Customer Reviews for

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Average Rating 4
( 691 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(296)

4 Star

(255)

3 Star

(77)

2 Star

(34)

1 Star

(29)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Problem: Crime. Solution: Abortion. (Spoiler Alert)

My mother is an economics teacher, and ever since she discovered the book "Freakonomics", I've been hearing about its humorous studies that would make even me, like economics. In this book, the authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, redefine the whole purpose a...
My mother is an economics teacher, and ever since she discovered the book "Freakonomics", I've been hearing about its humorous studies that would make even me, like economics. In this book, the authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, redefine the whole purpose and study of economics. Instead of looking for the obvious and easiest answer, they dig deep and look for the less obvious, but plausible answer. Instead of giving the public the answer they want to hear, they give them the "ugly truth" something that has caused this book to be a huge success, but also controversial.
One study investigated how names can affect your opportunities in life. For example if you have a very obvious black sounding name, will it make you less successful? The authors tested this idea by sending out two sets of identical résumés. One set with a black name the other set with a white sounding name. The set of résumés with the black sounding name received fewer call-backs than the resumes that had obvious white sounding name. This is interesting because it shows how bigotry and racism are still alive in America today. And finally the most shocking study in the book is the one that correlates the drop in crime in the early 1990's to the passage of Roe vs. Wade in the 1970's. Legalized abortion, according to Levitt, is directly related to a drop in crime. Legalizing abortion made it easier for women, especially poor women, to obtain an abortion and prevent unwanted children from being born. Unwanted children have higher rates of truancy, do poorly in school, and are more likely to become criminals. Children of poor, uneducated, unwed teenage mothers are the most likely to grow up to become criminals. If these children are never born, then they cannot commit crimes. He compared states that legalized abortion before Roe vs. Wade and saw that those states crime rates decreased earlier than the rest of the nation. He also noted that states that not only legalized abortion but also made abortion less restrictive saw even greater drops in crime. Although this study may seem morally objectionable, it's difficult to argue with the data.
These studies, and many others that the authors did, are what captivated me while reading this book. I believe that anyone with a sense of humor will love the approach that Levitt takes to answer questions and analyze things that people would never consider. Personally, I think the book is amazing, and everyone should read it because it really makes you pause and think that the causes behind some things you hear are not always true. After reading "Freakonomics" I am now looking forward to taking some economics classes in college. This is a book everyone should read.

posted by Book_SurferMC on October 31, 2011

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

freakonomics

In the book Freakonomics written by Steven Levitt who is an economist who has a unique way of looking at the world, he explores “ the hidden side of everything” including the drop in crime in the 1990’s, he concludes the it had little to do with what everybody was think...
In the book Freakonomics written by Steven Levitt who is an economist who has a unique way of looking at the world, he explores “ the hidden side of everything” including the drop in crime in the 1990’s, he concludes the it had little to do with what everybody was thinking such as new police tactics, more police on the streets cracking down on crime, or even a better and stronger economy. He reveals that it all began 20 years earlier with one woman from Dallas named Norma McCorvey and that that it was actually her court case years earlier that caused the severe drop in crime: Roe vs. Wade, the court case that legalized abortion. He says that most mothers getting the abortions are low income young women, who would give birth to children who were most likely to become criminals. Since abortion became legal many of these potential criminals were not being born Therefore, creating less crime, hence the substantial drop in the crime rate.
He also explores how the no child left behind act can make teachers cheat by teaching to the test or even changing their students answers to benefit themselves. He also reveals the corruption involved in sumo wrestling. How good parenting has nothing to do with your parenting skills at all, and a name given at birth can determine your child’s future, he provides details of gang drug dealing and how it is almost like a franchise. The further up you are in the gang the more money you make, and everybody aspires to be on the board of directors. He describes how “foot soldiers” or street-salesmen make less than minimum wage and have a 1 in 4 chance of being killed, yet there is a waiting list to become one. He even explains corruption through a story about bagels. I enjoyed reading the book and I would recommend that others read it too.

posted by Allison_Peters on January 8, 2012

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 255 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 13
  • Posted March 28, 2012

    I was definitely surprised to find that this book was not so muc

    I was definitely surprised to find that this book was not so much about economics as it was about everyday life. Even though the book jumped from topic to topic, the connections were clearly stated, and I never felt like I was being overwhelmed with information. The authors did a good job catering to all reading levels, making it a good book for just about anyone. I am really glad that I chose to read this book for my economics class, and I know that I will never think the same way about anything again.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2012

    Prior to reading it, I expected a dull, pure mathematically focu

    Prior to reading it, I expected a dull, pure mathematically focused book. Nevertheless, the authors do a great job in combining their respective strengths into a best-seller non-fiction novel that conveys the statistics in a creative, friendly approach. If you have ever wondered what school teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common, or why two children in the same class share the same name, yet each come from a contrasting culture and financial background, then I recommend this book! -AJ Jimenez P.4

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    Not completely understanding economics beforehand, Freakonomics

    Not completely understanding economics beforehand, Freakonomics was not
    only interesting and fun to read, but it also helped me to understand what exactly
    economics is by simplifying it for any age to understand and using relatable 
    examples. This book will help influence me to look at the world from a different
    perspective and the question everything and yet still search for the answers,
    which might be more hidden that one would first assume. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Worth it

    Great book

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2012

    I really found this book to be great it was so enforming about t

    I really found this book to be great it was so enforming about the simple things in the world that has to deal with economics. I espically loved the section talking about Parenting and naming your child will effect your entire life. I never really believed all that could contributre to my up brining and my familys. The real estate was funny to me because I have someone in my family who is just like that in her own job when she sells homes to people.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 23, 2014

    Interesting book - but rambling

    This guy is obviously brilliant - at least he thinks of angles that most of us would NEVER think of; then he figures out how to gather the data to validate it (whatever "it" is, often a pretty obscure question).

