The study of economics is vital to understanding the world around us. If you’re serious about making and saving money, understanding economics is vital and it makes sense to digest as much advice as you can. If you’re like me, you probably enjoy watching videos or listening to podcasts for the latest in financial tips and advice. Luckily, there are absolutely tons of great economics podcasts out there for you to choose from.
However, narrowing them down can be a bit overwhelming. But, don’t fret – I’ve done the research for you, and I’ve brought together the absolute best economics podcasts for savers, investors, businesspeople – and people like you and me who are just trying to keep hold of a few pennies!
Here’s my top picks, and why I think it’s worth tuning in.
Best Economics Podcasts For…
Let’s take a look at some of the best podcasts based on the reader’s interests:
Beginners: ‘More or Less: Behind The Stats’
Great for listeners on either side of the Atlantic, British Radio 4’s ‘More or Less’ crunches tons of complex numbers and figures to help listeners make sense of what’s going on in the world of economics.
Hosted by Tim Harford, this regular podcast provides weekly insights into statistics used in finance, science and politics. In each episode, Tim breaks down a controversial statistic and interviews experts to get to the heart of what it means. The podcast is ideal for anyone who wants to learn more about economics and how to critically examine data. Recently, I enjoyed Tim and the team’s take on stamp duty in the UK – as well as some of the mysteries behind how books really sell.
This podcast appeals to complete data newbies as well as economics geeks. There’s a new episode released every Saturday, and you never really know what you’re going to get! Each episode is around 30 minutes long, making it perfect for commuters or anyone with a busy lifestyle. Head over here to listen on BBC or your favourite podcast player.
People on the go: ‘Planet Money’
Hosted by NPR, ‘Planet Money’ is similar to ‘More or Less’ in that it takes a simple, yet sweeping approach to global economics. Releasing bite-sized episodes every few days, this popular podcast tackles niche economic topics that break down some of the most puzzling financial queries out there.
For example, have you ever wondered how strong the US dollar can get when financial chaos is raining down hard? Ever wondered how the IMF actually operates? Where will inflation actually end?
Recently, Planet Money has tackled all of these topics with aplomb. If you’re not familiar with economics, don’t worry – the podcast starts from the basics and builds up from there. They find a great way to tie in everything back to the economy.
It’s really entertaining listening, and with some episodes coming in at less than ten minutes in length (although they’re typically 20-30 minutes long), it’s not an intensive listen.
You can listen online directly on NPR’s website or your choice of podcast player.
People who need a catch-up: ‘Slate Money’
‘Slate Money’ is Slate.com’s landmark podcast tackling economic news and movements a week at a time. It’s a great listen if you haven’t had time to follow the news during the week, or if you want a little bit of guidance through some of the more complex stories that are unfolding.
It’s hosted by Felix Salmon, Emily Peck and Elizabeth Spiers, and generally posts new episodes every Saturday. The show has recently leapt into topics as deep as real estate, superyachts, the gender pay gap, and ever-rising inflation.
What I really like about Slate Money is the fact you get a balance between a breakdown of the week’s economic news, and the host trio’s insights into topics that fascinate them. The show isn’t afraid to discuss movers and shakers such as Elon Musk in fine detail, either.
You can listen to Slate Money through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Amazon Music and more. Here’s the official Slate Money podcast archive.
Young adults: ‘Pitchfork Economics’
‘Pitchfork Economics’, hosted by venture capital guru Nick Hanauer, should appeal to just about anyone who’s tired of the way global finance is going. For young adults trying to fight back waves of inflation and to simply make enough money to live by, it’s an even more interesting listen.
Hanauer’s ‘pitchfork’ approach deconstructs global economics by exploring why our current financial system is as broken as it seems. He leads with the strapline ‘everything you learned about economics is wrong’, positioning the show as a beacon against economic inequality. This is a podcast that’s not afraid to lay down its principles and to challenge well-worn notions. Honestly, it’s a refreshing listen.
Hanauer and his guests have recently probed deep into issues surrounding trickle-down economics, the apparent disappearance of the middle class, the sharing economy, and whether or not the American Dream was all a lie. Stirring stuff for listeners on both sides of the Atlantic!
Head to the official website to check out new episodes of Pitchfork Economics, or subscribe through Google, Spotify or Apple.
Busy professionals: ‘Marketplace’
‘Marketplace’, hosted by Kai Ryssdal, is another fantastic listen for anyone who wants to get deeper into economics but is unsure where to start. With more than 1,400 episodes, Ryssdal helps to break down some of the most complex beats in economic news with a variety of reporters and experts standing by.
Pulling in at less than 30 minutes per episode on average, Marketplace goes into just enough detail on topics that are always likely to matter to professionals in the UK, US and Canada. What’s refreshing about this podcast is that there’s tons of content, with new episodes produced daily on average.
Ryssdal takes you through 30-minute explorations into GDP performance, mortgage rates, corporate downturns, Big Tech, student loans and more. It’s just enough to take you through your commute, and it’s a great take on more than just the flashy headlines and big, scary numbers.
