Change Society: Controversial Questions in Freakonomics

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Yet another argument against Levitt and Dubner is the outcry surrounding the processes used to devise their controversial conclusions. While many opponents challenge the nature of the studies, people like Charles Jobs said their statistical methods were wrong. He illustrates how Freakonomics suggests “socioeconomic situations which violate a normative standard involving real life situations” (Jobs). He cites the naming study, which challenges the fabric of many people’s core beliefs and is viewed by many as unethical. Jobs attacked the virtue of the study by citing Levitt and Dubner’s conclusion of how “a person with a distinctively black name… does have a worse life outcome than a woman named Molly or a man named Jake” (119). He was just one of the many outspoken critics who claimed the study had no true bearing on possible events.
Others, like Michat Brezezski and Maria Halber, have examined the studies first hand and found “the coefficients’ estimates in abortion-crime regressions [were] not computationally stable and, therefore, are unreliable” (Brezezski and Halber). These critics affirmed Levitt and Dubner’s research was wrong in more than its moral character through their analysis. Unfortunately, these critics did not understand the purpose of the book. They drew conclusions undermining the purpose of Freakonomics and instead focus on the specifics of each study.
Freakonomics should be viewed as a form of questioning the world. Not as “an excellent subject for more rigorous analysis” but rather as an example of literature used to present information to the general public (Jobs). For example, although Charles Jobs critiques many Freakonomic studies, he discovered the importance a certain mindset can have in a c...

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Works Cited

Brzezinski, Michat, and Maria Halber. "Testing the perturbation sensitivity of abortion-crime regressions." Contemporary Economics 6.2 (2012): 58+. Academic OneFile. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Fung, Kaiser, and Andrew Gelman. "Freakonomics: what went wrong?" American Scientist 100.1 (2012): 6+. General OneFile. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Jobs, Charles. "Peakonomics: toward a case typology for increasing undergraduate economics literacy and concept retention." Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research 9.1 (2008): 19+.General OneFile. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Kats, Milena. "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything." American Economist 50.1 (2006): 93+. General OneFile. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Levitt, Steven D, and Stephen J. Dubner. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. New York: William Morrow, 2005. Print.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes the arguments against levitt and dubner's controversial conclusions, including charles jobs' assertion that freakonomics suggests socioeconomic situations that violate a normative standard.
  • Explains that critics affirmed levitt and dubner's research was wrong in more than its moral character through their analysis. they drew conclusions undermining the purpose of freakonomics.
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