Thursday, July 23, 2009


I've started reading Freakonomics. As with so many recent posts, I'm a little behind the curve on this one (4 years behind, to be precise), and it is unfortunate that I'm reading it knowing that its most (in)famous claim has been contested. Nonetheless, it should be an interesting read. The idea of The Hidden Side of Everything is very alluring, and I look forward to reading about sumo wrestling and the reasons drug dealers live with their moms.

I've only just started it, but one thing is popping out to me. It's a dismal read. Economics seems boring to many people, but not to me. And economic analysis of non-economic phenomena (such as the price elasticity of demand of suicide - which I learned about in university) can be quite interesting. I've always said that economics textbooks are some of the best written, so a best-selling, accessible economics book should be great.

Unfortunately, so far (about two chapters in) the writing is horrible. Steven Levitt had such a great opportunity (and it is probably still a good book), but it seems to be a miss.

Maybe I should just read Tyler Cowen's book instead.


  1. I actually really enjoyed the book. True, maybe it's because I have only an elementary background in economics. But I was absolutely amazed at just how useful economics can be to understand, and also often to solve, many of civil society's problems.

  2. Hey Richard - Well, I'm still planning to finish it, and it certainly seems that the insights will be fascinating. My only beef was with the writing style. But we'll see, it might pick up.