    It makes for fascinating reading, but he gets kind of carried away showing how the data prove, or disprove, his point. But, if you always keep in mind his main point that "incentives are everything", he certainly shows some obscure situations that prove this to be true.

    So, an interesting read, if you can skim the details of exactly how he went about proving his thesis, and concentrate on the bigger picture of "Gee, that's true, and they proved it (somehow)", or even "they proved it by looking at xxxxxxxx....)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 17, 2013

    Just as the title says Freakonomics will teach you about the hid

    Just as the title says Freakonomics will teach you about the hidden side of everything. From how cheating effects the economy to how a childs name can suggest the parent's socioeconomic status or predict their future. This book made me see economics in a whole new way and made me realize that digging deeper into the true value and meaning of things I encounter in everyday life will not only help me understand why the economy works the way it does but also how I can change my views on life in general. -Kristen T.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    I didn't know about this book before a couple friends of mine de

    I didn't know about this book before a couple friends of mine decided to read it for our economics class. At first I thought it was going to be a boring read with a lot of econ. jargon that I wouldn't understand. Bat as soon as I read the first chapter everything clicked and it was so clear. The examples that they gave where really relatable and it was in terms that i could understand. All around Fantastic read! Hope to read the sequel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    Though this book has no one coherent plot or idea, it flows thro

    Though this book has no one coherent plot or idea, it flows through ideas and statistics to provide an interesting mosaic of ideas. It brought up many ideas surrounding race and abortion that could be seen as highly offensive or atleast controversial, however, its abilty to back up its ideas with statistical data proved it difficult to be argued with.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    Freakonomics is a book that effortlessly makes the world of econ

    Freakonomics is a book that effortlessly makes the world of economics interesting to any reader. Freakonomics takes the reader on a tour of many different faces of the economic world, all under the umbrella of educating the reader about how cause and effect are not as simple as we would like to believe. Economics illustrates an important point, that things are not as clear cut as we would like to believe. It is imperative to understand cause and effect, to understand that often times, what is labeled as a cause is simply an indicator of the real cause. In the book the author points out that in modern society we laugh at ancient societies for believing that the rape of a virgin before a battle we bring victory, yet, we often times develop flimsy answers as to why we reached our conclusions. Freakonomics is about telling the reader to look into things deeper, to understand that although direct and clear cause and effect can be true, it simply is not a universal truth.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    This book was very interesting, it really got me thinking and qu

    This book was very interesting, it really got me thinking and questioning all that I thought about the world today.
    This book is not just some boring book about economics but it really digs down to every day life. It was extremely informative and 
    showed me a whole new side to economics that I didn't even know existed. I defiantly recommend it for anyone that is interested in a 
    different way of look at economics. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2013

    This book is a very interesting read. It makes you question some

    This book is a very interesting read. It makes you question some of the things you would never think to question. 
    Some of the writing leaves something to be desired (random gender association with jobs kind of annoyed me). 
    Overall though a really enjoyable read. If anything you leave having learned something, whether it be a random statistic (rape 
    is not actually 1 in 2 more like 1 in 8), or maybe a new correlation between school teachers and sumo wrestlers, you will
    learn something by the time you finish this book. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2013

    loved it but...

    I loved it but I wish there was more

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 22, 2013

    If you like to see the world adifferent way, this an outstanding

    If you like to see the world adifferent way, this an outstanding book to read. It really makes you look a things very differently...

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 22, 2013

    This book is not like your typical novel. Levitt and Dubner intr

    This book is not like your typical novel. Levitt and Dubner intriguingly explore the relationship between multiple topics the average person would assume are not related. Using economics and statistics, the authors explain some aspects of society and why these aspects are the way they are.
    When reading this book, one will get a lot more out it than expected. Each chapter begins with a question. When beginning to read a chapter, the reader assumes that the chapter will be specific to the question. To reader’s surprise, they will discover and learn much mire than just the answer to the question. Levitt and Dubner did a great job with the flow of the novel. I, personally, was entertained and found the book to be a fairly quick read. I would recommend this book to anyone. I feel that this book has the capability of enriching the mind of whoever reads it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 22, 2013

    This book was very entertaining with it's concepts in each chapt

    This book was very entertaining with it's concepts in each chapter as well as the insightful statistics that opens the mind into different perspectives that are realistic.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    When i was finished reading this book, i stopped and realized th

    When i was finished reading this book, i stopped and realized that there is so much more to economics than just numbers. Levitt and Dubner really focus on the subject that can be found in the most obscure places in the world and in the most random situations. Sometimes the truth about things can be frightening, like the section how the strategies of a realtor and doctors. i like how it lets you have a completely different mind set on the life behind economics, because before this book i thought it was just a boring thing that involved stocks.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 7, 2012

    This book was surprisingly interesting and informative. Making

    This book was surprisingly interesting and informative. Making economics more entertaining with previously unknown facts and fun stories.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 4, 2012

    I think the findings of the many experiments were very interesti

    I think the findings of the many experiments were very interesting. I agree with most of the other reviews, in the sense that this book really never got boring or repetitive at all. Throughout the book there are whole new experiences that are discussed that in some way connect to the others, but are not really the same type of event.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2012

    Freaking good

    Interesting

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 255 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 13