amit Varma.
4. Luck is All Around — Amit Varma.
5. Why I Loved and Left Poker — Amit Varma.
6. The archives of Amit Varma’s poker column for the Economic Times, Range Rover.
7. Selected works by George Orwell: Essays, 1984, Animal Farm.
8. Selected Works by Frédéric Bastiat: The Law, That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen.
9. A World of Stopped Watches — Amit Varma.
10. A Picture of Hell, and No Kerosene — Amit Varma.
11. ये लिबरल आख़िर है कौन? — Episode 37 of Puliyabaazi, featuring Amit Varma discussing Friedrich Hayek.
12. Facts Don’t Matter. Stories…

Episode 213: A Venture Capitalist Looks at the World

…It Happened in India — Kishore Biyani.
17. TikTok and the Sorting Hat — Eugene Wei.
18. The Art of Narrative Nonfiction (+ JBS Haldane) — Episode 183 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Samanth Subramanian).
19. Lessons in Investing (and Life) — Episode 208 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Deepak Shenoy).
20. The tweets by Benedict Evans and Pomp.
21. VCs should play bridge — Alex Danco.
22. The only thing that matters — Marc Andreessen.
23. Fixing Indian Education — Episode 185 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Karthik Muralidharan).

This episode is sponsored by The Great Courses Plus. Check out their course, Introduction to Machine Learning. For free unlimited access for a month, click here.

You can now buy Seen/Unseen swag.

And do check out Amit’s online course, The Art of Clear Writing….

Episode 214: Raghu Sanjaylal Jaitley’s Father’s Scooter

…— Episode 131 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Rahul Verma).
22. The Three Languages of Politics — Arnold Kling.
23. Naya Daur, the anti-Nehruvian film from 1957.
24. Nehru’s Hero: Dilip Kumar In The Life Of India — Meghnad Desai.
25. The Twitter threads on Mahmood Farooqui by Kavita Krishnan and Audrey Truschke.
26. Misogyny and our Legal System — Episode 58 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Madhav Chandavarkar and Hamsini Hariharan).
27. The Harshacharita of Banabhatta.
28. Murty Classical Library of India.
29. The End of History and the Last Man — Francis Fukuyama.
30. The Light that Failed — Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes.
31. Elite Imitation in Public Policy — Episode 180 of The Seen and the Unseen (w Shruti Rajagopalan and Alex Tabarrok).
32. What Really Happened? — Lawrence H White…