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The Indicator from Planet Money

The Indicator from Planet Money

A little show about big ideas. From the people who make Planet Money, The Indicator helps you make sense of what's happening today. It's a quick hit of insight into work, business, the economy, and everything else. Listen weekday afternoons.


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Marriage Boom: Sin City Edition

The wedding industry lost tens of billions of dollars in 2020. Now the numbers are roaring back, especially in Las Vegas. Today on the show, we explore the marriage boom in Las Vegas and elsewhere.
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BTS: The Band That Moves The Economy

Korean boy band BTS is a global music phenomenon. The group has millions of fans called A.R.M.Y., who happily support the group with their wallets. Today on the show, we dive deep into the economic impacts of BTS and what makes the group special.
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Nudge Vs Shove: A Conversation With Richard Thaler

Nobel Prize laureate Richard Thaler is a rockstar in the world of economics. His book Nudge introduced many of us to the field of behavioral economics and how it could be used in public policy. Today we speak with Professor Thaler on his latest and final edition of Nudge, and go beyond nudge to the land of sludging and shoving.
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Relax, Millennials! You're Doing Great.

According to new data from the Federal Reserve millennials are struggling. A closer examination of economic data, however, paints a different picture.
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Mailbag: Children Edition

On today's show, kids ask everything you were too afraid to admit you didn't know about money ? what is it, where did it come from, what happens if a government goes bananas printing it.
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Saving Birds With Economics

The Pacific Flyway, one of the major bird migration routes in North America, has lost over 90% of its original wetland habitat in California. Purchasing and restoring these lands would cost a lot of money. But one economist had an idea: What if we paid rice farmers to flood their fields?
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The Tequila Boom And Agave Bust

The demand for tequila is booming, but it wasn't always the case. We speak with a fifth generation tequila distiller and a tequila scholar on the history of tequila and what will happen with this current boom.
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Burnout, Poaching And Robots Taking Our Jobs: The Beigie Awards!

The Beigie Award is out for July! This time our winner talks about employee burnout, increased talent poaching, and a special cameo from someone we all know and love.
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Should Business Mandate Covid Vaccines For Employees?

Only 3 to 4 percent of small businesses in many states require workers to show proof of vaccination but in Puerto Rico, the number is 20 percent. Why? We speak with an economist and two business owners to find out.
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In Tech We Antitrust: Indicators of The Week

President Biden signed an executive order promoting competition and large technology firms came under fire. We speak with economists Luigi Zingales and Carl Shapiro on the history and implications of antitrust.
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The COVID Small Business Boom

After millions of people lost their jobs during the pandemic, many of them started their own businesses. In June people started over 440,000 new businesses. We speak with a hot dog stand owner about his journey and an economist on this trend.
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Australian Wine: Political Football

Australian wine exports to China have gone from about $1 billion a year to nearly nothing overnight. Australia blames geopolitics, saying the Chinese government wants to send a message to the world.
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How Do You Measure Inflation?

The Consumer Price Index helps to understand prices and inflation, but where do the numbers come from in the first place? We tagged along with an economist to find out the prices of socks, butter, and daycare.
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Keeping Up With The Kandasamys

Streaming services have changed how people consume films and TV shows, but they've also changed what viewers are able to consume. For example, a rom-com about two Indian families who live next to each other in South Africa, is now available to a global audience.
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Used Car Silver Lining: Indicators Of The Week

Used cars are expensive right now. Bloomberg writer Conor Sen thinks it might be a reason behind recent inflation. We explore how used cars got so expensive and used cars' relationship with the CPI.
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Shrinkflation: Inflation's Sneaky Cousin

Inflation is the talk of the town recently, but some companies are shrinking the size of their products and charging the same price, aka "shrinkflation". Today we explore the booming market of inflation's sneaky cousin.
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How Do You Reduce Child Poverty?

The Biden Administration and Congress have introduced expanded child tax credits for families in 2021. Senator Michael Bennet, the author of the original plan, hopes to make the bill permanent. We speak with him and economist Hilary Hoynes on the implications of child tax credits.
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Beach Reads For Econ Nerds

It's summer, which means time to read at the beach. We asked professor Tyler Cowen for his picks. His three books cover scientific progress, the rocket business, and how to cope with doomsday.
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Are We Looking At The Wrong Jobs Numbers?

The world of unemployment rates can get confusing. We are here to help. What is U-3 and what is U-6? Of course, U-2 is here as well. And now, the Indicator presents... the U-Blend!
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Desperately Seeking Construction Workers

Demand for homes has increased dramatically this year and supply can't keep up. One of the biggest issues is a labor shortage in the construction industry. So employers are increasing wages and getting creative to entice people into the trades.
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That Time America Paid For Universal Day Care

When millions of women entered the workforce during World War II, what happened to the children? The government stepped in and created the first federal child care program. What happened to it?
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Can TikTok Cancel Your Hospital Bills?

