Cautionary Tales with Tim HarfordCautionary Tales with Tim Harford

The Rise and Fall of a Megalomaniac

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Nicolae Ceaușescu was not beloved. His regime was vicious and he treated Romania as his personal wallet: while Ceaușescu emptied the coffers to construct a vast, ornate palace, his people starved. He imposed disastrous population control policies on his country, too, which saw hundreds of thousands of unwanted children left to rot in squalid orphanages. Ceaușescu's rule endured for a quarter of a century - then crumbled overnight.

How do dictatorships unravel? In a second episode, Tim Harford partners with HBO's new series "The Regime" to investigate real-life dictatorships and the social science that explains them.

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

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We tell our children unsettling fairy tales to teach them valuable life lessons, but these Cautionar 
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