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Hicken wins 2015 UROP Outstanding Research Mentor Award

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PAA 2015 Annual Meeting: Preliminary program and list of UM participants

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Next Brown Bag

Mon, April 6
Jinkook Lee, Wellbeing of the Elderly in East Asia

Interesting questions in freakonomics

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

DiNardo, John. 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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