Freakonomics Rev Ed - Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

Freakonomics Rev Ed

By Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner

  • Release Date: 2010-02-17
  • Genre: Economics
Score: 4
From 779 Ratings


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 conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: Freakonomics.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and 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 workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Ku Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.

Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition
The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.Selected entries from the Freakonomics blog, posted between April 2005 and May 2006 at


  • Amazing!!!

    By KBiz13
    Must I repeat myself?
  • a work in progress...

    By JoeInJamaica
    As one more "fearful" of statistical data than of Analysis, i.e. the calculus, I expected to be not quite in swing with this book. But, surprise, I found it interesting how data is searched for and looked at, sample sets relevant to a given topic are selected and the sometimes unexpected insights gleaned. In this day and age of "info overload" the worth of such sorts of inquiry are obvious, and seem to require a sort of gift for it as well as determination to work it through and look for relevant data in a way a bit different, but perhaps not completely divorced, from going the other way around, i.e. from theoretical mathematics to deduction and investigation of "the fit". My only complaint is it is a little repetitive and just maybe their findings are not always the "complete truth" of a given matter (but better a few "partial truths" than "full false truths"). Half star off for over repetition, but since don't see that option I went with 4 stars, but it's very interesting, enough to look forward to more from said authors and as my "title to review" indicates, I think they do well to continue with their research and write about it.
  • Great book; a must-read

    By Band Frequency
    I never would've guessed I'd get hooked on an economics book for my bedtime reading, but I read this on a recommendation and couldn't put it down; this book is well-written, interesting, informative and entertaining. Can see why it was/is a bestseller.
  • Super Interesting!

    By Gigi Vaz
    Extraordinary way of rationalizing! It will make you wonder and question about conventional wisdoms :) things are definitely not what they seemed to be.
  • Amazing

    By Spiddy56
    Very out of the box thinking and an amazing read.
  • Fantastic book

    By Ohfhcg
    You learn so much
  • Must Read

    By Dyoungster
    Fantastic book, keeps your attention the whole time. Great ideas and theories. High recommend reading. Easy to read and understand.
  • Ok

    By Brandon Rogers
    Entertaining and insightful in many chapters, others were slower... No real plot... Just jumps from one random subject to another...
  • A great read...

    By SoCalSan
    ...for those of use wondering how stats plays into our daily lives.
  • Incredibly thought provoking

    By DangerousDan13
    Fantastic read! It's really a book about incentives, not economics. If you like to think, but this book! If you're in the Incentive Compensation community, you absolutely *must* read this book!