Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything Paperback – 25 August 2009
"An easy, funny read. Many unsolvable problems the Americans have could be solved with simple means."--Business World
"An eye-opening, and most interesting, approach to the world."--Kirkus Reviews
"An unconventional economist defies conventional wisdom."--Associated Press
"Economics is not widely considered to be one of the sexier sciences.... Steven D. Levitt will change some minds."--Amazon.com
"Freakonomics challenges conventional wisdom and makes for fun reading."--Book Sense Picks and Notables
"Freakonomics is politically incorrect in the best, most essential way.... This is bracing fun of the highest order."--Kurt Andersen, host of public radio's Studio 360 and author of Turn of the Century
"Freakonomics was the 'It' book of 2005."--Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"Hard to resist."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"If Indiana Jones were an economist, he'd be Steven Levitt... Criticizing Freakonomics would be like criticizing a hot fudge sundae."--Wall Street Journal
From the Back Cover
More Than 4 Million Copies Sold Worldwide
Published in 35 Languages
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?
What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?
How much do parents really matter?
These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the riddles of everyday life--from cheating and crime to parenting and sports--and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head. Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They set out to explore the inner workings of a crack gang, the truth about real estate agents, the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, and much more. Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, they 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.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
What I learned: Whether you agree with all of their findings or not, the way that they tackle the questions they have is admirable. The biggest learning point I got from this book is a completely different outlook on answering questions. Instead of assuming something doesn’t have an answer, get creative and get as close as you can. Additionally, the confidence they had in their findings is something worth respecting. If you have done the work and you believe the outcome, trust the work that you have done. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t accept new evidence or look into new potential options, but don’t discount your work until you have a reason to. Overall, this book pushed me to think more like an economist (dare I say freakonomist?) and I believe the thought process used by these authors will come in handy in business decisions as well.
I decided to read this book in order to put an everyday analytical spin to my Managerial Economics course which focused on optimization and decision making on production environments.
It was remarkable reading how Steven and Stephen used regresion (which in my eyes is a complex process) to identify several variables and fixed values to determine how percieved notions and actions truly affect a child's development and academic performance. Simplified the process and taught me a few things about myself along the way.
Who would dare state that the legalization of abortions caused a reduction in crime? The implications are immense on minorities and low income population. But the data proves it.
It as artful how this book takes you into the statistical process and analysis of the data without expecting you to be a numbers person. The nuances and everyday behaviours are broken down and laid out in very relatable language. I will definitely be reading SuperFreakonomics. My respects for Levitt.
Levitt’s teaching style appeals to most people in my opinion as he uses real examples that are fascinating to readers.When teaching new complicated ideas, it's important to make them easily understandable. Levitt does a good job of writing to all readers, not just certain classes of people. In the following quote from the book, Levitt uses this strategy to teach his point. “An incentive is a bullet, a key: an often tiny object with astonishing power to change a situation.” This quote is beneficial in teaching his lesson because this analogy is helpful in understanding what an incentive is. Most people know what incentives are, but not all, which is why he continues to explain it and does not just assume the reader knows. For many High School students, econ can be hard to understand because the ideas are more abstract, so when Levitt uses examples that are known, it's easier to comprehend the ideas.
As far as writing style goes, Levitt does a good job of using complex sentences and words while keeping the writing fairly comprehensive. His audience of people who are econ beginners are easily able to understand the content because he doesn’t dumb down the topics. The following quote showcases his writing abilities as he uses good vocabulary and explanations. "Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work, whereas economics represents how it actually does work."(Pg.13) He relates a word most people already know to an economic topic to teach the lesson. He teaches new econ vocabulary in an easy to understand way through examples. He keeps his examples serious yet difficult while explaining the econ. He maintains new examples every chapter while still relating them to the last. Using real-life current events also helped to teach the information in a new, academic way.
Overall, Levitt did a great job on teaching economy in a fascinating way. Each chapter had a new taste and was captivating to learn about. His examples were new and exciting to read and relate to econ. The combination of complex vocabulary and ideas with his captivating teaching style is what makes Freakonomics a good choice when looking for an educational economy book.
This book, "Freakanomics" is one of the best non-fiction books written and should be required reading for High School economics classes across the US. From the age of 13 up to people who show up on the Today show for the 100 or older Smucker's club, it is a book that can be enjoyed with laughs and insight-fullness.