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Thompson casts doubt on the rehabilitative intentions of prison labor

Inglehart says European social democracy is a victim of its own success

Bound, Khanna, and Morales find multiple effects of H1-B visas on US tech industry

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Heather Ann Thompson wins Bancroft Prize for History for 'Blood in the Water'

Michigan ranks in USN&WR top-10 grad schools for sociology, public health, labor economics, social policy, social psychology

Paula Lantz to speak at Women in Health Leadership Summit, March 24, 2:30-5:30 Michigan League

New site highlights research, data, and publications of Relationship Dynamics and Social Life study

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Next Brown Bag

Mon, March 20, 2017, noon:
Dean Yang, Taken by Storm

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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