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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1)
Freakonomics A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything - Freakonomics, Bk 1 Author:Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner 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... more » 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.« less
Very interesting, one of the few books I found myself arguing with the author simply because the premise seems so ludicrous, but you have to admit, he makes, as sad as it is, a lot of sense. I also like that he gave the "exception to the rule" at the end, made me feel a little validated for reading to my kids every single night *laugh*
A book from a different perspective, everyone should read it.
I know that some of what the books says would be considered very controversial (the connection between abortion and lowered crime rates, for example), but it really does make a lot of sense. The book helped open my eyes to things that I don't normally think about, or if it was a question I had thought of, it made me see the possibilities within that question in a much different way than I had ever really thought of. I can understand why this book is so popular.
Leah (VeganFreak) reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 7
I read this because of all of the hype. I was not "dazzled", as the blurb on the cover suggested I would be. It wasn't a bad book, I just don't get what the big deal is.
I thought that this was a moderately entertaining book that read more like a series of unrelated articles. I'm not convinced that the conclusions that they came to are of any merit and I don't really care enough about it to do any further research on my own.
It brought up some interesting ideas and I like that this may encourage people to be more unconventional in the the things that they study and the questions that they ask.
Perhaps if I were an economist or a student studying economics, this would feel fresh and groundbreaking. Instead I am just a chick who likes books and I finished this one with a shrug.
If you are an avid reader, go ahead and read it, just be prepared to not be dazzled. Be prepared for an okay read that may be more impressive if you ignore the hype.
Absolutely fascinating, well written and entertaining -- which is saying a lot, given that I tend to twitch uncontrollably when I hear the term "economics." Levitt has the ability to pull together what seem to be completely disparate concepts -- things that no one else have seen -- and have them make sense. (For example, his chapter on why crack dealers still live at home with their mothers - brilliant!)
Excellent way to look at issues in this world pragmatically in the concept of economics. Would definitely recommend this book as a must read. Finished it in one day. If your one who may always question news and world events that get reported, this book will definitely open your eyes and mind to figure out the angle and ask the further questions that don't get asked.