Book Reviews of 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)
Freakonomics A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything - Freakonomics, Bk 1
Author: Stephen J. Dubner, Steven D. Levitt
ISBN-13: 9780060731328
ISBN-10: 006073132X
Publication Date: 5/1/2005
Pages: 242
Rating:
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 598

4 stars, based on 598 ratings
Publisher: William Morrow
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

69 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 239 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 13
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.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Because of this book, I'm graduating from college with a degree in economics. A very interesting way of examining the world, trying to find out the logic behind why people make certain decisions.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 287 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
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.
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.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Fabulous example of creative, analytical thought!!! Provokes new thought!!! Provides insight about historical instances of correlation without proper cause and effect--then gives proper concluding evidence of different causal factors. Makes some seemingly random statements, but concludes with proper correlation in each instance.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 404 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Very interesting what someone can do with numbers. Yes, the crack dealers who live with the mothers section is fun to read, and ultimately sad because we know that these boys will never break the cycle of violence and we will always have "ghettos." I was more interested with the correlation of students first names and the average education level of students with such names... Mary, Sarah, Tiffany, Leticia, etc. According to this book, I shouldn't name my girl after a flower! Overall, the book was entertainment taken with a grain of salt.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
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!)
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Very interesting. I expected to hunker down and "learn something" with this book, but found that I read through it as fast as a mindless fiction novel. Topics and thoughts put forth by the author are controversial for sure. His theory about abortion and crime rates is certain to ruffle feathers. But I believe that his conclusions are theories, not necessarily proven truths about why certain phenomena exist in our society. And while I think at first glance his ideas sound discriminating, I can tell he is compassionate about people and interested in understanding how groups of people are affected in a "big picture" kind of way. I definitely learned something about the business of drug marketing. I see this book as less economics and more sociology, although the author himself and sociologists would disagree. It was a very interesting book.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 4
Fantastically interesting book showing how economic theories apply to all sorts of human activities.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Not as great as it has been made out to be. A lot of nonsense and stuff that really doesn't matter much.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
Interesting but overrated. Not that novel, really. They're no Gladwell.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 524 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Interesting read that gets you thinking! It also makes you really question everything that is reported by the media!!!!
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 5512 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Jumps from topic to topic, making unsupported conclusions. That makes it a most interesting book.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
An intriguing look at the way our everyday decisions are shaped by economic forces, often unconsciously. And vice versa as well.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Sounded boring when I first read reviews for this book. It turns out to be a great look into our culture.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great read on the economics of things you'd never thought of.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 121 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I tried to read this book for a psychology project and could not get through it. Some parts were interesting, but mainly boring. I did not enjoy this book at all.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 102 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What a fascinating book! The author has an amazing ability to look at long established âfactsâ in a completely new way, overthrowing commonly accepted wisdom, and finding the real causes behind changes in our society. I highly recommend this to everyone. It is short, to the point, and - regardless of whether you agree with his conclusions or not - it will make you think.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The audio book was a very interesting look at how economics works behind the scenes--even if you know nothing about economics. Good speaker, clear and pleasant, very good read.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
This is one of the best, most thought-provoking books I've ever read. In fact, I wanted to read it twice and could not find my copy, so I bought another one. Great read!
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 154 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you've ever wondered how minor subjects can have a major impact to society, this is a must read. The authors detail how events in our society have a recipocal effect om eveyone. I read it on an international flight and could not put it down long enough to nap. I loved it.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was looking forward to reading this book, but ended up being a little bored. It took me 3 different tries to read chapter one. Though once I got halfway through I started enjoying it more. It is definitely a book you have to pay attention to as you read, as stories from previous chapters are talked about in other chapters.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 26 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fascinating look at many segments of our society - from teachers and sumo wrestlers to drug dealers and parenting. The authors present some shocking and outlandish information. Parts of this book may even be useful to a reader.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Rather mundane and not particularly interesting. Some good stuff but not worth commenting on to any length.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
A lot of it is "politically incorrect" but just a fascinating look at some really offbeat topics. Definitely worth the read.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 1072 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
good twist on the reasons that we are the way we are.....brought down to the level that anyone can understand. From why we name our children what we do..and how that effects them........to the Black Gangster Disciples....and what maxie business men they are.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 569 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Has some very interesting statistical analyzes of a number of subjects including that the drop in crime is the result of legalized abortion not the great doings of politicians. debunks a number of the assertions about what's wrong with our educational systems and the non working fixes
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 373 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A highly-readable book including a plethora of social "norms" and events, this book includes accounts of specific events and traces them back to their often not-so-specific sources. Once the authors explain the ideas, you'll say, "Why didn't I think of that? It seems so simple!"

