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Stern, Novak, Harlow, and colleagues say compensation due Californians forcibly sterilized under eugenics laws

Burgard and Seelye find job insecurity linked to psychological distress among workers in later years

Former PSC trainee Jay Borchert parlays past incarceration and doctoral degree into pursuing better treatment of inmates

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Savolainen wins Outstanding Contribution Award for study of how employment affects recidivism among past criminal offenders

Giving Blueday at ISR focuses on investing in the next generation of social scientists

Pfeffer and Schoeni cover the economic and social dimensions of wealth inequality in this special issue

PRB Policy Communication Training Program for PhD students in demography, reproductive health, population health

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Next Brown Bag

Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at noon:
H. Luke Shaefer

Interesting questions in freakonomics

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

DiNardo, John E. 2007. "Interesting questions in freakonomics." Journal of Economic Literature, 45(4): 973-1000.

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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