Freakonomics

Freakonomics

A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Downloadable Audiobook - 2005
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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.
Publisher: [New York, N.Y.] : Harper Audio, 2005
ISBN: 9780060776138
0060776137
Additional Contributors: Dubner, Stephen J.

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m
mexicanadiense
Nov 11, 2013

Now that I've heard this audiobook I can tell what the fuss was all about when this book was initially released. There are some interesting ideas on display, to be sure, but as is so often the case for audiobooks dealing with topics that ends themselves to long lists or tables of data hearing them read out, as opposed to seeing them on the page, is remarkably tedious. Still, enjoyable on the whole.

w
willgreg
Sep 25, 2013

Condescending, full of nonsense, and bloated like a dead fish. This book takes about half a dozen interesting research results and slowly drags us through them, flogging the dead horse again and again each time. The audiobook chapter(s) on baby names were probably the worst. Not recommended. You get more out of reading the book back cover than listening / reading this whole thing.

a
avanioswal
Apr 28, 2013

I believe I have returned this.

Timoto32 Nov 12, 2012

Excellent book. Not the best place to start if you're trying to understand traditional economics but a fascinating book if you have an analytical mind and like questions.

l
LSwayne
Dec 21, 2011

Better than not learning anything about economics- but there are much better titles that cover the same theory and applications. (Economics of real estate, contraception quotidian human behaviour etc). Disliked the tone, found it to be shoddily written with a tone of implied superiority. Would recommend "Naked Economics" for very similar (IMO better) content with equally simple analogies, but actually gives credit to the reader's intelligence.

m
MatteoImparare
Dec 21, 2011

This ground-breaking book is a collection of odd, fairly disconnected, stories. The common theme between all of them is that economic analysis has been used to crack the enigma. The resulting behaviour can be explained using economics.

The first part of the book, it draws similarities between very different groups, such as school teachers and sumo wrestlers, or KKK members and real estate agents. What are the similarities? The structure of incentives and how people respond to them.

One of the more interesting analysis is on what factors have affected crime rate. Though for a fuller explanation, see the sequel: Super Freakonomics.

There are many more interesting topics the authors touch upon. Well worth the read.

d
DalysJ
Jan 07, 2011

Read this book!

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