Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Joe Gregorio
Freakonomics : A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

I just finished reading Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. The book is excellent not only for Levitt's intriguing analysis, and subsequent decimation, of many bits of "conventional wisdom", but also for Dubner's prose.

The book covers topics as far ranging as cheating in Sumo wrestling to determining which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool. The book is easy to read and really makes you start thinking about peoples motivations in all sorts of everyday contexts. Levitt's analysis uses a unique blend of economic theory, statistical analysis and compelling story telling. Note to self: If we ever decide to sell our house, look into ways to modify the contract to try motivate the agent to really get us the best price on the house.

The book ended all too soon but it did the three things a good book should do, it inspired my curiosity, made me wanting for a sequel, and most importantly it subtly and powerfully changed the way I look at the world.

I guess the Freakonomics Blog will have to tide me over until the next book.


I liked the book too. The description of incentives made some sense. I also enjoyed correlating my up bring and those described in the book.  Unfortunately, the chapter puts a damper on blaming your parents for all your problems.


Posted by Michael on 2005-06-25

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