FREAKONOMICS: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything

Paperback | August 17, 2009

bySteven D. Levitt

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In the summer of 2003,The New York Times Magazinesent Stephen J. Dubner, an author and journalist, to write a profile of Steven D. Levitt, a heralded young economist at the University of Chicago. Levitt was not remotely interested in the things that interest most economists. Instead, he studied the riddles of everyday life-from cheating to crime to child-rearing-and his conclusions turned the conventional wisdom on its head.

Levitt and Dubner then collaborated onFreakonomics, a book that gives full play to Levitt's most compelling ideas. Through forceful storytelling and sharp insight, it reminds us all that economics is, at its root, the study of incentives-how people get what they want or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. Among the questions it answers: Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? If drug dealers make so much money, why do they still live with their mothers? What makes a perfect parent? And, of course: What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? (Answer: they both cheat.)

Now this cultural blockbuster comes to trade paperback with exclusive extras- including a new preface, five Freakonomics columns fromThe New York Times Magazine, an exclusive author Q & A and a sneak preview ofSuperfreakonomics.

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From the Publisher

In the summer of 2003,The New York Times Magazinesent Stephen J. Dubner, an author and journalist, to write a profile of Steven D. Levitt, a heralded young economist at the University of Chicago. Levitt was not remotely interested in the things that interest most economists. Instead, he studied the riddles of everyday life-from cheatin...

Steven D. Levitt is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and a recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to the most influential economist under the age of forty. He is also founder of The Greatest Good, a company that applies Freakonomic principles to philanthropy and business.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.79 inPublished:August 17, 2009Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1554686369

ISBN - 13:9781554686360

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from refreshing I've been keeping an eye on this book for a while and finally decided to give it a try. Definitely worth it, a book everyone should read or at least be exposed to the content so we can be more inquisitive and less prone to connect dots that do not exist
Date published: 2015-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Accessible Explorations of Real World Phenomena As of this writing, there have been well over one thousand reviews of this book. I doubt very much that I can add anything new or significant that has not already been mentioned. So, I will simply state my own personal experience in reading it. I found the prose/writing style to be clear, very friendly, quite witty, authoritative, highly accessible and most captivating. The pages just flew by, making it a rather quick read (and I am a slow reader). I have also learned a few interesting and worthwhile facts that I intend to use to my advantage. I am certain that there is something here for one and all. As such, I do believe that this is a book that everyone can enjoy. (I have now started to read the sequel: Superfreakonomics)
Date published: 2014-07-29
Rated out of 5 by from Entertaining Economics I picked up this book as a recommendation through an online book club. I am not doing schooling in Economics or Business, but I do like to dabble in business books to keep me in the loop. While this book doesn't provide anything extremely insightful or a revalation on the way economics is done, it is extremely entertaining. The writers have found a way to communicate economics to everyone, regardless your educational level. They question and theorize and prove trends that most individuals would not have considered. This book allowed me a simplistic view into calculating economics and convential wisdom and has given me examples of how to question the information that is out there today for all consumers.
Date published: 2010-12-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Surprising results! Like its sister book, Superfreakonomics, these authors delve into the hidden side of human self-interest and try to reveal the actual incentives for behaving the way we do. Many of the articles in the book are absolutely fascinating and this book offers several refreshing viewpoints on long-standing questions. I particularly enjoyed the section on crime reduction and its link to voluntary abortion. Even if you don't agree with the some of the conclusions in the book, it still remains an enthrallling and quick read. Just for the record, you do not have to read this book BEFORE Superfreakonomics - they are simliar but not sequential.
Date published: 2010-09-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unique and Innovative Steven Levitt is looked at economics in a unique way. Instead of seeing economics as merely numbers and dollar signs, he saw it as a toolset to explain human behaviour. So he set about solving problems and discovered a new science which he called Freakonomics. He used Freakonomics to explain the dramatic drop in crime rate in the United States in the early 1990's. He used it to expose corruption in the education system, in sumo wrestling, and why real estate agents don't have their clients' best interests in mind. This is a very good read which makes observations on human behaviour that are not only interesting but also provide the reader with useful information. Its only failing characteristic is its lack of flow, due to changing of topics every chapter. I highly recommend this to readers who are observant of life and interested in how incentives affect human behaviour.
Date published: 2010-06-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from check it out I enjoyed digging through this one, full of interesting perspective and statistics. I loved the lay out and the way it was written in order to explain its theory. But in the end I must say some of the suggestions fall into the same category as common sense.
Date published: 2010-02-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Eye opening This book was worth it just for the questions it will create in your mind every time you hear or read the news. It can get a bit on the technical side but not so much that you are left in the intellectual dust.
Date published: 2010-02-08

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Editorial Reviews

"Steven Levitt has the most interesting mind in America. . . . Prepare to be dazzled."
?Malcom Gladwell ()