Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

February 7, 2009

In an era dominated by political correctness, Freakonomics is anything but that in the most informative way. While possibly inflaming the emotions of some, authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner use economics as a way to uncover the hidden truth behind seemingly commonplace things and events. Are teachers and sumo wrestlers similar in that that both cheat? Are the Ku Klux Klan and real estate agents similar? Could legalizing abortion lower the crime rate?
There is one unifying link between all of these unrelated events. Incentive. Incentive is the driving force of the world and Freakonomics dedicates itself to uncovering each of these and shining light on the actions people take in order to receive them. The teacher is willing to cheat for their students on important standardized tests because they can receive large bonuses for good test scores. The sumo wrestlers throw matches so they can receive a certain status and paycheck.
Although the book contains many ethical situations, all of the information is presented objectively and strictly through economic facts. Levitt and Dubner beautifully used unconventional wisdom to captivate their audience and present the numerical truth.

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