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

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HarperCollins, Nov 21, 2006 - Business & Economics - 496 pages
3792 Reviews

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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Overrated.
A mixture of naiive psychology (the child care research is a good example of circular logic and empty explanations) and "shocking", yet "brilliant" conclusions.
In fact, this books main accomplishment is complete ignorance of philosophy of mind since Descartes and any interesting psychological science research - even the popular stuff.
A poor man's "Armchair Economisr"
 

Review: Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics #1)

User Review  - Sambasivan - Goodreads

Reading this book after a gap of over five years. Amazing clarity and out of the box thinking. The ideas are relevant even today. The book makes you think of newer solutions for analysing human behaviour. Read full review

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Contents

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1
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21
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69
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About the author (2006)

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.

Stephen J. Dubner, a former writer and editor at The New York Times Magazine, is the author of Turbulent Souls (Choosing My Religion), Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper, and the children's book The Boy with Two Belly Buttons.

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