50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

50 Things That Made the Modern Economy

109 episodes

Tim Harford tells the fascinating stories of inventions, ideas and innovations which have helped create the economic world.

Podcasts

Introducing 13 Minutes to the Moon Season 2

Published: March 9, 2020, 5:17 p.m.
Duration: 3 minutes 53 seconds

Listed in: Business

Gutenberg press

Published: March 2, 2020, 2 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 10 seconds

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Slot machines

Published: Feb. 24, 2020, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 34 seconds

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Chess algorithms

Published: Feb. 17, 2020, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 55 seconds

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Auctions

Published: Feb. 10, 2020, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 51 seconds

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Dams

Published: Feb. 3, 2020, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 51 seconds

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Tulips

Published: Jan. 27, 2020, 2 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 1 second

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Sanitary towel

Published: Jan. 20, 2020, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 46 seconds

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Wardian case

Published: Jan. 13, 2020, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 58 seconds

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Fast food franchise

Published: Jan. 6, 2020, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 51 seconds

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CCTV

Published: Dec. 30, 2019, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 51 seconds

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Retirement

Published: Dec. 23, 2019, 2 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 32 seconds

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Santa

Published: Dec. 16, 2019, 2 a.m.
Duration: 16 minutes 7 seconds

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Sewing machine

Published: Dec. 9, 2019, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 37 seconds

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Hollerith punch card

Published: Dec. 2, 2019, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 53 seconds

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Stock option

Published: Nov. 25, 2019, 2 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 5 seconds

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Fundraising appeal

Published: Nov. 18, 2019, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 53 seconds

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SWIFT

Published: Nov. 11, 2019, 2 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 5 seconds

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Wedgwood

Published: Nov. 4, 2019, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 38 seconds

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Glasses

Published: Oct. 28, 2019, 2 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 27 seconds

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Vickrey turnstile

Published: Oct. 21, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 44 seconds

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GPS

Published: Oct. 14, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 58 seconds

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Bonsack machine

Published: Oct. 7, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 35 seconds

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Prohibition

Published: Sept. 30, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 7 seconds

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Interface Message Processor

Published: Sept. 23, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 20 seconds

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Canned food

Published: Sept. 16, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 57 seconds

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Interchangeable parts

Published: Sept. 9, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 30 seconds

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Oil

Published: Sept. 2, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 59 seconds

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Chatbot

Published: Aug. 26, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 3 seconds

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Solar PV

Published: Aug. 19, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 49 seconds

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Cassava

Published: Aug. 12, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 54 seconds

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Fire

Published: Aug. 5, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 51 seconds

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RFID: The tech you’ve never heard of – but use every day

Published: July 29, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 1 second

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Postage stamp

Published: July 22, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 7 seconds

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Rubber

Published: July 15, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 59 seconds

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CubeSat

Published: July 8, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 56 seconds

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Factory

Published: June 29, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 59 seconds

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Blockchain

Published: June 24, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 32 seconds

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Pencil

Published: June 17, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 25 seconds

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'Like' button

Published: June 10, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 59 seconds

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Dwarf wheat

Published: June 3, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes

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Pornography

Published: May 27, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 57 seconds

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Recycling

Published: May 20, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 34 seconds

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Spreadsheet

Published: May 13, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 31 seconds

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Brick

Published: May 6, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 52 seconds

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Mail order catalogue

Published: April 29, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

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Bicycle

Published: April 22, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 59 seconds

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QWERTY

Published: April 15, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 59 seconds

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Bonus 4: Woodpecker and black box

Published: April 15, 2019, 12:30 a.m.
Duration: 14 minutes 57 seconds

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Gyroscope

Published: April 8, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes

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Bonus 3: Mosquito and surgical needle

Published: April 8, 2019, 12:30 a.m.
Duration: 15 minutes 11 seconds

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Cellophane

Published: April 1, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 26 seconds

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Bonus 2: Octopus and camouflage

Published: April 1, 2019, midnight
Duration: 13 minutes 15 seconds

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Langstroth Hive

Published: March 25, 2019, 1:30 a.m.
Duration: 11 minutes

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Bonus: 30 Animals That Made Us Smarter

