Who are the next victims of pop culture? The Economists, for sure. After the phenomenal success of books such as Freakonomics, Undercover Economist, Armchair Economist, and blah blah blah, every economist is under pressure to come up with some innovative approach to explain mundane things in life. Forget earlier topics like “Why aid doesn’t work in Africa” or “Implications of direct cash grants on Philips curve” that used to keep economists intrigued; the best talent in business are now looking for more relevant topics. And even though some of the most pressing issues facing mankind such as “Overpricing of the hotel mini-bar” (Tim Harford) and “socioeconomic patterns of naming children” (Steven Levitt) have already been worked upon, there still remain some fundamental questions that remain unanswered. For example, “How many love songs are written for every break-up song and why” or “why do men wash underwear less frequently than women”, or “Why does Ronald McDonald not get fat”? Who could have imagined that the disgraced correlations and regressions would make such a strong comeback supported by the enormous marketing prowess of blurbs and book reviews?
There are reasons why such writings proliferate other than for readership's sake. One of them is to dispel notions of the social science's dismal nature.
Post a Comment