A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Book - 2006
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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 economist 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 his conclusions regularly turn the conventional wisdom on its head ... 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 ... If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work."--
Published: New York, NY :, William Morrow,, [2006]
Edition: Revised and expanded edition.
Copyright Date: ©2006
ISBN: 9780061234002
Branch Call Number: 330 LEV REV. ED.
Characteristics: xv, 320 pages ;,24 cm
Additional Contributors: Dubner, Stephen J. - Author


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Jul 24, 2017

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but I actually graduated with a degree in Economics. I enjoyed this book so much the first time I read it that I actually got a signed copy. (I took a class in school on the economics of crime and it was very similar to the thinking in this book and it was one of my favorite econ classes ever.) Although I may be a nerd, this is a book that I think many folks would enjoy. It isn't about the stock market or supply and demand, but is about real life situations (drug dealers, cheating in school, parents influence, etc) that are looked at from a different perspective. I hear there is a great podcast by Dubner (with Levitt as a regular guest), but have yet to check it out. As far as this book, I would give it a 9 out of 10.

Sep 17, 2016

Freakonomics. --- by. --- Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner.
First off, I'm not sure that Levitt & Dubner's credentials as economists, rogue or otherwise, has anything of substance to do with the contents of this book.
Having said that, however, L&D have written a book that is both amusing and insightful at the same time.
Why do drug pushers still live at home with mother? L&D have the answer --- and one that sounds pretty logical too.
And how do you get students' marks at school to improve? Get their teachers to cheat.
The two guys are great statisticians. Give them the numbers and they can ferret out the truth while keeping you entertained at the same time.
And to think, they call themselves economists.

Sep 08, 2016

I don't know why but when I opened it to read on overdrive, I got "Fragile Things" by Neil Gaiman. Is there an issue with this ebook?

Jun 18, 2016

eye opener

Oct 28, 2015

I couldn’t help compare this to Malcolm Gladwell books. While I thought it was okay, I didn’t enjoy it as much as MG books. Partially I think the blurbs talking about how awesome this economist is turned me off. Partially I think it was the lack of a central question/thesis like MG books usually have. Also, some of the correlations and stuff had me pretty skeptical - there are just SO MANY variables to a lot of the questions this book examines and I’m dubious that it is possible to control for everything.

Mar 28, 2015

This book is not a bad book. It is reasonably entertaining as pop psychology, but pointless. This book is a sideshow and a stand up comedy routine. It is a pop tart, sweet but unsatisfying. It is a distraction, nothing more. Read it on the beach.

Dec 06, 2014

I liked the book - really entertaining. I was often laughed. You have to have some intellect, some knowledge of statistics and definitely scene of humor in order to enjoy it. The book definitely makes you to think out of box. If you are too serious about Freakonomics you should probably read “Economics For Dummies”.

May 01, 2013

There are lies, damn lies and statistics. This book uses false statistics to prove false analogies. If you ever took basic university math, that is the first thing you are warned NOT to do. Sad that such books are published with so much uncritical publicity

Apr 28, 2013

I've never taken any formal economics classes, and this book was just plain odd. There was nothing about money or the economy, just instances in which the authors used statistics to attempt to prove truly random things. That being said, it was interesting, and I will probably read the sequel.

Feb 08, 2013

It is both interesting and pertinent that many commenters compared this to Malcolm Gladwell, an author who used many long-invalidated studies (Eysenck's many studies, that tobacco study by the tobacco companies, etc.) in his book (I believe it was the "Tipping Point"). Also, these are U.Chi guys, right? Econ is a magical mystery tour with those misinformation specialists there. No, one really won't learn anything from this book on real economics, only what the U.Chi guys want you to know, just as with Gladwell's book being based upon studies which had been invalidated long ago - - baloney is still baloney, regardless of the spread.

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Aug 03, 2014

Stephanie_Sibbald thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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Aug 03, 2014

"This book has been written from a very specific worldview, based on a few fundamental ideas:
- Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life...
- The conventional wisdom is often wrong...
- Dramatic effects often have a distant, even subtle, causes...
- Experts use their informational advantage to serve their own agenda...
- Knowing what to measure and how to measure it makes it complicated world much less so..."


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