Published: March 25, 2019, 1 a.m.
Duration: 15 minutes 28 seconds

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Coming soon: Season two

Published: March 17, 2019, 9 p.m.
Duration: 1 minute 28 seconds

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Index Fund

Published: Jan. 17, 2019, 4 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 43 seconds

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Special Bonus: Santa Claus

Published: Dec. 17, 2018, 11:20 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 9 seconds

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Number 51

Published: Oct. 28, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 39 seconds

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The Plough

Published: Oct. 21, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 59 seconds

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Cold Chain

Published: Oct. 14, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 23 seconds

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Welfare State

Published: Oct. 7, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 47 seconds

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Property Register

Published: Sept. 30, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 1 second

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Searching for 51

Published: Sept. 23, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 9 seconds

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Management Consulting

Published: Sept. 16, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 33 seconds

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Double-entry Bookkeeping

Published: Sept. 9, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 18 seconds

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S-Bend

Published: Sept. 2, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 15 seconds

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Radar

Published: Aug. 26, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 33 seconds

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Market Research

Published: Aug. 19, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 10 minutes 38 seconds

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Plastic

Published: Aug. 12, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 14 seconds

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Seller Feedback

Published: Aug. 5, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 8 seconds

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Paper Money

Published: July 29, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 13 seconds

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Limited Liability Company

Published: July 22, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 8 seconds

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Dynamo

Published: July 15, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 8 seconds

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Leaded Petrol

Published: July 8, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 12 seconds

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Department Store

Published: July 1, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 8 seconds

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Barbed Wire

Published: June 24, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 13 seconds

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Tax Havens

Published: June 17, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 13 seconds

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Infant Formula

Published: June 10, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 9 seconds

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Tally Stick

Published: May 27, 2017, 2:50 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 12 seconds

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Passports

Published: May 22, 2017, 11:05 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 13 seconds

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Intellectual Property

Published: May 13, 2017, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 10 seconds

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Video Games

Published: May 6, 2017, 2 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 11 seconds

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Cuneiform

Published: April 29, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 9 seconds

Listed in: Business

Air Conditioning

Published: April 22, 2017, 8:30 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 8 seconds

Listed in: Business

Elevator

Published: April 15, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 14 seconds

Listed in: Business

Contraceptive Pill

Published: April 8, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 14 seconds

Listed in: Business

TV Dinner

Published: April 1, 2017, 3 a.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 8 seconds

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Gramophone

Published: March 25, 2017, 8 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 57 seconds

Listed in: Business

Battery

Published: March 18, 2017, 8 p.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 13 seconds

Listed in: Business

Public Key Cryptography

Published: March 11, 2017, 8 p.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 13 seconds

Listed in: Business

Robot

Published: March 4, 2017, 8 p.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 12 seconds

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Disposable Razor

Published: Feb. 25, 2017, 2:09 p.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 12 seconds

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Clock

Published: Feb. 18, 2017, 2:14 p.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 9 seconds

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Google

Published: Feb. 11, 2017, 3:03 p.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 14 seconds

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Insurance

Published: Feb. 4, 2017, 8 p.m.
Duration: 9 minutes 11 seconds

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Paper

Published: Jan. 28, 2017, 8 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

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Antibiotics

Published: Jan. 20, 2017, 8 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 59 seconds

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Billy Bookcase

Published: Jan. 14, 2017, 8 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

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Compiler

Published: Jan. 7, 2017, 8 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

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M-Pesa

Published: Dec. 31, 2016, 8 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

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Lightbulb

Published: Dec. 24, 2016, 8:59 a.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

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Banking

Published: Dec. 17, 2016, 9 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

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Barcode

Published: Dec. 10, 2016, 8 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

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iPhone

Published: Dec. 3, 2016, 8 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

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Concrete

Published: Nov. 26, 2016, 8 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 57 seconds

Listed in: Business

Shipping Container

Published: Nov. 19, 2016, 8 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

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Haber-Bosch Process

Published: Nov. 14, 2016, 9:36 a.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

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Diesel Engine

Published: Nov. 5, 2016, 8 p.m.
Duration: 8 minutes 58 seconds

Listed in: Business