Freakonomics

Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

Synopsis

Freakonomics is a book that explores the side of economics that no one else is willing to explore. They discuss the more sensitive issues as well as explaining correlations between seemingly uncorrelated things. They discuss the sensitive relationship of abortion legalization to decreasing crime rates in the 90’s. They compare very unusual circumstances that would normally not appear to have anything in common. Examples of this are chapters one and two entitled, “What Do Schoolteachers And Sumo Wrestlers Have In Common?” and, “How Is The Ku Klux Klan Like A Group Of Real-Estate Agents?” respectively. They then go on to answer extremely odd questions such as, “Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live With Their Moms?” The questions then become tamer. “Where Have All The Criminals Gone?” and, “What Makes A Perfect Parent?” These questions may seem normal compared to the others, but their answers are anything but normal. This book takes an incredibly unusual stance on everything from teachers cheating on standardized tests to drug dealers living with their mothers. Freakonomics was an enjoyable book that gave a unique perspective to specialized issues that I never would have explored on my own. This book is full of unique and interesting information.

Authors' Purpose

The Authors' purpose is to inform the reader of the hidden side of economics in everyday life.

Example Of A Search For Knowledge

"But if you ask enough questions, strange as they seem at the time, you may eventually learn something worthwhile." (85)

How To Ask The Important Questions

"But if you can question something that people really care about and find an answer that may surprise them-that is, if you can overturn the conventional wisdom-then you may have some luck." (85)

There Is A Hidden Side To Everything

"These theories made their way, seemingly without friction, from the experts' mouths to journalists' ears to the public mind. In short course, they became conventional wisdom. There was only one problem: they weren't true." (3)

There Is A Problem With Conventional Wisdom

"So the conventional wisdom in Galbraith's view must be simple, convenient, comfortable, and comforting-though not necessarily true." (86)