David Kestenbaum

David Kestenbaum is a correspondent for NPR, covering science, energy issues and, most recently, the global economy for NPR's multimedia project Planet Money. David has been a science correspondent for NPR since 1999. He came to journalism the usual way — by getting a Ph.D. in physics first.

In his years at NPR, David has covered science's discoveries and its darker side, including the Northeast blackout, the anthrax attacks and the collapse of the New Orleans levees. He has also reported on energy issues, particularly nuclear and climate change.

David has won awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

David worked briefly on the show This American Life, and set up a radio journalism program in Cambodia on a Fulbright fellowship. He also teaches a journalism class at Johns Hopkins University.

David holds a bachelor's of science degree in physics from Yale University and a doctorate in physics from Harvard University.

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Planet Money
5:21 pm
Fri May 29, 2015

What Would The World Be Like If Machines Did All The Work?

Originally published on Mon June 1, 2015 6:35 pm

The economist John Maynard Keynes imagined a future world where people no longer need to work. NPR's Planet Money and the Truth podcasts bring you a work of audio fiction inspired by Keynes' question.

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Planet Money
4:31 pm
Fri May 15, 2015

Obama's New Budget Plan Proposes Closing Social Security Loophole

Originally published on Sun May 17, 2015 7:32 pm

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Planet Money
6:20 pm
Sun May 3, 2015

Casinos Trading Slot Machines For Games Requiring Skill

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Planet Money
5:16 pm
Wed April 29, 2015

Casinos Switch Out Slot Machines For Games Of Skill

Originally published on Wed April 29, 2015 8:17 pm

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Planet Money
4:56 pm
Thu April 23, 2015

'We Built A Robot That Types': The Man Behind Computerized Stock Trading

Originally published on Thu April 23, 2015 7:03 pm

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Planet Money
5:03 am
Thu April 9, 2015

CEO Describes What It's Like When Investors Bet Against You

Originally published on Thu April 9, 2015 12:29 pm

The online furniture company Wayfair is now one of the most shorted stocks. Our Planet Money team talks to its CEO about what it's like to be running a company when some investors are betting on your fall.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Planet Money
4:39 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

On April Fools' Day, Planet Money Tries Out Economics Jokes

Originally published on Wed April 1, 2015 8:00 pm

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Planet Money
5:20 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

Computer Models Play 'What If' Game With Our Economy

Originally published on Thu March 26, 2015 8:01 pm

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Planet Money
5:36 am
Thu February 26, 2015

Greek Finance Minister Gets A Chance To Fix Beleaguered Economy

Originally published on Thu February 26, 2015 7:52 am

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Planet Money
5:06 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Bakers And The Birth Of The Minimum Wage

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 10:43 pm

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On January 1, 20 states raise their minimum wage and several states have additional increases planned in the coming months. Yesterday, we learned that Walmart will raise its base pay to $9 an hour this April.

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Planet Money
5:17 am
Fri January 30, 2015

Winning At Short Selling May Not Be A Reason To Celebrate

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 7:46 am

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Planet Money
6:16 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

The Spicy History Of Short Selling Stocks

Originally published on Fri January 30, 2015 10:07 am

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Planet Money
5:27 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Textbook Arbitrage: Making Money Off Used Books

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 8:55 am

On the most recent episode of our show, we told you the story of two guys who think they've found a guaranteed way to buy low and sell high. Their secret strategy — buying and selling used textbooks.

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Business
4:46 am
Thu October 30, 2014

The Independent Oil Producer You Usually Don't Hear From

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 2:25 pm

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Planet Money
3:41 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

How College Students Battled Textbook Publishers To A Draw, In 3 Graphs

Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 1:18 pm

College textbooks are expensive. You probably already know this. A new biology or economics book can cost $300.

And prices have been soaring, doubling over the past decade, growing faster than the price of housing, cars, even health care.

But, surprisingly, the amount students actually spend on textbooks has not been rising. In fact, the best data we could find on this shows students have been spending a bit less over time.

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Planet Money
3:36 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Typewriters, Underwater Hotels And Picturephones: The Future, As Seen From 1964

General Motors

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 4:56 pm

The 1964 World's Fair showcased jet packs and new miracles of science. There was an entire house made of Formica. You could wipe it clean with a sponge!

The people who put the fair together tried to imagine how the future would look. Here are a few predictions, and how they actually turned out.

1. We had picture phones back then?

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Business
7:02 am
Fri August 1, 2014

Everyone Goes To The Store To Get Milk. So Why's It Way In The Back?

Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:14 am

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Planet Money
3:31 am
Fri July 11, 2014

When Ikea Raises Its Minimum Wage, Where Does The Money Come From?

Flickr user: dahlstroms

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 3:04 pm

Ikea, a company famous for keeping its costs down, recently announced that it would raise the average minimum wage for its retail workers to $10.76 an hour. Why would the company volunteer to pay its workers more?

"By taking better care of our coworkers," says Rob Olson, the acting president of Ikea U.S., "they will take better care of our customers, who will take better care of Ikea. We see it as a win-win-win opportunity."

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Planet Money
5:12 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Volatility Index Indicates Wall Street Is Bored

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 9:40 am

An economic indicator commonly called the VIX, volatility index, is also known as the fear index. Whatever you call it, the index is hitting lows not seen since before the financial crisis.

Planet Money
6:08 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Why A Pack Of Peanut Butter M&M's Weighs A Tiny Bit Less Than A Regular Pack

Peanut Butter M&M's are larger and more irregular than standard M&M's.
Quoctrung Bui/NPR

Originally published on Wed June 25, 2014 5:03 pm

The other day I went down to the little shop in the lobby of our building for a snack. I couldn't decide whether I wanted regular M&M's or Peanut Butter M&M's so I bought them both. On the way back upstairs to the office, I noticed something strange on the labels. Each had cost $1, but the pack of Peanut Butter M&M's was a very tiny bit lighter: 0.06 ounces lighter!

I wanted to know why, so I called a couple of experts and asked for their theories:

Theory No. 1: Peanut Butter M&M's are more expensive to make.

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