Freakonomics Rev Ed: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Paperback | November 21, 2006

bySteven D. Levitt

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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.

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From the Publisher

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 St...

Steven D. Levitt is a professor of economics at the Universityof Chicago and a recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal,awarded to the most influential economist under the age of forty.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.99 inPublished:November 21, 2006Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0061245135

ISBN - 13:9780061245138

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Customer Reviews of Freakonomics Rev Ed: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Freaking good This book offers a really odd yet convincing way of looking at things. If you enjoy a corky writing style and strange thinking then give it a go
Date published: 2015-04-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not too bad A bit disjointed but largely well-written. Not for people looking for an introduction to main-stream economic thought. Good job guys!
Date published: 2013-01-04
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Maybe a stretch, but still very fascinating This compilation of hidden truths revealed through assessment and assimilation of cause and effect incentives was enlightening and ever encouraging that we should never stop questioning conventional wisdom. www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2008-11-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I never thought of it like that before.... Freakanomics was a book I'd been meaning to pick up and read for quite some time. When I finally did, I was glad. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting, but it gave a lot of interesting points and actually makes economics less dry (if you've ever studied economics you know how boring the subject can be if there is nothing to relate to it!). I especially like how they've traced baby names, and how some of the newer popular names are already popping up. Their predictions/forecast may be dead on.
Date published: 2008-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brain Teaser! I loved this book and the way it makes you look at alternative reasons for some of society's social issues developing into what they are today! Just great!
Date published: 2008-07-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Finally! This is the exact same kind of raw material I studied in forensic accounting. Numbers have to be studied beyond face value and this books helps uncover the many camaflauges in data today. A quick read.
Date published: 2008-07-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Airplane Read I read half the book from YVR to YYZ and the other half a few days later from YYZ to YVR. I found the book fascinating and very interesting .I agree that his data samples seems surprisingly small yet his weird questions and coreralations upon reflection makes intuitive sense. He syas things that people think but are afraid to write or say I.E .abortions and Crime. I would recommend it besides being informative it made me laugh.
Date published: 2008-07-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Interesting but it falls into a cycle This book on a whole was interesting and got me thinking more about the distinction of correlation and causation. I liked the chapters about abortions and crime rates, and the Shangra-Li diet, but I felt as the book went on it started to gain a sort of racist tone.
Date published: 2008-02-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Comparisons are in the Eye of the Beholder I saw an interview with the author on the Daily Show way back and I had to go buy the book. I wasn't disappointed. The authors compare things like sumo wrestlers to teachers, KKK members to real estate Agents, and so on. It makes interesting arguments and propositions that'll make you wonder and best of all: think - which may be the greatest benefit of this book.
Date published: 2008-01-21
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Lots of hype, little substance The first chapter was the most interesting. After that the book devolved into long lengthy explanations about uninteresting phenomenon. The author should have interspersed some of his observations from the first chapter throughout the rest of the book. Reading it was like finding out who-dunnit before reading the murder mystery.
Date published: 2007-12-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Insightful Some very good points raised by Levitt in his book. However, the data to support his premise is mostly empty. I would have liked to have seen more of the research data. I can tell that the publisher wanted to keep the book lean so that they could sell more copies. Too bad, because a book junkie like me would've liked to have read more of the research data.
Date published: 2006-12-30
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not as expected I wouldnt recommend this book if you want to find something more valuable to read during the holiday. This books describes mostly the school and parenting side than the business sides. If you want to find something that are more solid and concrete/ more informational , I would suggest you read "The world is flat". That is a great book who explains everything involve with business in North America, India, Tawian, Hong Kong...etc. It's worth a while to spend time on this book, only you want something easy to read. Enjoy!
Date published: 2006-12-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Freakonomics For anyone whose eyes glaze over when they hear people discussing economic policy etc - this book is about practical economics applied to everyday life. Some chapters may be less interesting than others, but overall it was a pretty great read.
Date published: 2006-12-03

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Editorial Reviews

“Economics is not widely considered to be one of the sexier sciences.... Steven D. Levitt will change some minds.”