Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Paperback)

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Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?
What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?
How much do parents really matter?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to parenting and sports—and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head. Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They set out to explore the inner workings of a crack gang, the truth about real estate agents, the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, and much more. Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, they 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.

About the Author


Steven D. Levitt is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and a recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, awarded to the most influential economist under the age of forty. He is also founder of The Greatest Good, a company that applies Freakonomic principles to philanthropy and business.

Praise for Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything…


“If Indiana Jones were an economist, he’d be Steven Levitt… Criticizing Freakonomics would be like criticizing a hot fudge sundae.”
-Wall Street Journal

“Provocative… eye-popping.”
-New York Times Book Review: Inside the List

“The guy is interesting!”
-Washington Post Book World

“The funkiest study of statistical mechanics ever by a world-renowned economist... Eye-opening and sometimes eye-popping”
-Entertainment Weekly

“Steven Levitt has the most interesting mind in America... Prepare to be dazzled.”
-Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point

“Principles of economics are used to examine daily life in this fun read.”
-People: Great Reads

“Levitt dissects complex real-world phenomena, e.g. baby-naming patterns and Sumo wrestling, with an economist’s laser.”
-San Diego Union-Tribune

“Levitt is a number cruncher extraordinaire.”
-Philadelphia Daily News

“Levitt is one of the most notorious economists of our age.”
-Financial Times

“Hard to resist.”
-Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Freakonomics is politically incorrect in the best, most essential way.... This is bracing fun of the highest order.”
-Kurt Andersen, host of public radio's Studio 360 and author of Turn of the Century

“Freakonomics was the ‘It’ book of 2005.”
-Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“An eye-opening, and most interesting, approach to the world.”
-Kirkus Reviews

“An unconventional economist defies conventional wisdom.”
-Associated Press

“A showcase for Levitt’s intriguing explorations into a number of disparate topics…. There’s plenty of fun to be had.”
-Salon.com

“One of the decade’s most intelligent and provocative books.”
-The Daily Standard

“Freakonomics challenges conventional wisdom and makes for fun reading.”
-Book Sense Picks and Notables

“The trivia alone is worth the cover price.”
-New York Times Book Review

“An easy, funny read. Many unsolvable problems the Americans have could be solved with simple means.”
-Business World

“Economics is not widely considered to be one of the sexier sciences.... Steven D. Levitt will change some minds.”
-Amazon.com

Product Details ISBN-10: 0060731338
ISBN-13: 9780060731335
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks, 08/25/2009
Pages: 352
Language: English