How Tough a Place Is the University of Chicago?

Just about every university has an alumni magazine, and they all follow the same tried-and-true recipe: highly partisan stories touting the wonderful accomplishments of the faculty, students, athletics, and alumni.

I had always thought of my university’s alumni magazine as being cut from the same cloth.

Until I read the most recent issue, that is.

The cover story is entitled “Chicago Schooled.” It is an examination of the recent financial crisis and its implications for the free-market ideas associated with the Chicago School of Economics. It is an interesting read, and while not so critical of Chicago economics, it is far from the usual rah-rah stuff.

What really caught my attention, however, was a page-long sidebar inserted into that article with a headline that reads “Sumo Wrestlers Are Big, But Are
They a Big Question?
” The question this sidebar sets out to answer is whether or not I, Steve Levitt, ruined economics! The answer, at least according to some of my colleagues quoted in the article, turns out to be “yes.”

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  1. Pete says:

    Steven Landsburg’s Slate columns were why I originally tried an econ course at the University of Rochester and eventually majored in it.

    There must be countless students who have tried economics due to Freakonomics.

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  2. EF says:

    fitzgerald and heckman are narrow-minded here. perhaps it’s true that some economic questions deserve greater attention than others — what a value judgment! — but for every economist “freakonomics” distracts from those holy questions, i’d say it attracts or inspires two other folks to study economics who might not otherwise have done so. the book did that for me, at least (thanks, steve!).

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