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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the…
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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (2005)

by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner (Author)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Freakonomics (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
22,309411108 (3.84)286
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 Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the stuff and riddles of everyday life--from cheating and crime to sports and child rearing--and his conclusions regularly turn the conventional wisdom on its head. The authors 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 this book, they set out to explore the hidden side of everything. If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work.--From publisher description.… (more)
  1. 182
    Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely (_Zoe_)
  2. 141
    SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance by Steven D. Levitt (conceptDawg)
    conceptDawg: Similar content, same authors. If you liked one you'll like the other.
  3. 70
    The Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the Poor Are Poor--and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car by Tim Harford (waitingtoderail)
    waitingtoderail: A much better book than Freakonomics, as wide-ranging but not as scattershot.
  4. 40
    Think Like a Freak by Steven D. Levitt (Percevan)
  5. 30
    More Sex Is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics by Steven E. Landsburg (Sandydog1)
  6. 30
    The Drunkard's Walk : How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Leonard Mlodinow (wendelin39)
    wendelin39: awesome.. economics psych and even some puzzles revealing something about your brain in one
  7. 31
    Traffic: Why We Drive the Way We Do (and What It Says About Us) by Tom Vanderbilt (vnovak)
  8. 21
    Quirkology: The Curious Science Of Everyday Lives by Richard Wiseman (edwbaker)
  9. 32
    Bad Science: Quacks, Hacks, and Big Pharma Flacks by Ben Goldacre (Rynooo)
  10. 10
    You Are Now Less Dumb: How to Conquer Mob Mentality, How to Buy Happiness, and All the Other Ways to Outsmart Yourself by David McRaney (Sandydog1)
  11. 54
    Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell (dste)
    dste: Another interesting book that looks at some ideas we think are right and turns them upside down.
  12. 11
    Dollars and Sex: How Economics Influences Sex and Love by Marina Adshade (_Zoe_)
  13. 11
    Rethink: The Surprising History of New Ideas by Steven Poole (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Unexpected perspectives on a range of topics
  14. 11
    The Economic Naturalist: In Search of Explanations for Everyday Enigmas by Robert H. Frank (ljessen)
  15. 22
    The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies by Bryan Caplan (mercure)
    mercure: The freakonomics of democracy
  16. 11
    Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (tcarter)
  17. 12
    Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler (espertus)
  18. 12
    Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won by Tobias J. Moskowitz (browner56)
    browner56: Economists use the tools of the "dismal science"--both traditional and behavioral--to explain the pressing issues of the day, such as drug crime, school quality, and the home field advantage in football games.
  19. 01
    Soccernomics: Why England Loses, Why Germany and Brazil Win, and Why the U.S., Japan, Australia, Turkey--and Even Iraq--Are Destined to Become the Kings of the World's Most Popular Sport by Simon Kuper (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Freakonomics for football fans
  20. 12
    Information Rules: A Strategic Guide to the Network Economy by Carl Shapiro (infiniteletters)

(see all 22 recommendations)

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» See also 286 mentions

English (398)  Spanish (5)  French (4)  Vietnamese (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (411)
Showing 1-5 of 398 (next | show all)
A bit late to the party, but this has been on my to-read list for quite some time (even through cycles of dormancy). Given the build-up in my own head, I found some of the topics lackluster, more of an example of a microeconomic principles rather than anything particularly sensational (e.g. real estate agents). Still, there was value in these topics. On the other hand, there were several topics that were much more intriguing. In particular, the insight into drug-dealing gangs was fascinating. (Much of the credit there goes to the original researcher, but the presentation in this book was great). I particularly liked the approach to the topics, with a just-the-facts, emotionless approach, and minimal tangents. I was surprised at how short the book was (or maybe it was just that easy to get through), but I'll take brevity over superfluousness any day.

With the seemingly obvious topics offering educational value and the not-so-obvious ones offering fascinating insight, there is no reason to not read this succinct book. ( )
  loaff | May 26, 2020 |
Dubner, Stephen J (Author)
  LOM-Lausanne | Apr 29, 2020 |
I had to read this for my Managerial Economics class. I have some mixed feelings about this book, but most of it is opinion, so I’ll take it with a grain of salt. Some things rubbed me the wrong way (this book seems highly fixated with poor black Americans, and there's a lack of nuance discussing these issues), but I thought other things were highly interesting as opposed to most economic books. ( )
  DestDest | Apr 27, 2020 |
I enjoyed reading about the several examples given of somewhat surprising causes and effects. I thought the authors did a good job presenting the material and I thought it was a good read.

I've read several books from Malcolm Gladwell, and it was interesting to see similar topics from The Tipping Point discussed from an economics prespective. However, I felt there was some overlap, so I didn't appreciate some of the surprises as much as I would have had I read this book first. ( )
  beatgammit | Mar 22, 2020 |
Really makes you look at things in a new way. ( )
  tombrown | Feb 21, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 398 (next | show all)
Economists can seem a little arrogant at times. They have a set of techniques and habits of thought that they regard as more ''rigorous'' than those of other social scientists. When they are successful -- one thinks of Amartya Sen's important work on the causes of famines, or Gary Becker's theory of marriage and rational behavior -- the result gets called economics. 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.
 
added by Shortride | editThe Economist (pay site) (May 12, 2005)
 
The book, unfortunately titled Freakonomics, is broken into six chapters, each posing a different social question. Levitt and Dubner answer them using empirical research and statistical analysis. And unlike academics who usually address these matters, they don't clutter the prose with a lot of caveats. They just show you the goods.
added by Shortride | editTime, Amanda Ripley (Apr 24, 2005)
 
Freakonomics is about unconventional wisdom, using the raw data of economics in imaginative ways to ask clever and diverting questions. Levitt even redefines his definition. If, as he says, economics is essentially about incentives and how people realise them, then economics is a prospecting tool, not a laboratory microscope.
 

» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steven D. Levittprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dubner, Stephen J.Authormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Lindgren, StefanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seidenfaden, TøgerPrefacesecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The most brilliant young economist in America—the one so deemed, at least, by a jury of his elders—brakes to a stop at a traffic light on Chicago's south side.
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I'm a maverick!
Or just a Drama Queen who's
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