The Relentless Application of Self-Interest

by Russ Roberts on August 14, 2006

in Podcast, Politics

In the most recent podcast at EconTalk, Bruce Bueno De Mesquita and I talk about what makes dictators and democratically elected leaders tick. According to Bruce’s worldview, every leader, no matter what the system, tries to stay in office and prosper. The relentless application of this simple idea turns out to have very interesting implications for foreign aid, the relief of poverty around the world and about a thousand other things. Bruce has a big brain with a lot of interesting things to say. It’s a very long podcast (about an hour and a half) and it opens with a fairly intense discussion of the theories in Bruce’s book. From there he talks about a wide range of applications.

The next podcast at EconTalk will be August 28th with Milton Friedman.

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Isaac Crawford August 15, 2006 at 8:24 pm

A strong, strong podcast. It was very informative and thought provoking… It also, unfortunately makes a lot of sense.


Brent Buckner August 16, 2006 at 12:36 pm

Thank you for the opportunity to tune in.

At an hour and a half I doubt that I'm going to listen to this podcast. I'm sure that I'll miss something valuable, but I believe I can find something(s) marginally better for the time requirement.

I look forward to the day when, as a matter of course, podcast providers also play the podcasts to dictation software and then provide a cleaned-up transcript. Searchable, skimmable, and cut-and-pastable!

eric August 19, 2006 at 3:35 pm

Wow. He had a good theory, and a good grasp of history, which makes for a very interesting story. I bought the book (new versions used are $10 cheaper!).

shane August 22, 2006 at 7:29 am

well,it really very informative and did make a lot of point of view in it.

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