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Freakonomics CD: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Synopses & Reviews
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? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime?
These may not sound like typical questions for an economist 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 regularly turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.
Levitt and co-author Stephen J. 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 set out to explore the hidden side of ... well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.
What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking. Steven Levitt, through devilishly clever and clear-eyed thinking, shows how to see through all the clutter.
Read by Stephen J. Dubner
"Though the idea of listening to an economics text may bring to mind nightmarish visions of incomprehensible facts, figures and graphs, this audiobook is refreshingly accessible and engrossing. Journalist Dubner reads with just the right mix of enthusiasm and awe, revealing juicy morsels of wisdom on everything from what sumo wrestlers and teachers have in common (a propensity to cheat) to whether parents can really push their kids to greatness by buying them Baby Einstein toys and enlisting them in numerous before- and after-school activities (not really). The only section that doesn't translate well to the format is the final one on naming conventions. The lists of 'White Girl Names' and 'Black Girl Names,' and 'Low-End' names and 'High-End' names can be mind-numbing, though the text that breaks up these lists will intrigue. Overall, however, these unusual investigations by Levitt, the 'rogue' of the subtitle, make for meaty — and entertaining — listening. Simultaneous release with the Morrow hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 14). (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Levitt, an award-winning economist at the University of Chicago, often turns conventional wisdom on its head as he studies the riddles of everyday life--from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing. Here, Levitt and Dubner give full play to Levitt's most compelling ideas. Unabridged. 5 CDs.
About the Author
Steven D. Levitt teaches economics at the University of Chicago; he recently received the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded every two years to the best American economist under forty.
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