TikTok videos are entertaining and sometimes... life-saving. Earlier this year, a video on hospital bill cancellation went viral. We speak with the creator to find out how he got into charity care.
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The Jobless Benefits Experiment

In a few weeks, more than half of the fifty states will terminate the pandemic assistance unemployment benefits. What does this reveal about the current state of the economy?
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Crypto Crash, Labor Shortage and Leggings vs. NFTs: Indicators Of The Week

There are big changes in the crypto and the retail world. Bitcoin's price declined from recent highs, as mining activities stopped in China. Meanwhile, the retail sector cannot keep up with booming demand...
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The Line Americans And Canadians Can't Cross

Sixteen months have passed since the closure of the US-Canada border. What are the economic impacts on border towns, local residents, businesses and cross border tourism?
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Traffic Jam: Cargo Style

Residents of a small town in Washington state are troubled by something big... container ships. Why are they there? What does this say about the state of the global shipping industry?
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The Vet Clinic Chow Down

We love our pets, but do you know what Corporate America loves even more? Veterinary clinics. Today on the show, we explore the explosion of corporate investment in the vet clinic world.
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Kit Kat, Puppies, And Masks: Anthro-Vision

What do Kit Kat, dog food, and mask wearing have in common? You'll find the answer in the new book Anthro-Vision. We speak with its author, journalist and anthropologist, Gillian Tett.
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Bluer Skies Ahead

Covid-19 has brought so much loss and hardship, but there was at least one pleasant surprise for Beijing - less hazy skies and air pollution. Today on The Indicator, the concept of experience goods. How you don't know the value of something until you actually experience it. And how in Beijing there were blue skies during the COVID lockdown.
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Millennial Myth-Busters: Housing Edition

It's time to bust some myths about millennials... real estate edition! Millennials are a big part of the real estate boom this year. How did that happen? We speak to an industry insider and an economist to find out more.
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Why Is The Fed So Boring?

Fed Chair Jerome Powell will speak tomorrow. His words will likely be boring, but the financial markets are watching carefully. Such words seem to have serious implications. Why is that?
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Is Movie Night Back?

Many people will watch movies on a big screen this summer, but the pandemic fundamentally changed the industry. How can movie theaters survive and possibly thrive post-pandemic?
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Taxes, Oil Prices And Why We're All Quitting Our Jobs: Indicators Of The Week

It's time for the Indicators Of The Week! Our three indicators are: tax, oil, and jobs. We will cover their importance and how they are relevant to Bono, the Ford F-150, and Kim Kardashian.
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The Case For Inflation

The latest Consumer Price Index reveals 5% inflation over the last year. Should we be worried? Treasury Secretary Yellen says no. Two economists argue yes. The Indicator presents... the inflation hawks!
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Women, Work And The Pandemic

Millions of women left the workforce during the pandemic. Today, a story about a mother's tough decision to leave work and an economist's view on the labor market for women during the pandemic.
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Wagyu Steaks And Worker Shortages: The Beigie Awards

The Indicator gives out the special Beigie Award eight times each year, and it's that time today! We are honoring the Federal Reserve branch that told the story of beef. Yes, premium cuts!
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A Technology Tale: David Beats Goliath

Zoom is the most popular video conferencing software and many people's communications lifeline during COVID. How did the tiny company beat tech giants like Google, Microsoft, and Cisco?
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Jobs Friday: Rise Of The Self Employed

It's Jobs Friday! It's not exactly the jobs report we wanted, but there were some bright spots. On the Indicator, we discuss the rise in self employment.
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Have A Missing Matisse? Call The Art Detective

Art crime is a big business, and it requires special skills to investigate. Enter Christopher Marinello, one of the world's foremost experts in art recovery.
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Dear Class Of 2021...

Dear graduating college classes of 2021: Congratulations! On The Indicator, Stacey and Cardiff present an economic guide to the future that awaits you.
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Leveling The Playing Field

Several schools have cut women's sports teams during the pandemic, and some of the teams have lawyered up in response. Ultimately, these lawsuits ask the question: how do we measure equality?
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Unpacking President Biden's Big Budget

President Biden unveiled a massive budget proposal on Friday. We discuss the hefty price tag and ask two economists to weigh in on his plan.
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Fighting A Racist 184-Year-Old Law

The Chehalis Tribe had a plan to create jobs and revenue. The only problem? A racist law from 1834.
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What Does It Take To Get Us To Try Something New?

You may have the best product in the world, but that doesn't mean people will try it. What does it take to get consumers to try something new?
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Who Let The Dogs Out?

When people were stuck at home during Covid lockdowns, the pet sitting business slowed to a trickle. But recently traveling has picked up and now pet sitters can barely keep up with demand.
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The Growing Racial Divide In Millennial Wealth

Many white millennials have made amazing progress in building wealth in recent years. Meanwhile, Black millennials keep falling further and further behind.
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Dogecoin, Retail And The Cafe Table Indicator

For this edition of Indicators of the Week, we hear from economists Kate Waldock and Ben Ho about what they're looking at to signal the health of the economy: the strength of retail and Dogecoin.
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America's Best-Selling Truck Goes Electric

The Ford Lightning is the first electric F-150 pickup truck, and it could be a historical tipping point for the US auto industry. The only problem? Selling it to old-school drivers.
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We're Bad At Calculating Risk

Life constantly requires us to calculate risk, and we're just not very good at it.
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Blood And Treasure

Obsessing over hidden treasure isn't just for pirates and conquistadors. In 2010, an eccentric art dealer launched a modern day treasure hunt that lasted ten long years.
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