Bookmarks Magazine's Reviews > SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

SuperFreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt
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Dec 02, 2009

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As in Freakonomics, Dubner and Levitt consider how individual incentives influence strategic behavior and how, in turn, market behavior and changes in policy and culture help us to better understand incentives. Critics, however, diverged on the success of this follow-up while admitting the authors' wisdom, wit, and insight. Although the more diverse set of examples certainly fascinates, they can feel "like more of a rag-bag of conclusions" than a cohesive argument (Times). But what perplexed reviewers most was the last section, an analysis of externalities that examines the use of geoengineering to prevent climate change and provides fodder for climate-change deniers. Right or wrong, the use of geoengineering to prevent climate change seems a real stretch far beyond Levitt's economic expertise. Yet despite its flaws, SuperFreakonomics is as fun as, if even more controversial than, its predecessor. This is an excerpt of a review published in Bookmarks magazine.

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