Customer Reviews for

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Revised and Expanded)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

A look at things through the eyes of an economist.

This book is a general interest book- and it certainly is interesting. The book, for anyone looking for an entertaining read, will like it. In a nutshell, the book takes a look at all sorts of things in society, from crack gangs to parenting, and then attempts to make s...
This book is a general interest book- and it certainly is interesting. The book, for anyone looking for an entertaining read, will like it. In a nutshell, the book takes a look at all sorts of things in society, from crack gangs to parenting, and then attempts to make sense of them by applying econonmic principles. According to the book, economics is really the study of incentives, and so using this kind of angle, the book comes up with answers to why things work the way they do.

A book that's hard to put down, I'm sure many readers will enjoy it. Also recommend The Sixty-Second Motivator for a more simplistic explanation of what motivates people and gives them incentives to do what they do.

posted by 246828 on October 27, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A poor man's Outliers

I listened to the audio book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell before I listened to Freakonomics. They are similar in style -- drawing conclusions about modern phenomena based on outlying characteristics. But Gladwell does a better job of telling compelling stories.

Fr...
I listened to the audio book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell before I listened to Freakonomics. They are similar in style -- drawing conclusions about modern phenomena based on outlying characteristics. But Gladwell does a better job of telling compelling stories.

Freakonomics was more negative - discussing cheating teachers, drug gangs, etc. Gladwell found interesting correlations in less cynical subjects.

posted by SSSMN on May 1, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A look at things through the eyes of an economist.

    This book is a general interest book- and it certainly is interesting. The book, for anyone looking for an entertaining read, will like it. In a nutshell, the book takes a look at all sorts of things in society, from crack gangs to parenting, and then attempts to make sense of them by applying econonmic principles. According to the book, economics is really the study of incentives, and so using this kind of angle, the book comes up with answers to why things work the way they do. <BR/><BR/>A book that's hard to put down, I'm sure many readers will enjoy it. Also recommend The Sixty-Second Motivator for a more simplistic explanation of what motivates people and gives them incentives to do what they do.

    20 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 28, 2012

    Freakonomics was a very good book. i thought this book was going

    Freakonomics was a very good book. i thought this book was going to be one of those boring economics with only numbers and weird vocab books , but it turned out to be an easy read. i like the way the booked wasn't much address to the number but how to solve and achieve preblems in life and the connection with econommics; also hepls you understand things such as &quot; why do drug dealers still live with their moms&quot;(Freakonomics). a question answered in the book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2010

    An incredibly enlightening book.

    Freakonomics provides the reader with the chance to take a new perspective on many different topics. It answers a seemingly complex question of why exactly drug dealers live with their mothers and shows how gangs are the reason why. This book is one that you would not want to put down and will want to read it through to the end. I would suggest that everybody reads this book and learn from it some very hard lessons. A chapter in the book describes how criminologists incorrectly found the answer to the 1990's crime rate drop and how that drop is linked to the legalization of abortion. Levitt and Dubner also show how everybody responds to an incentive, comparing the prices real estate agents get for their house versus their clients; also providing why a sumo wrestler is like a school teacher. This book shows the reader the hidden side of decision-making and how the economy works. It provides an insight to the world of economists and into the world of both psychology and sociology. From the book you can learn ways to bring patterns out of data (even though this wasn't an intention of the book) which is a very valuable skill to have. Another thing to learn is that common, conventional wisdom is mostly made up of lies and is created by "experts" in their own interest. It explains how those experts manipulate people by using their ignorance against them, and hopefully will teach the reader not to believe everything they hear. This book is one that every person needs to read at some point in their life, as it provides many different answers to life's questions and presents the method for answering those. Those methods can be used to answer your own personal questions and will help you out during your entire life.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    One of my favorite reads EVER

    I absolutely loved this book. As an economics major it is so great to see the field studied and written about in a practical use that the majority will find interesting, even without ever really understanding an economics class. The reasearch was very thorough and the book is so fun and unique. It is a must read! I read this when it first came out years ago and I have re-read it multiple times out of the pure enjoyment of it.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2008

    Fascinating

    Even though I did not think I would enjoy reading a book about economics I was pleasantly surprised by Freakonomics. It takes an unusual approach asking questions like ¿What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?¿ and ¿Where have all the criminals gone?¿ While some may not want to believe that the legalization of abortion is part of the reason crime rates have gone down the book shows you how the two are connected. Freakonomics is almost like a murder mystery that keeps you guessing to find out how and why two unrelated things are correlated. The book is packed with surprises and defines not how we see the world work, but how it actually does work. Even after finishing the book I went back to re-read some chapters because they were so intriguing .

