Freakonomics by Stephen J. Dunbar and Steven D. Levitt

February 8, 2009
By Kyle Midgley BRONZE, Plano, Texas
Kyle Midgley BRONZE, Plano, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

'So the aim of this book is to explore the hidden side of'everything. This may occasionally be a frustrating exercise'. Freakonomics is a collaboration between two cutting edge economists, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, who couldn't help but notice the economic truth waiting to be found in normal, everyday situations. It is amazing as a reader to delve into a work that concerns so many real life scenarios and reasons behind their madness.

After reading the interesting and mind-puzzling ideas presented by Levitt and Dubner it is remarkable that there really is no concrete, main idea in Freakonomics, as the authors decide to take a different approach and cover their subject through several short stories and examinations of numbers. Several of the issues that are outlined in the book are: abortion being the true cause of the massive 90's crime drop, cheating by school teachers is similar to that of sumo wrestlers, the Ku Klux Klan's hold on the south resembles the hold of real estate agents, drug dealer's lifestyles have common characteristics to corporations with most druggies living at the bottom of the totem pole, and finally that there are several characteristics of parenting that are often misinterpreted.

The authors come forth early on in the work and say that their mindset will be purely economical, and not moral, because 'Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work-whereas economics represents how it actually does work'. Their controversial attitude becomes apparent when they ask questions like: 'What so school teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?' and 'How is the Ku Klux Klan like a group of Real Estate Agents?' These subjects prompt readers to ask themselves odd, but informative, questions about the way that the world works.

These economists provide insight into the many different factors of our lives that could easily be understood with a little manipulation of the data and an out-of-the-box frame of mind. The witty observations provided in this book are the source of many eye opening moments that arise while reading, in which the solution becomes suddenly clear once the plain truth is bluntly realized. This non-fiction work is full of humor and sarcasm that is effective in getting the simple economic principles presented across.

Whether you are an avid or an occasional reader, the language and style that Levitt and Dubner apply to their reasoning is very comprehensive and easy to appreciate. All of their scenarios are put together with logical analysis and numerical data that won't go over anyone's head.

For the analytical thinker, or the curious reader, who wonders why certain factors of society are the way they are, Freakonomics is a must read.

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