Cautionary Tales Inside the Bizarre World of Dictators

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Why are so many autocrats germaphobes? Why was the truth so dangerous for Soviet engineers? And what can salami reveal to us about the mind of Vladimir Putin?

This is the first of two special episodes in partnership with HBO’s new series “The Regime”. Tim Harford investigates real-life dictatorships and the social science that explains them, drawing on insights from game theory and psychology.

For a full list of sources, see the show notes at timharford.com.

The Host

Tim Harford

Tim Harford’s long-running column in the Financial Times, “The Undercover Economist,” reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences. His first book, The Undercover Economist, was published in 30 languages and sold…