Apr 2, 2010

Interesting criticisms of Superfreakonomics

Just to make our next discussion more lively, check out these criticisms of various parts of Superfreakonomics (not surprisingly, the climate change section has drawn the most fire). I'll be interested to hear what everyone has to say:

http://delong.typepad.com/.services/blog/6a00e551f08003883400e551f080068834/search?filter.q=superfreakonomics

http://rortybomb.wordpress.com/?s=superfreakonomics

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/pediatric-crash-experts-respond-superfreakonomics/story?id=8867876

2 comments:

andrew said...

Tom, my first instinct was to wait until I'd read the book before reading the commentary you've linked to. But now that I've given in to temptation, I'm glad I did. I have a built-in skepticism about Levitt and Dubner's approach (i.e., their proclaimed rigor), and these critiques will only help focus my skepticism as I dive into the book.

Jeff said...

I'm with you, Andrew. I didn't buy the "rigor" of their "economics light" approach when the book came out and I'm not sure the addition of a couple sections has made their arguments any stronger, more plausible or more palatable. I simply could not take their findings seriously (but some are pretty funny, I recall) and if there are any serious economists in MBC, you'll be appalled!

Many students over the years have read this for Econ class and end up shaking their heads. All this said, however, still makes the book a worthwhile read, and there will be plenty to talk/argue about. Kind of like when there was all that hubbub about The Bell Curve ten plus years ago now. We lost two wanna be Apes over THAT meeting!

Very nice post and meeting report on The Cellist of Sarajevo, btw. I keep trying to get different Apes to report and blog, but you can see how that's been going!

Be well all-
Jeff