Head over to Marketplace’s website to browse the show’s archive and follow for future updates.
Voracious readers: ‘New Books in Economics’
If you’re keen to read more about economics and how it all works, but are struggling to cut through an increasingly saturated marketplace, ‘New Books in Economics’ takes a weekly review of brand new releases that might pique your interest.
Hosted by Marshall Poe, the podcast forms part of the New Books network, with each episode rallying at just short of an hour on average. I find it a great listen to get insight into what’s going on behind economics’ writers intentions – and, of course, to help me make up my mind whether or not to fill up my bookshelf.
There’s also a nice variety of different economic topics tackled here. Covering authors as diverse as James Bessen, Adam Smith, Agha Bayramov and Jamie Martin, it’s a great listen if you want to get deeper into the inner workings of global finance.
Take a look over at the NBE podcast to start following and catching up on the archives.
The Explorers: ‘Freakonomics Radio’
There is one podcast that makes economics both entertaining and accessible: ‘Freakonomics’. Hosted by author and journalist Stephen Dubner, ‘Freakonomics’ takes a unique approach to economics using real-world examples to explore concepts such as game theory, incentives, and human behavior.
The podcast continues with the theme that we first found in the massively popular book, ‘Freakonomics’, that Stephen co-authored with economist Steven Levitt. Like the book, what sets ‘Freakonomics Radio’ apart from other podcasts is its focus on stories and narrative. Rather than simply presenting facts and data, Stephen uses entertaining stories to illustrate economic principles in a way that is both engaging and easy to understand.
Each episode tackles a different economic question, and uses a mix of interviews, stories and data to find an answer. Whether it’s exploring why we’re bad at predicting the future, or understanding the true cost of college, you’re guaranteed to come away with a new perspective on the world. And even if economics isn’t your thing, the podcast is still incredibly engaging, and will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew. The episodes tend to be on the slightly longer side, typically 45 minutes to 1 hour in length, but they’re definitely worth it!
Aside from the main podcast on economics, Freakonomics has also branched out in to a number of other interesting topic areas:
- ‘People I (Mostly) Admire’: Steven Levitt tracks down high achievers and has very interesting discussions with them
- ‘No Stupid Questions’: Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth (author of Grit), ask the questions that people would really like to ask but are worried about being judged.
- ‘Freakonomics, M.D.’: It’s like Freakonomics, but for medicine! Dr. Bapu Jena takes listeners on stories that explore the intersection of economics and healthcare.
You can listen to the main podcast on their website, or find it with one of your favourite streaming players.
UK savers: ‘The Martin Lewis Podcast’
Few British savers and money-minded people will be unaware of Martin Lewis. The finance guru has become something of a figurehead of calm reasoning during recent economic crises, and as well as through social media, media appearances and his own website (Money Saving Expert), Lewis provides insights into how to save money. Each week, Martin tackles a different financial topic, ranging from saving for a rainy day to investing for retirement.
Available through the BBC’s Radio 5 podcasts library, Lewis helps to break down mortgages, savings, financial rights and more. Sometimes, it’s nice to just hear advice rather than having to seek it out every five minutes. As a financial blogger myself, Lewis is naturally a big inspiration!
The BBC deletes episodes of the Martin Lewis Podcast every 30 days, but you can listen into the show weekly through their series of apps. If you want to take a look at the archive, here’s the official Martin Lewis Podcast page.
Why listen to economics podcasts?
You may not even have thought about listening to economics podcasts before – and that’s perfectly reasonable. The very idea of the podcast has taken the old-style radio format and really helped to niche it down into lots of different topics and areas where people genuinely need advice and guidance.
For people keen to make money and to save whatever they can, there’s lots of verbal advice out there. I like listening to money podcasts simply because I think it’s important to keep abreast of what’s going on in global economics. What’s more, we live in uncertain times – it’s good to get a handle on what I can do to keep making the most of my money.
The best part of listening to economics podcasts is that you never have to tune in for too long. You’re not having to read a whole book or to attend a seminar that bores you to tears. Most of the shows I’ve listed above run for between 30 minutes to an hour, which I think is the sweet spot.
These shows give you lots of insight in just enough time for you to get to work, school, or to finish housework. You might even put one or two on while you relax. They’re thought-provoking, offer tons of actionable advice, and are published regularly.
The other nice thing is that most of these podcasts are either free on their own website or available on the major services, so you don’t have to subscribe to new services just to listen to the them. Typically you will be able to find the best economics podcasts on Spotify, or Apple Music, or even Google Podcasts (yes, there’s such a thing)!
Of course, I’m bound to have missed some of your favourites! Let me know which economics and finance podcasts really interest you in the comments. Who knows – I might update this post in future if I get enough suggestions!
by Jon Craig
I am the creator of Project Financially Free and I started this journey to both educate myself and share my insights on personal finance. I’m passionate about financial literacy and I invite you to join me on this transformative path. See more.