October 9, 2007

Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work — whereas economics represents how it actually does work. Economics is above all a science of measurement. It comprises an extraordinarily powerful and flexible set of tools that can reliably assess a thicket of information to determine the effect of any one factor, or even the whole effect. That’s what “the economy” is, after all: a thicket of information about jobs and real estate and banking and investment. But the tools of economics can be just as easily applied to subjects that are more — well, more interesting.

– Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, from Freakonomics

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