One of the few books about economics to hit the New York Times bestseller’s list was Freakonomics by Levitt and Dubner. The book was so popular they even made a movie about it. The specialty of the authors, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, is applying economics to unconventional, controversial, or sometimes even downright bizarre topics. Some praise them for bringing economics to a wider audience, while others criticize them for not tackling serious issues or for delving into overly controversial areas.
So, what’s all the fuss about? Take a look for yourself by viewing some of their videos from YouTube, including clips from their movie, or take a look at some articles on their blog. The links are below:
Choose one of the videos or blog articles that you find most interesting, and share the link with your classmates. Discuss some of the following issues based on what you have viewed or read:
1. What did you find interesting about the video or article that you found?
2. Did you find anything from any of the videos or articles that might help you understand some concepts from the class, or is their stuff “too odd” or “too far out there” to be useful for this class?
3. Overall, what is your impression of Levitt and Dubner? Silly? Interesting? Other?
Tabarrok, A. & Cowen, T. (2015) The demand curve. Marginal Revolution University. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUPm2tMCbGE
Tabarrok, A. & Cowen, T. (2015) The supply curve. Marginal Revolution University. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKvrbOq1OfI
Stengel, D. (2012). Managerial Economics Principles. Flat World Education. http://saylordotorg.github.io/text_principles-of-managerial-economics/
Taylor, T. (2014) Principles of Microeconomics. OpenStax College. http://cnx.org/contents
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