Freakonomics Rev Ed
(and Other Riddles of Modern Life)
Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
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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 econo-mist 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 conventional wisdom on its head.
Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple 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 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 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 Klu Klux Klan.
What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity 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.
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.
Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition
The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at http://www.freakonomics.com/blog/.
Publishers Weekly Review
© Publishers Weekly
One of the best, most interesting books I've read in the past year!
On the recommendation of a friend, I read the print version of this book and was very surprised. I would never have thought that I would have enjoyed a book on economics this much. When I finished Freakonomics the authors had just released their next book on the subject, Superfreakonomics. I went to the book store and purchased it the same day I finished the first one.
If you are looking for an interesting book that will challenge the way you think and make you look at the world in a different way, then I would highly recommend this book.
Make Economics Fun
Read this in print form and highly recommend it. Lovett and Levin do an excellent job of walking you through the economic augments with great wit. You don't need an MBA to enjoy this book...
I do not read books. I've probably read 5 in the past 10 years and this book made me want to keep reading more books, which I usually find painful. Great read, very interesting and insightful.