I don't believe this. Stephen J. Dubner, the journalist half of Freakonomics, has totally blown it. In the Freakonomics blog for the New York Times he writes:
The Economist is, almost inarguably, a great magazine.
That doesn’t mean it doesn't make the occasional mistake. Consider this lead from a recent article about a huge Mexican mining company called Fresnillo, which was recently listed on the London Stock Exchange:
In the hills north east of Mexico City it is not uncommon to find Cornish pasties for sale.
They meant to write “pastries” but, considering that miners work really hard, they might also be hoping to encounter the kind of people who go shopping for pasties.
I have made plenty of similar errors myself. I read this mistake in the print edition of The Economist and fully expected it to be corrected in the online edition — but, as of when I included the link above, it hadn’t been.
As every commenter pointed out, the joke is on him. I hope he has the cojones not to correct himself.