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A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

By Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

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Format: Paperback, 336 pages, International Edition
Published In: USA, 01 September 2009
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.


EAN: 9780061956270
ISBN: 0061956279
Publisher: Harper
Dimensions: 17.02 x 10.41 x 2.54 centimeters (0.10 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years


-Economics is not widely considered to be one of the sexier sciences.... Steven D. Levitt will change some minds.---Amazon.com

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Ravi Mistry on
A non-fiction book that employs data-mining and economics to derive understanding of a range of sociological issues including cheating in standardised tests and sumo wrestling, information asymmetry in real estate and Klu Klux Klan, criminology and abortion, what makes the perfect parent, trends in names.

If you have an analytical, inquisitive mind and enjoy books that explore a number of different topics and make unusual connections between them then you will enjoy this!

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