If any book has caused me to attempt to think about a situation in a different way, this one does. I don't agree with their conclusions about parenting and making your child successful. For instance, simply having books around does nothing for a child, in my opinion. It's the act of reading them (or having them read to you) that is the key. Recommended for any curious person because of its readability factor.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A fast read, organized into chapters like individual studies so you can pause easily. Interesting concepts, but occasionally has flawed reasoning. Attacks other people's assumptions while ignoring his own. Innovative thinking however.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very interesting look at boring math :) This book is enjoyable to all types of readers.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It is not a book as much as a cocktail party conversation. It lacks depth, supporting data, and illuminating analysis. This book is everything it attempts to criticize. It panders to the lowest common denominator and implores the reader to follow its arguments based on their intrigue value.

I failed to find the motive behind the random topical progression, and wished the authors had spent less time lauding themselves.

At best, this book is an index of papers and books to read.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 569 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Covers some very interesting statistics. Some I may question others though are bona fide.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 201 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An interesting take on economics. I found it fun reading, but most of it probably won't stick with me. I am already someone who asks a lot of questions and doesn't always accept the obvious answer for things, so a part of the book's message is already a part of my life.

The specific cases discussed are interesting, though, and a couple are (or were) somewhat controversial. I tend to side with the authors on that front, but I'm not an economist and I know I might be wrong.

If there's a flaw in this book it is in the repeated assertion that the authors aren't seeking fame or fortune. That point was hammered home often enough that the claim itself started to sound false to me. It might be true, but they seemed to be trying awfully hard to make it so.

In any event, a good - quick - read.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 203 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Interesting, but certainly not mindblowing.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Fascinating, stands a lot of conventional wisdom on its head. Many stories were the type to motivate me to pester my poor husband with, "honey, listen to THIS!"...
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 307 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Excellent audio CD. Fascinating subject matter. For anyone interested in social economics, statistics, or just learning the truth behind common misconceptions e.g. more books in a home make children smarter.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
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.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
Really interesting facts.... if you like interesting facts. Freakonomics made me want to delve into the numbers a little more myself. The numbers were all there, their hypothesis seems sound, btu there's just SOMETHING that makes me say "Oh really?" and not want to completely believe them.

Of course, I'm not going to make a priority of disproving them, but I'm not firmly convinced of everything they're talking about... or, it just isn't applicable to life in general.

Either way, you should pick it up and read it. Just please don't get as excited about it as I did. It's about 200 (short) pages, so it's a good bathroom-read type book.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Quick read, engaging analysis. Be sure to check out the chapter on why crime went down in the 1990s, if nothing else.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on
Great book that covers a wide range of issues. Not a book about classic economics so much as a book covering the tools economists use to analyze issues.

Very interesting and well worth a read.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 29 more book reviews
Everyone should read this book, it's an eye opener.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 80 more book reviews
This book will blow your mind! I loved it! It is very much accepted that to truly understand the nature of things you need to turn them around and look at them from a new perspective. THis book does it, and it still amamzes me!
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on
This book has some interesting facts but is dry and boring.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Fascinating, and I learned a lot!
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 187 more book reviews
One of the authors read this audiobook. Has some interesting chapters on incentives and causes of crime from an economic point of view - including cheating on standardized tests, asymmetric information when using a real estate agent, causes of increases/declines in crime waves, and reasons why thugs start gang wars. Stimulating book, quick read.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on
Interesting, insightful, quick-reading. Provides a different perspective on what you believe to be true.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 105 more book reviews
A lot like The Tipping Point. At times fascinating and convincing (is sumo wrestling fixed?), at times very controversial (abortion and race), and at times tedious (baby naming trends).

