Interesting Questions in Freakonomics
DiNardo, John. 2007. "Interesting Questions in Freakonomics."
Journal of Economic Literature,
Freakonomics is more about "entertainment" than it is a serious attempt at popularization.
Consequently, rather than conduct a comprehensive fact check, I use the
book as a springboard for a broader inquiry into social science research and take
issue with the book's surprising premise that "Economics is a science with excellent
tools for gaining answers but a serious shortage of interesting questions." Using
examples from Freakonomics, I argue that some of the questions the book addresses
are "uninteresting" because it is impossible to even imagine what a good answer
would look like. I conclude with some thoughts about the role of economic theory in
generating interesting questions and/or answers.
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A11: Role of Economics; Role of Economists