A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Levitt, Steven D.

eBook - 2006
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
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.

Publisher: [New York] : HarperCollins e-books, [2006].
ISBN: 0061246638
Additional Contributors: Dubner, Stephen J.
Alternate Title: Freakonomics (eBook)


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Mar 28, 2015
  • rswcove rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

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
  • sanitycheck rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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
  • edgarmk rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

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.

Sep 27, 2012

High praise for all efforts made by Stetson Kennedy

Jul 27, 2012
  • lexikeeler rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Easy read, interesting stories. Very similar to Malcolm Gladwell in the way that the writing is super accessible and anecdotal. I like it, but it didn't blow my mind.

Nov 11, 2011
  • jlazcan rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is a fantastic book that uses Economic theories and tools to identify and measure social issues. It makes some really controversial statements based on the findings of the authors who interpret their findings in an ingenious way. In our society there are many theories that have become fact. The authors turn those perceived truths on their head. If you enjoy Malcolm Gladwell books then you will probably enjoy this book too.

Sep 23, 2011
  • JoseRaez rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Awesome book. The author forces you to look at the world from a different perspective. For someone without any scientific/analytical training, the analyses in this book may be eye-opening. For someone with some scientific/analytical training, the analyses may not be as eye-opening, but the author's use of common sense certainly adds to the intelligent discussion.

Jul 11, 2011
  • willowtorgerson rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Whether a fiction reader, or non fiction reader this book is fantastic. Just small article like chapters about a great variety of subjects. Wittily written, and very enjoyable. You are sure to enjoy, and learn!!

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Aug 03, 2014
  • Stephanie_Sibbald rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Stephanie_Sibbald thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Oct 04, 2011
  • WillTWang rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

WillTWang thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jun 17, 2011
  • kateygrange rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

kateygrange thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


Add a Quote

Aug 03, 2014
  • Stephanie_Sibbald rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

"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..."


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Find it at CLEVNET