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Freakonomics

Written by: Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
Narrated by: Stephen J. Dubner
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Publisher's Summary

Which is more dangerous: a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life, from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing, and whose conclusions turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Thus the new field of study contained in this audiobook: Freakonomics.

Levitt and co-author Stephen J. Dubner 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. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of...well, everything. The inner working of a crack gang...the truth about real-estate agents...the secrets of the Klu Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking, and Freakonomics will redefine the way we view the modern world.

©2006 Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (P)2006 HarperAudio

What the critics say

"Refreshingly accessible and engrossing." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Freakonomics

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Thought Provoking

Loved this book - had me anticipating the car rides so i can listen to it

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A different way of looking at things

I’ve been wanting to read/listen to this book for the better part of a decade and finally managed to get it done. I was not disappointed.

The content is interesting and offers one great thought experiments and solutions to complicated questions. I knew going in what some of the topics and conclusions were but still enjoyed listening to Levitt justify his findings.

Given that I’m a listener of Steven Levite’s podcast and used to the high production value he now offers, I found this recording lacking a certain spark. It’s not bad, just average.

I would recommend this book to everyone. It’s a great way to learn how to objectively look at a question and formulate an unbiased conclusion based solely in the evidence.

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Life is so fascinating!

This book makes life seem so fascinating and makes you think twice about the most mundane things, especially what you hear on the news. There are so many things like sumo wrestling and people's names that I wouldn't have thought twice about, but this book dives into them with such interest that I was hooked from almost the first page. Thanks #Audible1

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Such a unique way of looking at the world!

So interesting to consider cause and effect on so many different topics. A very enjoyable listen. I was a little bit confused by the random musical interludes… but it didn’t take away too much from the enjoyment.

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Great book

Insightful. A must read.
Will definitely recommend reading/listening to this one.
On to Super....

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A collection of curious facts

Data and numbers are up to interpretation. It’s true numbers don’t lie but can be interpreted differently. I didn’t like the way homosexuality was treated at the end when the author discussed about the economics of sex and aids. It leans to a conservatism that seems not supported by all interpretation of the data.
Overall is a good book with some interesting insights.

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Interesting but flawed

It's troubling that someone who professes to love delving deep and thinking different is able to derive pleasure from firing a bunch of teachers for cheating, without delving deeper into story behind the cheating.

An original thinker is all well and good, but everyone has bias, and any claim that one professes to be apolitical, yet implicitly embraces free market Capitalism should raise eyebrows.

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Fascinating

Thoroughly interesting, well read, good conversational topics. The only weird thing is the occasional guitar interlude which makes it sound like ... like a Sheryl Crow song is starting.

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Must read!

This book is revolutionary and a must read for all! Have your life transformed as you read this book!

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Only For Young People

I would only recommend this book to a teenager or young adult. The concepts might prove useful for them to be exposed to. Basically the concepts of this book are that, unless you want to be very naive and risk being taken advantage of, you should take the term "expert" with a grain of salt. There are no shortage of careers in which people self-aggrandize or try to hoard information to make themselves appear more competent than they are. The internet is making these folks somewhat obsolete, but they continue using greasy and weasely means of trying to maintain their power structure.

There's a whole chapter outlining the mechanics of how a gang operates. If you have lived an incredibly sheltered life, this might be eye opening to you. But for anyone who's been paying attention, these concepts will all seem trite and obvious. And not the kind of obvious that seems obvious after you're exposed to it - the type of obvious where if it wasn't obvious to you, you simply haven't been paying attention. Or you've been deluded, or you float through life with a childlike submissiveness and unquestioning nature towards those in positions of power or leadership.

The fact that this book is lauded as being intrepid or unusually introspective in some way is concerning. It speaks to a culture of dimwits. Don't be a dummy - pay attention. If you need this book to help you get that message, that's good I suppose. But you'd be better off learning that yourself. You want to learn how to be critical in a functional manner.

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4 people found this helpful