Why do drug dealers still live with their mothers?
What Makes a Perfect Parent?
What does it mean to think like a freak?
What do questions like this have to do with economics? Believe it or not, these are timely questions asked and answered in Freakonomics, the pop-culture-heavy work of financial literature by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner.
Freakonomics’ widespread popularity depends on its simple, easily digestible view of the modern economy. (We’re not all drug dealers, of course, but this part of the book explains a business model for paying for yourself and your employees.)
On April 4, Dubner will bring in more of Freakonomics’ thought provocation at The Economics Center’s 2017 Annual Awards. The EC event also provides the opportunity to present the Economic Empowerment Award to this year’s recipient, Cincinnati Reds CEO Bob Castellini.
Further awards are given to educators. This year’s recipients include:
– Sheri Renneker, Headmistress of North College Hill Elementary School (Student Enterprise Leadership Award)
– Frederick Douglass Elementary School (STEP School of the Year Award)
– Kathy Baugh, Milford High School (Economics Teacher of the Year Award)
This year, the non-profit EU is celebrating its 40th anniversary to provide schools and educators with financial literacy, says its marketing director Mary Kate Fogarty.
The 14 full-time researchers of the EG have been researching and advising companies and organizations for 20 years. Examples from their dozen of economic research projects include helping the City of Cincinnati update its six-year tax revenue plan; Assessing the historical and current economic impact of Hamilton County’s manufacturing sector; To analyze the economic benefits of Cincinnati Works in the region; and look at the impact of Cincinnati Metro’s current routes.
“Our main job is financial literacy,” says Fogarty. “But it’s about 50-50 shared with economic research.”
Dubner was invited to this year’s awards ceremony because the center wanted a different type of event to celebrate the anniversary, Fogarty says.
“We wanted to bring in someone who is very well known,” she adds. “We heard some of his podcasts and he was a very engaging speaker.”
For folks not into Dubner, he’s a journalist and writer who joined Levitt in 2005 to write a series of books that “use dates rather than guesswork or ideology to understand how that.” World works to learn how incentives succeed (or fail), how resources are allocated, and what kind of friction prevents people from receiving these resources, “according to an excerpt from the Freakonomics series entitled Think Like a Freak.
In an interview with IBM at a government forum in 2011, Dubner explained his view of the economy: “There are about as many definitions of economy as there are economists. One broad mindset is to examine how people allocate resources. We have one A looser definition found: the study of how people get what they want or need, especially when other people want or need the same. “
Dubner and Levitt were criticized in their work. According to a 2015 article by The Guardian, a chapter in SuperFreakonomics on climate change suggested “that today’s efforts by environmentalists to reduce carbon emissions have ultimately been hopeless”. These and other comments on climate drew criticism from both economists and scholars, to which Levitt later suggested that the authors should perhaps have changed the tone of this chapter.
Despite such setbacks, the couple’s work on a blog on Freakonomics.com and a series of podcasts called Freakonomics Radio has generated some following.
Stephen Dubner, co-author of FreakonomicsDubner was also the logical choice as a keynote address due to his pragmatic approach to finance and economics, which has made the Freakonomics series a household name. The European Commission has helped around 28,000 children and 26,600 teachers in the region better understand real money problems. The group estimates that EC programming has reached more than 1,000,000 students and thousands of teachers since 1977.
“We try to relate everything we do to a real-life scenario,” says Val Krugh, Director of School Relations at the European Commission. “‘Why do I ever have to use this?’ We’re trying to answer this question for children. “
The Economics Center’s student corporate program for grades 3-6 is incentive-based, says Krugh. “We provide a business for the school and the students earn tuition to use in business.” The store stocks everything from school supplies to headphones and basketballs.
Val KrughGrade 4 through 12 students play the stock market game, which starts with $ 100,000 of virtual money to buy stocks. “They know what their colleagues are buying and they invest in those companies,” says Krugh. “They say things like, ‘It’s almost Christmas time, so I think this (particular product) is going to get hot.'”
The students have invested their virtual money in real-world companies like Under Armor, Nintendo, and even Green Mountain Coffee.
The business center also provides teachers with the help they need to incorporate financial literacy into their curriculum.
“The teachers are mostly busy,” says Krugh. “We’re adding value without adding time or energy. We’re trying to make sure it can be used in math, linguistics, or reading, which they are already doing.”
The main goal of the program is to help children become more informed decision makers, she says. “We use money as a context. We teach children how to make better decisions. Business is all about decisions and decisions have consequences.”
Would you like to learn how to think like a freak? You must attend the April 4th event and get a firsthand look at Freakonomics.