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Freakonomics A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of

Which is 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? What kind of impact did Roe v Wade have on violent crime? Freakonomics will literally redefine the way we view the modern worldThese may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask But Steven D Levitt is not a typical economist He is a much heralded scholar who studies the stuff and riddles of everyday life from cheating and crime to sports and child rearing and whose conclusions regularly turn the conventional wisdom on its head He usually begins with a mountain of data and a simple unasked 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 freakonomicsThrough forceful storytelling and wry insight Levitt and co author Stephen J 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 set out to 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 Ku Klux KlanWhat unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world despite a surfeit of obfuscation complication and downright deceit is not impenetrable is not unknowable and if the right questions are asked is even intriguing than we think All it takes is a new way of looking Steven Levitt through devilishly clever and clear eyed thinking shows how to see through all the clutterFreakonomics 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 than that It will literally redefine the way we view the modern worldfront flap

10 thoughts on “Freakonomics A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

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    This was an interesting book I say it was interesting because I started liking it a lot when I first read it as time passed I liked it less and less In that way I call it a candy book tastes good at first but leaves you worse off for reading it In my opinion there are two problems with the book First Stephen Dubner comes across as a sycophant Way to much of the book is spent praising Levitt Secondly I was disappointed in the lack of detail provided about Livitt's hypothesis I wanted It was like reading War and Peace and discovering that you read the abridged version and in fact the book wasn't 100 pages long This disappointment may have come from my engineering background and my strong desire to really understand economics This book didn't offer any of that only a titillating glimpse of the economics In some regards one may think my single start rating is to harsh As mind candy this book was quite good I did enjoy reading it at the time Whats it did encourage me to study real economics I am currently enrolled in a masters program in economics and this book did play a very small roll in that decision process However as I learn about economics I realize how shallow the book in fact was While this is not the forum for a comprehensive review of the topics presented in the book or an analysis of how good the economics in Freekanomics are a review in Journal of Economic Literature Vol XLV Dec 2007 pp 973 quotes Livitt as saying There is no question I have written some ridiculous papers The article then goes on to quote a paper by Noam Scheibler2007 describing Livitt's comparing some of his papers to the fashion industry Sometimes you write papers and they're less about the actual result about your vision of how you think the profession should be And so I think some of my most ridiculous papers actually fall in the high fashion category