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15 Local Warehouse Economics- General

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

by

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything Cover

ISBN13: 9780061234002
ISBN10: 0061234001
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Forget your image of an economist as a crusty professor worried about fluctuating interest rates: Levitt focuses his attention on more intimate real-world issues, like whether reading to your baby will make her a better student. Recognition by fellow economists as one of the best young minds in his field led to a profile in the New York Times, written by Dubner, and that original article serves as a broad outline for an expanded look at Levitt's search for the hidden incentives behind all sorts of behavior. There isn't really a grand theory of everything here, except perhaps the suggestion that self-styled experts have a vested interest in promoting conventional wisdom even when it's wrong. Instead, Dubner and Levitt deconstruct everything from the organizational structure of drug-dealing gangs to baby-naming patterns. While some chapters might seem frivolous, others touch on more serious issues, including a detailed look at Levitt's controversial linkage between the legalization of abortion and a reduced crime rate two decades later. Underlying all these research subjects is a belief that complex phenomena can be understood if we find the right perspective. Levitt has a knack for making that principle relevant to our daily lives, which could make this book a hit. Malcolm Gladwell blurbs that Levitt 'has the most interesting mind in America,' an invitation Gladwell's own substantial fan base will find hard to resist. 50-city radio campaign." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"An eye-opening, and most interesting, approach to the world." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The familiar Gladwell manner — a kind of breezy drifting from one entertaining anecdote to the next, floating effortlessly past references to contemporary social-science research — gets recycled here into what can only be called a style of evasive lucidity." Newsday

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

Review:

"Steven Levitt has the most interesting mind in America....Prepare to be dazzled." Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point

Review:

"[An] excellent, readable book..." Booklist

Review:

"It might appear presumptuous of Steven Levitt to see himself as an all-purpose intellectual detective, fit to take on whatever puzzle of human behavior grabs his fancy. But on the evidence of Freakonomics, the presumption is earned." Jim Holt, The New York York Times

About the Author

Steven D. Levitt is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and a recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to the most influential economist under the age of forty. He is also founder of The Greatest Good, a company that applies Freakonomic principles to philanthropy and business.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Jennmarie68, March 11, 2010 (view all comments by Jennmarie68)
Okay when I first read this book a few years ago I had no idea what I was getting ready to read. After reading the book (granted it has been some time) I can at least remember a few ideas of the book.

It didn't take me long to read this, and I actually lent it to a few friends before the dreaded due date (1 star for a quick read). I was surprised at how quick of a read it was. I also remember being surprised that I actually sat through a book that wasn't fiction or a biography/auto-biography, and I wasn't disgusted by the end of it (1 star for being decent).

Sadly however I do not remember a whole lot about the book, other than a few antics and the fact that economic theories can be pertinent to every day life (Subtract 1 star for lack of being memorable). I do remember, however, that I liked the book enough to recommend it to someone else, and that I did enjoy it while I was reading it.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
paresh, February 4, 2008 (view all comments by paresh)
An absolutely fascinating book - read it and relate it to the recent happening in a French Bank - what an 'incentive' can make people do!!
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(4 of 7 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780061234002
Subtitle:
A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Author:
Levitt, Steven D
Author:
Levitt, Steven D.
Author:
Dubner, Stephen J.
Author:
by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J Dubner
Publisher:
William Morrow
Subject:
Economics
Subject:
Psychological aspects
Subject:
Economics - General
Subject:
General Business & Economics
Subject:
Economics -- Psychological aspects.
Subject:
Economics -- Sociological aspects.
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20061017
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.97 in 16.27 oz

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Related Subjects


Children's » General
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History and Social Science » Economics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Probability and Statistics » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Probability and Statistics » Statistics

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything Used Hardcover
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Product details 336 pages William Morrow & Company - English 9780061234002 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Forget your image of an economist as a crusty professor worried about fluctuating interest rates: Levitt focuses his attention on more intimate real-world issues, like whether reading to your baby will make her a better student. Recognition by fellow economists as one of the best young minds in his field led to a profile in the New York Times, written by Dubner, and that original article serves as a broad outline for an expanded look at Levitt's search for the hidden incentives behind all sorts of behavior. There isn't really a grand theory of everything here, except perhaps the suggestion that self-styled experts have a vested interest in promoting conventional wisdom even when it's wrong. Instead, Dubner and Levitt deconstruct everything from the organizational structure of drug-dealing gangs to baby-naming patterns. While some chapters might seem frivolous, others touch on more serious issues, including a detailed look at Levitt's controversial linkage between the legalization of abortion and a reduced crime rate two decades later. Underlying all these research subjects is a belief that complex phenomena can be understood if we find the right perspective. Levitt has a knack for making that principle relevant to our daily lives, which could make this book a hit. Malcolm Gladwell blurbs that Levitt 'has the most interesting mind in America,' an invitation Gladwell's own substantial fan base will find hard to resist. 50-city radio campaign." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "An eye-opening, and most interesting, approach to the world."
"Review" by , "The familiar Gladwell manner — a kind of breezy drifting from one entertaining anecdote to the next, floating effortlessly past references to contemporary social-science research — gets recycled here into what can only be called a style of evasive lucidity."
"Review" by , "If Indiana Jones were an economist, he'd be Steven Levitt....Criticizing Freakonomics would be like criticizing a hot fudge sundae."
"Review" by , "Steven Levitt has the most interesting mind in America....Prepare to be dazzled."
"Review" by , "[An] excellent, readable book..."
"Review" by , "It might appear presumptuous of Steven Levitt to see himself as an all-purpose intellectual detective, fit to take on whatever puzzle of human behavior grabs his fancy. But on the evidence of Freakonomics, the presumption is earned."
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