One of the delights of the books and the blog is the authors’ willingness to play with ideas and consider alternative explanations. But unquestioning trust in friends and colleagues combined with the desire to be counterintuitive appear in several cases to have undermined their work. They—and anyone who wishes to convey economics and statistics to a popular audience—just need to take the next step and avoid, in any given example, privileging one story over all other possibilities.Freakonomics: What Went Wrong?
posted by RogerB
on Dec 13, 2011 -
A simple idea: take an ordinary savings account, but instead of paying interest to account holders, hold a lottery to see who gets the lump sum. Freakonomics Radio investigates Prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts (Part 1
, Part 2
), which combine two things that seem completely at odds with each other: saving money and gambling. In Highland Park, MI, PLS accounts have been very successful
at converting "non-savers" into "savers". Why hasn't it caught on in the US? It's illegal in most states, of course.
posted by Jonathan Harford
on Dec 2, 2010 -
By high school, her name was cool to many. "They were like, 'Oh yeah. Man, I wish I had your name. I love that. I'm going to name my kid after you.' I hear that so much and I go, Lord, please don't do that to that child." --Marijuana Pepsi Jackson [via] [more inside]
posted by jaimev
on Apr 22, 2009 -
wants you to start talking about waste. And no, she isn't concerned with your recycling habits, your fluorescent light bulbs, or the packaging on your electronics. She's concerned with your, ahem, human waste. Ms. George has written a book
on the way both first and third world societies deal with sewage, and now Freakonomics is talking with her
posted by aliceinreality
on Nov 24, 2008 -
Freakonomics coauthor/blogger writes
about a "spelling mistake" the Economist made in a recent issue.
He is corrected
within 5 minutes.
The Economist responds
to his "correction".
posted by jourman2
on Jul 16, 2008 -
"We like to play gladiator. You know what I mean? Let two gangs beat each other up without weapons, and the winner gets to deal on the corner. Or, we grab a bunch of muggers, or maybe two crews who steal cars, and tell them, “Okay, you all fight each other — the one still standing gets to avoid jail.” I know: it sounds awful, but believe me, this really works."
Cops tell Freakonomics "the things that cops do to keep the peace that no one wants to know about.”"
posted by plexi
on Jun 19, 2008 -
Hatred and Profits: Getting Under the Hood of the Ku Klux Klan
(50 page pdf).
, of freakonomics fame, along with Roland Fryer
, has just released a new academic paper that assesses the rise and fall of the KKK from a variety of perspectives.
From one of the authors ...It details the rise and fall of the Klan in the 1920s. Incredibly, the Klan had millions of members at that time, and most of them were reasonably well-educated. Based on a variety of data sources, we argue that, despite its size and education levels, the group nevertheless had little measurable impact on society or politics...
posted by jourman2
on Sep 18, 2007 -