Freakonomics REV Ed: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

By Steven D Levitt, Stephen J Dubner

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.


JACK COVERT SELECTS: Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics

Posted May 28, 2015, 9:00 AM with category of Current Events & Public Affairs
Sally reviews Richard Thaler's new book, Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Economics. Read more

JACK COVERT SELECTS: When to Rob a Bank … and 131 More Warped Suggestions and Well-Intended Rants

Posted May 7, 2015, 10:30 AM with category of Current Events & Public Affairs
The Freakonomics phenomenon has brought a lot of lay readers to economic topics, particularly through its popular blog, the best of which is now a book! Read more

NEWS & OPINION: 800-CEO-READ's Decade-in-Review

Posted December 31, 2009, 9:45 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
It's an admittedly worn device to use the alphabet to organize one's thoughts, but when reflecting over the past decade and trying to distill the most notable events and objects that affected our company and also the publishing industry and business sector into a brief blog post, I found such a device to be quite helpful. As Jack put it when we initially discussed writing a decade-in-review post, not only is it like opening a can of worms, it seems like whenever one harkens back to the Millenium, one can't help but get sidetracked into thoughts about 9/11. But of course there were many more ups and downs that we've all been a victim and/or a participant in, and this list is an attempt to do that chaos a little bit of justice. Read more

NEWS & OPINION: Internet Algorithm Arrives at Top 100 Business Books

Posted August 31, 2009, 5:59 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
Jurgen Appelo at Noop. nl has created and algorithm that takes the number of Amazon reviews, average Amazon ranking, and number of hits on Google to create the Top 100 Best Books for Managers, Leaders & Humans. In talking about some of the analysis Appelo says: The book with the largest number of Amazon reviews is Freakonomics (#53, by Steven D. Read more

NEWS & OPINION: Freakonomics: Around the world in cover images

Posted September 26, 2008, 3:36 PM with category of Management & Workplace Culture
Check out these cover images. Each time a new edition of Freakonomics is published, Steven and Stephen add it to their online collection. I'd love to hear the cultural reasoning behind each design. Read more


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ISBN: 9780061234002

About the Hardcover

Publisher William Morrow & Company
Publish date 10/17/2006
Pages 336
ISBN-13 9780061234002
ISBN-10 0061234001
Language English

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