Stitch and Bear

A long-running Irish blog with reviews of the best restaurants in Dublin and throughout Ireland. Some wine and cocktails thrown in for good measure!

Monday, November 2, 2009

SuperFreakonomics - Stephen D. Levitt & Stephen K. Dubner

Superfreakonomics is the inevitable follow-up to the best-selling book on microeconomics Freakonomics which took a light look at the decisions and motivations of the individual and presented it in an easy to read format. It was a novel approach at the time and bought microeconomics to the attention of the general public.

Well, why change a winning formula? Superfreakonomics continues much in the same vein and it will undoubtedly be bought by the buckload. Be prepared to see the intellectual poseurs reading this book on the morning and evening commute.

The authors do make some interesting and controversial arguments at times, especially with regard to climate change and children's carseats. I must admit that I did find their arguments quite controversial, given the general public concensus on these topics. But that's no bad thing. It would be a dull world indeed if we all agreed.

Overall though, I found no sense of cohesion in the book and I found that it reinforced my view of economists as people groping around in the dark for a lightswitch. Despite ending with a very humourous description of an experiment where Cappuchin monkeys were taught the value of money, there was no wrap-up or final conclusion to the book. I literally turned the page expecting more and was greeting by the bibliography.

Right now, we are in an era of massive change, i.e. on a macroeconomic scale, and I found the minutiae of microeconomics tedious, unoriginal and non-contemporary.

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