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Finally, an advocacy role for Freakonomics

A number of reviewers criticized Freakonomics because it explored issues but stopped short of making broad policy pronouncements. A few months back Louis Uchitelle even wrote an article in the New York Times (available through TimesSelect or by purchase only) about how young economists like me were leaving the politics out of economics.

Yesterday, though, I was accurately “accused” of being an advocate for something. The group making the accusation was the Chicago Chapter of the American Statistical Association. They gave me the Harry V. Roberts Statistical Advocate of the Year award.

The award recognizes “the accomplishments and contributions of those who throughout their career have successfully advocated appropriate and effective uses of statistics in business and the public sector.

The effective use of statistics is one issue for which I am always happy to be an advocate.