Originally Posted by edinatlanta
The abortion one immediately comes to mind.
It was widely debated, I don't think I have read a comprehensive argument-quasher though. Plenty of people batted around the sides of it, and lots of people found moral excuses to try and discredit it, and when I read those arguments, I got the impression they were being put forward by people who didn't actually read the book, and as such I am yet to see it be logically and rationally defeated. Indeed I read a revised version where some of the arguments and counter arguments were presented in the final pages, and came across this quote from The New York Times article that spawned it all:
Daniel Hamermesh, a prominent labor economist at the University of Texas, has taught Levitt’s paper “The Impact of Legalized Abortion on Crime” to his undergraduates. “I’ve gone over this paper in draft, in its printed version, at great length, and for the life of me I can’t see anything wrong with it,” Hamermesh says. “On the other hand, I don’t believe a word of it.”
Still, open to reading further to hear it discredited and would welcome any links to that end. Anyhow, whatever, I enjoyed Freakonomics, liked the way they applied economic thinking and statistical modelling into places where it basically has no business being, and enjoyed the authors' innate curiosity and the way the stories were told. I am now a few chapters into the sequel. When that is done, spb_lady and I will be joint tackling The Brothers Karamazov (her in Russian, me in English).