Synopses & Reviews
The New York Times
was a worldwide sensation, selling over four million copies in thirty-five languages and changing the way we look at the world. Now, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with SuperFreakonomics
, and fans and newcomers alike will find that the freakquel is even bolder, funnier, and more surprising than the first.
Four years in the making, SuperFreakonomics asks not only the tough questions, but the unexpected ones: What's more dangerous, driving drunk or walking drunk? Why is chemotherapy prescribed so often if it's so ineffective? Can a sex change boost your salary?
SuperFreakonomics challenges the way we think all over again, exploring the hidden side of everything with such questions as:
- How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa?
- Why are doctors so bad at washing their hands?
- How much good do car seats do?
- What's the best way to catch a terrorist?
- Did TV cause a rise in crime?
- What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common?
- Are people hard-wired for altruism or selfishness?
- Can eating kangaroo save the planet?
- Which adds more value: a pimp or a Realtor?
Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling like no one else, whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically. By examining how people respond to incentives, they show the world for what it really is — good, bad, ugly, and, in the final analysis, super freaky.
Freakonomics has been imitated many times over — but only now, with SuperFreakonomics, has it met its match.
"Economist Levitt and journalist Dubner capitalize on their megaselling Freakonomics with another effort to make the dismal science go gonzo. Freaky topics include the oldest profession (hookers charge less nowadays because the sexual revolution has produced so much free competition), money-hungry monkeys (yep, that involves prostitution, too) and the dunderheadedness of Al Gore. There's not much substance to the authors' project of applying economics to all of life. Their method is to notice some contrarian statistic (adult seat belts are as effective as child-safety seats in preventing car-crash fatalities in children older than two), turn it into 'economics' by tacking on a perfunctory cost-benefit analysis (seat belts are cheaper and more convenient) and append a libertarian sermonette (governments 'tend to prefer the costly-and-cumbersome route'). The point of these lessons is to bolster the economist's view of people as rational actors, altruism as an illusion and government regulation as a folly of unintended consequences. The intellectual content is pretty thin, but it's spiked with the crowd-pleasing provocations ''A pimp's services are considerably more valuable than a realtor's'' that spell bestseller." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Jaunty, entertaining and smart. Levitt and Dubner do a good service by making economics accessible, even compelling." Kirkus Reviews
The highly anticipated, explosive follow-up to the blockbuster Freakonomics offers another groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist.
Freakonomics lived on the New York Times bestseller list for an astonishing two years. Now authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with more iconoclastic insights and observations in SuperFreakonomics—the long awaited follow-up to their New York Times Notable blockbuster. Based on revolutionary research and original studies SuperFreakonomics promises to once again challenge our view of the way the world really works.
A Nobel laureate reveals the often surprising rules that govern a vast array of activities — both mundane and life-changing — where money plays little or no role.
A Nobel laureate reveals the often surprising rules that govern a vast array of activities — both mundane and life-changing — in which money may play little or no role.
If you’ve ever sought a job or hired someone, applied to college or guided your child into a good kindergarten, asked someone out on a date or been asked out, you’ve participated in a kind of market. Most of the study of economics deals with commodity markets, where the price of a good connects sellers and buyers. But what about other kinds of “goods,” like a spot in the Yale freshman class or a position at Google? This is the territory of matching markets, where “sellers” and “buyers” must choose each other, and price isn’t the only factor determining who gets what.
Alvin E. Roth is one of the world’s leading experts on matching markets. He has even designed several of them, including the exchange that places medical students in residencies and the system that increases the number of kidney transplants by better matching donors to patients. In Who Gets What — And Why, Roth reveals the matching markets hidden around us and shows how to recognize a good match and make smarter, more confident decisions.
About the Author
Steven D. Levitt is a professor or economics at the University of Chicago and the recipient of the John Bates Clark medal, awarded to the most influential economist under the age of forty.
Stephen J. Dubner, a former writer and editor at The New York Times Magazine, is the author of Turbulent Souls (Choosing My Religion), Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper, and the children's book The Boy with Two Belly Buttons.