Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Levitt

If only I thought I could survive it, I would bust my ass to go to UChicago just to study with Steven Levitt. I've been looking for UChicago blogs to see if anybody talks about him, but all I could find was Ngan Dinh's and she doesn't mention him. I talk about his papers with everybody I meet and I have urged everyone from the econ club to read them as well.

Also, in another thought, what explains the quick change in tastes of Americans when it comes to coffee? I mean, ten years ago nobody drank anything better than Folgers, now every town with a human to moose ratio greater than .5 has a Starbucks! I recently had Ethiopian Yergacheffe... it is incredible. What sort of jolt creates such a rapid change in preferences and the ensuing demand increases?

It is like an article I read (Krugman, I think) that described how the English ate unhealthy, unfresh, and unappetizing (to most of the world) well after fresh foods were widely available (and affordable) because England was one of the first countries to industrialize. This caused their palates to grow accustomed to beans and toast. It also makes me think about a lot of these books that worry about American eating habits. Marion Nestle writes a couple... also Fast Food Nation. Would Americans prefer a spinach, mozzarella, and tomato salad with oil and vinegar to iceberg with bacon bits and ranch if so many of us hadn't come from Northern Europe? I think this is as plausible an explanation than advertising and the "big food" bad guys.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Dave B said...

Ok I know this is a really old post...but I thought I would let you know that I took your advice and read Freakonomics (several times) and absolutely loved it! Now all of my friends can't get me to shut up about Levitt... and by the way this is the "real world" stuff I am always talking about...love it!

September 15, 2006 at 11:57 PM  

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