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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything Hardcover – Mar 31 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (March 31 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006073132X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060731328
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15.2 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Anyone living in the United States in the early 1990s and paying even a whisper of attention to the nightly news or a daily paper could be forgiven for having been scared out of his skin. Read the first page
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47 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Craig Jenkins on April 27 2005
Format: Hardcover
Calling this a book on economics hasn't scared people away - with the book #3 on the Amazon.com listings and #5 here on .ca, people are clearly buying into the author's quirky insights into the world around us.
Freakonomics is an interesting collection of observations, never conceding to any agenda whatsoever. It's entertaining, but never really takes you anywhere. Personally, I would have hoped that it would at least attempt to spur interest in economics and econometric methods, but in the end it reads more like an episode of Seinfeld - a book about, well, nothing.
It's an easy read, achievable on a single rainy day, and certainly not challenging for the average reader with no economics background. But I would encourage folks who do pick it up to consider the usefulness of the correlation/causality distinction and the methods of analysis beyond the description here. Not many of you will pick up an economics or statistics text because of this, but maybe if there were more books like this which make it interesting and applicable in our daily lives, we would all have a better understanding and appreciation for our strange little world at large.
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By Tim on July 9 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
good!
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By amazongirl on Oct. 22 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this book, thinking it would have the case around it-it didn't. Looks old and used
Book itself is a great read. Definitely recommend reading it.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By iRon on Oct. 5 2005
Format: Hardcover
It was a good read, but no intellectual ride. Steven Levitts has published many intriguing research pieces. The chapters in Freakonomics were simply a presentation of his recent or most interesting works. If you are interested in his studies, all of his materials are accessible on the internet in a much more detailed fashion. Freakonomics is just a table of content... not worth a buy.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pashpoops on Nov. 17 2006
Format: Hardcover
I got this book b/c of the hype and reviews. Unfortunatly it was a big disappointment. The book kept making statistical conlusions between things that really don't matter. Some of the chapeters were interesting but over all I would not recomend this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Bhaiji on Oct. 22 2006
Format: Hardcover
so i picked up this book after all the rave reviews and read it as i do most books in one sitting. Unfortunately, it didnt deliver.....a lot of their conclusions are based on statistics (stats 101 will teach anyone the unreliabilty of stats); their overview of general topics is just not general enough for me, a little bit too cynical and try hard for me. May be a generational gap.....but all in all its not a bad read....at the least it does promote thought, which is always a good thing to end with in these types of books.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By S. Iroe on Sept. 11 2006
Format: Hardcover
After shunning it on the bestsellers shelves of the bookstore for a long time I finally decided to browse through this book when I was visiting my friend's home. I immediately became engrossed in it. Freakonomics, without being philosophical, presents a new way of looking at things (purportedly - but not quite -- everything). The authors do a great job in making the book flow from cover to cover with a continuous barrage of startling conclusions. You might not agree with everything that they are saying but you will definitely feel a jolt in the way you look at some issues. I found a few problems in their approach here and there, e.g. I thought the authors were overly cynical of "experts", also their reliance on statistics in drawing conclusions about people and society could benefit from scrutiny - but then we'd be getting too philosophical and their approach in this regard is in keeping with current practices in the social sciences anyway.

If the book can be read with a grain of salt however, there is a lot to be benefited from it. I think one should keep in mind when reading this book is that more than the particular issues that are addressed what's important is the *way* of looking at things. I can't stress this enough because I have heard people complain about one particular example or another as a fatal flaw in the book; if you fall into this trap you're missing the boat in my opinion. I think the book can be read profitably by just reading the introduction and one or two of the other chapters.

I could have done without the hype in the book, the book has a lot going for it, and it didn't need all the hype in the introduction and throughout. Also, I found Dubner's rather incessant hero-worshipping of Levitt rather annoying. These are minor issues though in comparison to what you'll get from reading this book. I recommend this book. I am pretty sure I will reread it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Lepki on Jan. 30 2006
Format: Hardcover
It took quite a while to get into the actual content of the book as there was a lengthy intro, and self congratulatory citations before each chapter.
There has clearly been some great research put into this book, but I think a couple of papers, or magazine articles would have sufficed.
The last chapter has the appearance of rushed homework, with several pages of lists of babies names, poorly laid out on page, and a laboured conclusion that one graphic 4 pages earlier would have expressed so much clearer.
Also, the summing up remarks will have no relevance for anybody outside the USA.
Overall, the book is smart and explored interesting correlations, but for the amount of reference there is to how great these authors can express their ideas, there is often very little evidence of it.
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