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Freakonomics Rev Ed: (and Other Riddles of Modern Life) by [Levitt, Steven D., Dubner, Stephen J.]
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Freakonomics Rev Ed: (and Other Riddles of Modern Life) Kindle Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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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)

“Provocative… eye-popping.” (New York Times Book Review: Inside the List)

“The guy is interesting!” (Washington Post Book World)

“The funkiest study of statistical mechanics ever by a world-renowned economist... Eye-opening and sometimes eye-popping” (Entertainment Weekly)

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

“Principles of economics are used to examine daily life in this fun read.” (People: Great Reads)

“Levitt dissects complex real-world phenomena, e.g. baby-naming patterns and Sumo wrestling, with an economist’s laser.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)

“Levitt is a number cruncher extraordinaire.” (Philadelphia Daily News)

“Levitt is one of the most notorious economists of our age.” (Financial Times)

“Hard to resist.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Freakonomics is politically incorrect in the best, most essential way.... This is bracing fun of the highest order.” (Kurt Andersen, host of public radio's Studio 360 and author of Turn of the Century)

“Freakonomics was the ‘It’ book of 2005.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

“An eye-opening, and most interesting, approach to the world.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“An unconventional economist defies conventional wisdom.” (Associated Press)

“A showcase for Levitt’s intriguing explorations into a number of disparate topics…. There’s plenty of fun to be had.” (Salon.com)

“One of the decade’s most intelligent and provocative books.” (The Daily Standard)

“Freakonomics challenges conventional wisdom and makes for fun reading.” (Book Sense Picks and Notables)

“The trivia alone is worth the cover price.” (New York Times Book Review)

“An easy, funny read. Many unsolvable problems the Americans have could be solved with simple means.” (Business World)

“Economics is not widely considered to be one of the sexier sciences.... Steven D. Levitt will change some minds.” (Amazon.com)

Product Description

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.

Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition

  • The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.
  • Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1452 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; Revised & Expand, Roughcut edition (Feb. 17 2010)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000MAH66Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,201 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very disapointed. Some good thoughts at first. But most of the book is just boring statistics and facts on kkk, parenting and school. Annoying and endless data. Useless. Save your money. Save your precious time. Lots of hype about this book. Don't get caught.
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Format: Hardcover
I thought this book was fairly interesting and would actually give it a 3.5 to 4, but not over a 4. His first premise, that improved access to abortion is related to crime reduction is not necessarily correlated and there could well be any number of factors that result in lower crime rates (i.e. better opportunities for education, increased overall wealth, improved standards of living, etc). Some of his other points do seem to be correlated based on my own experience. For instance, his comments about realtors recommending a lower selling price in order for them to quickly sell the house is quite accurate. I sold my house this year and if I hadn't done my own research, I would have undoubtedly taken the realtor at face value and sold my house for $20,000 less than what I did. That being said, regardless of what any realtor, author, or anyone else says, one must look at all the options and information, even if it takes effort to do so.
All in all, it was an interesting easy, quick read but just consider all the facts or other points of view before taking what he has to say at face value or becoming a "know it all" at parties. If you enjoy this sort of thing, you will probably also enjoy the book "Sway," which is written in a similar style and based on human responses to various situations.
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Format: Hardcover
The book is engaging and surprisingly humorous read, which opened my mind to a whole new way of looking at the world. It was fascinating to see the synthesis between economics and our everyday lives. Events which seem disconnected or driven by other influences are revealed with great clarity as having basic economic principles behind them. I can give you an example. Every part starts with an interesting question. Let's say: "What is the hidden cause of obesity in the USA? It is followed by numbers. As a PH.D in Sexuality I can tell you that there are more than 20+ million American men with erectile dysfunction. Many of them are married and their wives are equally, if not more sexually dissatisfied. This results in emotional eating, depression, etc problems. Does this have economical effect? Of course yes, because only the blue pill's production earns billions. What can be done? I recommend to my clients staying up-to-date with the latest scientific discoveries revealed in bestsellers such as "Scientfically guaranteed male multiple orgasms and ultimate sex". The book reads as six articles from a quality magazine. Their questions will challenge you, their answers may provoke you, but the book is entertaining, thought-provoking and will likely change the way you view the world around you.
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Format: Hardcover
The book is engaging and surprisingly humorous read, which opened my mind to a whole new way of looking at the world. It was fascinating to see the synthesis between economics and our everyday lives. Events which seem disconnected or driven by other influences are revealed with great clarity as having basic economic principles behind them.

I can give you an example. Every part starts with an interesting question. Let's say: "What is the hidden cause of obesity in the USA? It is followed by numbers. As a PH.D in Sexuality I can tell you that there are more than 20+ million impotent American men. Many of them are married and their wives are equally, if not more sexually dissatisfied. This results in emotional eating, depression, alcoholism, smoking, etc abuses. Does this have economical effect? Of course yes, because only the blue pill's production earns billions. What can be done? I recommend to my clients staying up-to-date with the latest scientific discoveries revealed in bestsellers such as "scientfically guaranteed male multiple orgasms and ultimate sex". The book reads as six articles from a quality magazine. Their questions will challenge you, their answers may provoke you, but the book is entertaining, thought-provoking and will likely change the way you view the world around you.
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Format: Hardcover
What an excellent book. Crammed with interesting insights, overflowing with surprising twists. I loved it. Freakanomics was the only book that all the adults in our holiday group read - and it was by far the best for generating conversation. One of the most interesting and thought provoking books I have read for ages. Bring on Freakanomics2 please.
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Format: Hardcover
Steven Levitt is clearly a brilliant man. An intellectual that isn't afraid to rock the boat with some controversial yet well-thought ideas. The book identifies some very interesting trends and presents them in a straight-forward readable manner.

However, Levitt's ideas are not explored in enough detail to sufficiently enforce his arguments. It almost seems that the publishers have dumbed it down to the level of the ordinary person in order to sell more books. I haven't read the expanded edition, but I hope Levitt provides some of the background that is lacking in this edition.
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Format: Hardcover
What a refreshing take on the application of statistics and economics in the so-called "real world". For anyone who's actually had to work on analyzing socio-economic impacts for policy development, it's a sober reminder to think beyond conventional wisdom and the need to challenge the assumptions and the conclusions! The focus on evidence-based decision making and the need to quantify everything to build an argument is certainly driving some interesting debates.

Reminds me of Douglas Adams' "the fundamental interconnectedness of everything". Most importantly, "DON'T PANIC". Food for thought, and a reminder not to think too much.
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