Freakonomics has become a cultural phenomenon and here in India, the book is always associated to good economics. Is it so?
Look at what Ariel Rubenstein has to say:
“Describe Freakonomics as a typical work of academic imperialism. Furthermore, Freakonomics expresses the aspiration to expand economics to encompass any question that requires the use of common sense.”
“What have we learned about Levitt? He is a smart guy with connections in the municipality. What is the connection to economics? None.”- On Levitt’s tales of the big city.
“Like prostitutes, the skill required of economists is “not necessarily ‘specialized’”
“Levitt is correct when he says: “Information asymmetries everywhere have in fact been mortally wounded by the Internet.” (68) The curious reader can roam the Net and discover, for example, that there are some who harbor doubts regarding the (superfluous) story about the fellow who claimed to have defeated the Ku Klux Klan using a trivial tactic.”
“The grocer wages a struggle for survival against the big supermarket chains and hopes for a large bill. The economist struggles for his professional advancement and wants his findings to confirm his hypothesis. In economics, there is no tradition of checking data and repeating experiments.”
“This is perhaps the central contradiction in the book: On one hand, a recognition of the limitations of statistics, and on the other hand, using it as a magician’s box.”
“Who knows, maybe Levitt, who exposed cheating teachers in Chicago, will succeed in catching terrorists through the databases of rental car companies. But if he does, it will not be due to his professional skill as an economist but due to his personal talent.”
To read his Freak Freakonomics fully, go here.
Please post your Freaky comments too!