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.
I had several people recommend this book. I found it very difficult to read. I got the point very quickly and the lengthy explanations of scenarios seemed to drag on. The concepts are interesting and worthy but I found myself wanting to ask questions and debate some of the theories with the author rather than being intrigued about what he would come up with next.
Okay when I first read this book a few years ago I had no idea what I was getting ready to read. After reading the book (granted it has been some time) I can at least remember a few ideas of the book.
It didn't take me long to read this, and I actually lent it to a few friends before the dreaded due date (1 star for a quick read). I was surprised at how quick of a read it was. I also remember being surprised that I actually sat through a book that wasn't fiction or a biography/auto-biography,...more Okay when I first read this book a few years ago I had no idea what I was getting ready to read. After reading the book (granted it has been some time) I can at least remember a few ideas of the book.
It didn't take me long to read this, and I actually lent it to a few friends before the dreaded due date (1 star for a quick read). I was surprised at how quick of a read it was. I also remember being surprised that I actually sat through a book that wasn't fiction or a biography/auto-biography, and I wasn't disgusted by the end of it (1 star for being decent).
Sadly however I do not remember a whole lot about the book, other than a few antics and the fact that economic theories can be pertinent to every day life (Subtract 1 star for lack of being memorable). I do remember, however, that I liked the book enough to recommend it to someone else, and that I did enjoy it while I was reading it. (2 stars, just because I don't normally out and out recommend a book to someone who hasn't asked for a recommendation).
If I've recommended it in the past I guess I'd have to recommend it again.
Becky reviewed Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Revised Edition) on + 64 more book reviews
I realize I'm rather late to the party that was happening with the reading of Freakonomics back in 2005. I got to it as fast as I could! And I'm so glad I finally did.
This audio book was fantastic, funny, different than anything I've read in a very long time, and fascinating. The authors made me think about things in ways I've not considered before, and used data to shore up their arguments. If you've ever wondered about crime, racism, teachers cheating on high stakes testing, Roe v. Wade, sumo wrestlers, or gang bangers financials, this is the book for you. If you've NEVER wondered about those things, this is also the book for you. Those are just the tip of the iceberg of subjects covered in this all-encompassing book. This is one of my favorite non-fiction reads now, edging down the list "Go Down Together: The True, Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde" and "Thunderstruck". Go read or listen to this book!