3 out of 5 stars
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on
Very interesting. This book presents surprising conclusion which are well supported.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 102 more book reviews
What a fascinating book! The author has an amazing ability to look at long established âfactsâ in a completely new way, overthrowing commonly accepted wisdom, and finding the real causes behind changes in our society. I highly recommend this to everyone. It is short, to the point, and - regardless of whether you agree with his conclusions or not - it will make you think.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 30 more book reviews
This book was a surprising read!! It was a very interesting approach to the science of economics. It gave me a different perspective on the day to day operations of life. Very interesting!!
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Fun to listen to while road tripping across the USA.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Well written to be both thought provoking and easy to understand.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 102 more book reviews
What a fascinating book! The author has an amazing ability to look at long established âfactsâ in a completely new way, overthrowing commonly accepted wisdom, and finding the real causes behind changes in our society. I highly recommend this to everyone. It is short, to the point, and - regardless of whether you agree with his conclusions or not - it will make you think.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 366 more book reviews
I hadn't expected to like this, but I loved it. Learned lots of intriguing facts and gained many new insights.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 1123 more book reviews
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, but found it to be a fast, entertaining read about what the authors call real world economics. It was entertaining, but not always substantive, and the authors fail to mention that their facts and figures--and there were plenty--should be scrutinized as thoroughly as those from the so-called experts that they caution against. But with irreverent humor and understandable if somewhat unusual examples, they made me think about economics in a new light.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 14 more book reviews
An interesting read. I don't know that I would take it all at face value, but it does provide a different way to look at the world.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on
Interesting perspectives on the way society works.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
SMALL PAPERBACK EDITION. Popular reading material -- highly recommended.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 48 more book reviews
This is just one of many books I previewed because I don't have time to read them all. I flipped to a random page and read that the "broken window theory" doesn't necessarily work, that addressing crime in that way (as was done in NYC) didn't necessarily explain the dramatic drop in crime experienced there.

Well, my mind immediately went to my workplace... because I have seen what happens when the "ignore it and it will go away" theory is applied! First teenage library patrons speak loudly, let their ringtones be disruptive, and use obscene language "but just to their friends."

When ignored, they progress to horseplay, piggyback rides, hitting (again "just their friends")...

At this point when the staff try to shut them down, they have enough momentum to decide they don't want to be shut down! If we have a habitual offender or two in the group, they egg the others on.

If the staff do not call the sheriff, or they do but the sheriff cannot come, these teenagers then block the doorway, call staff b*tch and other lovely names, and refuse to leave.

At this point surely the staff are not the only ones imagining what could happen in this gang-infested area if the sheriff never comes.

Gee. Maybe dealing with the problem right away DOES make a difference. Staff who quickly deal with ringtones and loud talking are less likely to have to face worse behaviors, and they have more time to call the authorities before the situation escalates into something potentially dangerous.

How about parenting? Who is more successful -- the parent who makes their child acknowledge and obey "No" over candy in the checkout line or the parent who waits until their child is a screaming self-centered brat before deciding that some discipline might be in order?

Unimpressed with the author's casual dismissal of a principle I see working (if only in reverse) every single day, I put the book on my "post it" pile. I'm sure other people will say I should have read the whole book and not judge it so hastily, but I dislike being led from "stat to stat" at breakneck pace until the author figures you're convinced that HE is the only reliable source of ultimate conclusions.
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My husband really liked this book and couldn't stop talking about it.
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Very interesting ideas put forth. Food for thought.
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Do anyone one really care why drug dealers live with their moms, which is one of the many facetious and moronic topics of this idiotic book.
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interesting facts
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My book club reviewed this book. Very interesting and parts are fascinating also.
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on + 275 more book reviews
Very interesting.
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Great different way of looking at things.
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This is a very interesting book. Ireally enjoyed it.
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INTERESTING LOOK AT INCENTIVES AND PAYOFFS IN EVERYDAY LIFE. INTERESTING READ
reviewed Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, Bk 1) on
Interesting read.