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Freakonomics

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A cornerstone of the conventional wisdom is that All We Have to Do is to spend a lot more money cognitively stimulating poor black children pre-K and that will close The Gap. But down through history, it's been assumed that better teachers should work with higher, not lower potential students: Socrates taught Plato, Plato taught... Read More
Below is the first of four parts of a 1999 debate in Slate between U. of Chicago economist Steven D. Levitt, co-author of the 2005 bestseller Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, and myself, Steve Sailer. We discussed Levitt's most celebrated theory: Did the legalization of abortion in 1969-1973 cause the crime rate to... Read More
Below is the second of four parts of a 1999 debate in Slate between U. of Chicago economist Steven D. Levitt, co-author of the 2005 bestseller Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, and myself, Steve Sailer. We discussed Levitt's most celebrated theory: Did the legalization of abortion in 1969-1973 cause the crime rate to... Read More
Below is the third of four parts of a 1999 debate in Slate between U. of Chicago economist Steven D. Levitt, co-author of the 2005 bestseller Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, and myself, Steve Sailer. We discussed Levitt's most celebrated theory: Did the legalization of abortion in 1969-1973 cause the crime rate to... Read More
Below is the fourth and final part of a 1999 debate in Slate between U. of Chicago economist Steven D. Levitt, co-author of the 2005 bestseller Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, and myself, Steve Sailer. We discussed Levitt's most celebrated theory: Did the legalization of abortion in 1969-1973 cause the crime... Read More
From my review in Taki's Magazine: The new documentary Freakonomics harkens back to the good old days of 2005. Remember when economists, having permanently perfected the economy, graciously allowed their attention to wander to crime fighting, sumo wrestling, baby naming, and other fields not traditionally enlightened by their insights? University of Chicago economist Steven D.... Read More
From the New York Times, an article on an experimental program in NYC that had been very popular among economists: using carrots (but no sticks) to get the poor to behave better.City to End Program Giving Cash to the PoorAn unusual and much-heralded program that gave poor families cash to encourage good behavior and self-sufficiency... Read More
Paul Shirley, a 6'10" white basketball journeyman and sportswriter, got fired from ESPN for blogging on FlipCollective that he wouldn't be donating to Haiti "for the same reason that I don't give money to homeless men on the street. Based on past experiences, I don’t think the guy with the sign that reads 'Need You’re... Read More
I've been skimming a few books at the book store. Here's one:It must annoy U. of Chicago economist Levitt -- in a fuming all the way to the bank kinda way -- that he gets compared to Malcolm Gladwell a lot, when anybody just flipping idly through their respective books ought to be able to... Read More
Steven D. Levitt's and Stephen Dubner's new surefire bestseller ¡SuperFreakonomics! is being widely anathematized for exhibiting signs of heretical doubts about Global Warming or Climate Change or whatever it's called these days.In his defense, Dubner blogs on the New York Times in Global Warming in SuperFreakonomics: The Anatomy of a Smear:Gosh, Steve and Steve, you... Read More
There's something that just doesn't feel right about Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner denying themselves an exclamation point in the title of their sequel to their 4 million-selling 2005 book Freakonomics.C'mon, Steve and Steve, you deserve an exclamation point:Heck, you've also earned yourselves one of those upside down Spanish exclamation points in front:Steve and Steve's... Read More
In his Freakonomics blog on the New York Times, economist Steven D. Levitt issues a stirring defense of freedom of speech and scientific inquiry. Well, no, actually, Levitt sidesteps that whole tarpit and instead complains that he, Levitt, should have gotten more publicity. By Steven D. Levitt Nobel Laureate James Watson got into trouble recently... Read More
In National Review, Jim Manzi reviews economist John R. Lott's Freedomomics and takes a look at Steven D. Levitt's Freakonomics as well:I didn't know that about the famous "butterfly in Brazil" effect, but that is what I've been saying about Levitt's abortion-crime theory since 1999: it's beyond the power of contemporary social science to determine.
Here's the abstract of a paper in press by economist Ted Joyce, followed by Joyce's cogent explanation of why it's important to keep harping on this subject. A Simple Test of Abortion and CrimeTed JoyceBaruch College and Graduate CenterCity University of New YorkandNational Bureau of Economic ResearchForthcoming in Review of Economics and StatisticsA Simple Test... Read More
The New York Times brings Steven D. Levitt's Freakonomics blog on-board as an official NYT feature right at the moment we get to see Levitt's embarrassing "letter of clarification" in settlement of John Lott's defamation case against him!Will the NYT ever report on this latest story involving their valuable asset? In 2005, the NYT, unlike... Read More
I hadn't been paying much attention to economist John R. Lott's defamation lawsuit against Freakonomist Steven D. Levitt: I don't like lawsuits. But now I've finally read the two 2005 emails at the heart of one count of Lott's suit. I'm sure I don't understand all the details of the situation, but they seem pretty... Read More
Almost nobody (including me) took seriously the defamation suit filed by itinerant economist John R. Lott against celebrity Freakonomist Steven D. Levitt. After all, Lott is a kind of odd-looking guy with a tightly wound personality, while Levitt is the mediagenic embodiment of boyishly-appealing supergenius. Yet, I now guess I was wrong. The news of... Read More
Here's another excerpt from my review in the Washington Times of economist John R. Lott's Dr. Lott is an even more fecund generator of plausible explanations than is Dr. [Stephen D.] Levitt [author of the bestseller Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything]. For instance, he suggests in Freedomnomics:- The big mark-up... Read More
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Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, VDARE.com columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.


PastClassics
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
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