Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Have read Superfreakonomics. Wouldn't change much in Tim Harford's excellent review. The sections on prostitution and terrorism have been criticised as being more obvious than the counterintuitive findings in the first book, but I certainly found them gripping to read and the street prostitution piece in particular is a really good story about how to collect and use a dataset. I am surprised that the ethical issues associated with using things like surnames on bank accounts as data in terrorism profiling have not received more debate. As for the controversial climate change chapter, it really will not be of much interest to people who are interested in Freakonomics for Levitt's ability to assemble and dissect novel data to produce economic findings.

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