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Fri January 6, 2012
Freakonomics Radio: The Days of Wine & Mouses
In their books, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner use the tools of economics to explore real-world behavior. As boring as that may sound, what they really do is tell stories — about cheating schoolteachers, self-dealing real-estate agents, and crack-selling mama's boys. Those Freakonomics stories — and plenty of new ones — are now coming to the radio, with Dubner as host. Just like the books, Freakonomics Radio explores “the hidden side of everything.” It will tell you things you always thought you knew but didn't, and things you never thought you wanted to know, but do. Information is available at http://www.freakonomics.com/radio/
The Days of Wine & Mouses
When you take a sip of Cabernet, what are you tasting -- the grape? the tannins? the oak barrel? Or is it the price? Believe it or not, the most dominant flavor may be the dollars. Thanks to the work of some intrepid and wine-obsessed economists (yes, there is an American Association of Wine Economists), we have a new understanding of the relationship between wine, critics, and consumers. Also, Stephen Dubner witnesses something that would doom any dining experience: while eating at a restaurant, a customer one table away was served a salad with a dead mouse in it. So, how does a business respond in the face of such a disaster? Vincent Herbert, the CEO of the restaurant in question, Le Pain Quotidien, explains what happened and how he coped; and crisis-control expert Andrew Gowers talks about facing the public on behalf of Lehman Brothers, post-collapse, and BP after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.