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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
Freakonomics A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything - Audio CD - Unabridged Author:Steven D. Levitt, Steven J. Dubner Revised Edition — 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? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime? — These may not sound like typical questions for an economist... more » to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Thus the new field of study contained in this audiobook: Freakonomics.
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 explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner working of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The secrets of the Klu Klux Klan.
What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking, and Freakonomics will redefine the way we view the modern world.
Read by Steven J. Dubner. 7 sound discs (ca. 8 hr.)« less
Roe v. Wade is partially responsible for the drop in crime in the 1990s. Having books in your house correlates positively to increased test scores for your children, but whether or not you read to them doesn't. Do these statements sound crazy? Well, they're both at least partially true, according to analyses presented in Freakonomics. The story I found the most interesting was how one of the authors caught which teachers were cheating on standardized tests in Chicago. Least interesting was the analysis of baby names (distinguishing between "high-end" and "low-end" names for boys and girls).
My only real complaint is that the book was too short! This revised edition does include some responses and further anecdotes collected from the Freakonomics blog, which beefs it up a bit, but I still wanted more. Additionally, I would have liked to see more actual economics content (i.e. a bit of mathematical explanation to enhance their arguments). For example, in the example of real estate agents trying to close a deal (not necessarily to their client's benefit), the concepts of a discount rate and/or opportunity costs would have enhanced the discussion greatly. Overall, definitely worth a read, and great for cocktail conversation.