Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime? These may not sound like typical questions for... show more
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime? These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much heralded scholar who studies the stuff and riddles of everyday life-;from cheating and crime to sports and child rearing-;and whose conclusions regularly turn the conventional wisdom on its head. He usually begins with a mountain of data and a simple, unasked question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: freakonomics. Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and co-author Stephen J. Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives-;how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they set out to explore the hidden side of ... well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan. What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a surfeit of obfuscation, complication, and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and-;if the right questions are asked-;is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking. Steven Levitt, through devilishly clever and clear-eyed thinking, shows how to see through all the clutter. Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.
Publish date: May 1st 2005
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages no: 207
Edition language: English
Series: Freakonomics (#1)
Synopsis: Look your guess is as good as mine as to what this book is about. It doesn't have much of a unifying theme (even the authors say that), so I'm kinda at a loss to say what it is about exactly. I'm not really sure what to say about this book. An economist who doesn't know anything about...
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (New York: William Morrow, 2005). Pp. 242. Hardcover $25.95. Last week I participated in Dubuque's 'Circles Initiative,' which is part of their 'Bridges Out of Poverty' program. During th...
I really enjoyed this book. Apparently a lot of people didn't like that it wasn't about one topic necessarily. I'm not entirely sure why that's a bad thing. The topics range from sumo wrestling to abortion, all of which were very thought-provoking. The authors worked in some central themes such as t...
For a book that so heavily relies on (mostly) untested assumptions, the repeated, passionate references to the distinction between causality and correlation is impressive if not audacious, to say the least. Suffice to say, “"As Levitt sees it, economics is a science with excellent tools for gaining ...
~~Moved from GR~~ I have seriously mixed feelings about Freakonomics, so be prepared for a very opinionated review. Like The Tipping Point, it was written by a journalist, and is an extremely engaging and entertaining read. It certainly has more scientific merit and empirical backing than Gladwell...