Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

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HarperCollins, Aug 17, 2009 - Business & Economics - 352 pages
In the summer of 2003, The New York Times Magazine sent 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 on Freakonomics, 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 from The New York Times Magazine, an exclusive author Q & A and a sneak preview of Superfreakonomics.

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User Review  - xiaomarlo - www.librarything.com

It's like a Malcolm Gladwell book, but written by economists -- it's definitely got that asshole quality about it where they're like "we're just looking at the numbers! we're the only ones being ... Read full review

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User Review  - cavernism - www.librarything.com

Interesting enough that I got through it pretty quickly, but each chapter was kind of ..unsatisfying. I wasn't shocked or awed by many hypotheses or "revelations" put forth, and I don't know if I came ... Read full review

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About the author (2009)

Steven D. Levitt, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, given to the most influential American economist under forty. He is also a founder of The Greatest Good, which applies Freakonomics-style thinking to business and philanthropy.

Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning journalist and radio and TV personality, has worked for the New York Times and published three non-Freakonomics books. He is the host of Freakonomics Radio and Tell Me Something I Don't Know.

Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He quit his first career—as an almost rock star—to become a writer. He has since taught English at Columbia, worked for The New York Times, and published three non-Freakonomics books.

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