Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

by William Morrow & Co, Inc.


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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? 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.

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