The booming economics-made-fun genre
More than having fun, but less than economics imperialism
Keywords:economics-made-fun, pop economics, freakonomics, economics imperialism, sociology of economics
Over the last few years there seems to have been a sharp increase in the number of books that want to spread the news that economics is, or at least can be, fun. This paper sets out to explain in what senses economics is supposed to be fun. In particular, the books in what I will call the economics-made-fun genre will be compared first with papers and books written by economists with the explicit intent of making fun of economics. Subsequently, it will be examined whether or not it makes sense to accuse books in the economics-made-fun genre of economics imperialism, as some commentators have recently done.