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    The book presented a completely new way of viewing economics. Th

    The book presented a completely new way of viewing economics. The connections made were truly enlightening and at times humorous. Levitt's style of writing makes it so you don't want to put the book down until you've hit that back cover. Through reading this, I know have a new and appreciative perspective of Economics. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Loved it.

    Loved it.

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  • Posted April 6, 2011

    Both Intriguing and Knowledgeable!

    This unconventional economics book hooks a reader at first glance. It can relate to anyones life; since it portrays societies daily hardships. By doing so, its a simple, intriguing quick read, that one will never forget. Hands down, greatest economics book!

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  • Posted March 22, 2011

    Extraordinarily Insightful!

    The topics in this book, ranging from cheating sumo wrestlers to crafty Real Estate agents, are explained with the full spectrum of possibility in mind. This book does a fantastic job of widening one's perspective and making one much more critically inclined. This is the type of book that anyone could benefit from reading, regardless of age or occupation. I'd recommend it to anyone!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2010

    FUN

    This book is really fun to read! Lots of really cool stuff you would have never thought of! I highly recommend it!

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  • Posted October 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    READ THIS BOOK!

    Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner is a book in a class of its own. Economics, a typically boring subject based on finances and money, is looked at from a different angle. In Freakonomics, Levitt and Dubner's research shows that economic research can be put into real life situations to help show why some things are the way they are. Although that might sound nearly as boring as economics, both authors choose very interesting topics to relate the informational trends to. Why drug dealers still live with their moms and how the legalization of abortion dropped crime rates nearly 20 years in the future are some of the first topics you will see discussed. This book will leave you in awe and will truly keep you thinking outside the box!

    This book is definitely one I would recommend. I think this book was great because it really makes you think in ways you have never thought before. Regardless of your intelligence, Freakonomics brings out ideas that have never gone through your mind. I would recommend this book to almost anyone. Because of some tough vocabulary and deep topics though, I would not recommend attempting this read before at least later teen age. This book is great for anyone who likes to think outside the box and loves learning as they read. Although the book is non-fiction, Freakonomics will still have you craving to turn the next page. It is also very convenient because it is very easy to read in multiple settings. It is very hard to lose track of what is going on in this book. If you are looking for a good book, typically on the go, and love stretching your brain to new levels, then Freakonomics will not leave you unsatisfied!

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  • Posted September 24, 2010

    Fantastic and knowledgeable read.

    The book Freakonomics was a great read. It really grabbed my attention from the very begining. It walked me through the unknown, "underground," if you will, parts of economics. It was really educational and informative. I really liked the book because it provided me with interesting, useable knowledge. My favorite thing about this book was that it was so easy to read. However, I didn't like how repetitive it got in some parts. It felt redundant to continue explaining the history sometimes. The book went about explaining things very creatively; for example, one chapter compares teachers to sumo wrestlers. I recommend this book to everyone who is literate because you'll learn a lot of interesting things about the economy that very few know. Overall, i would rate this book a 5 out 5, it's definitely important and well worth your time to read the whole book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2010

    Give new meaning to the word Econmics

    Now many people ask what an outstanding book on Economics is, well clearly there are a lot of books out there, which deal with economics. However most of them, we'll probably make you full a sleep or return the book back to its owner or you might burn it; but that's not the case with this book, that I have just finished reading, which is called "Freakonomics" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Now this book explores you're not so typical areas of economics; for instance one of the chapter has to deal with how gangs are like a business and how they operate almost like McDonalds or Burger King. So if you're looking for a book about economics, that won't bore you to death then "Freakonomics" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner is the book you're looking; because it's not your typical economic book.

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  • Posted August 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    "If morality represents an ideal world, then economics represents the actual world"- Freakonomics

    At first glance I thought that this book was going to be super boring, and difficult to get into and boy was I wrong. Just like the book warns at the beginning, there is no unifying theme to this book but it will make you think. I enjoyed this book because the stories and theories were written in a way that interested me, and they were easy to read. I recommend this book to anyone looking for a different kind of read, and a book to make you think. This book made me think, without overwhelming me with information. That being said, I think you also have to realize that the stories and "theories" written in this book are just that, theories. Some of the things written seem offensive at first, but the more they tell you about them and the more research you see the more you realize that it isn't meant to be offensive. Great book, and I am happy to see that I am interested in something other than Nicholas Sparks books, although love stories are still my favorite.

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  • Posted August 9, 2010

    Loved It!

    This book touches on very controversial topics, but presents it in a scientific point of view. You really can't take it any other way or else you'll be offended. I loved that he cites his sources in the back; so you can check all his statements. I think a lot of people take offense to the abortion topic-but I think he presents it in a very scientific light, I didn't feel offended by it, and I have very strong opinions on the topic.
    I love the variety of topics he chose to write about, it keeps your attention. There isn't a lot of scientific mumbo-jumbo; he explains it in a way that anyone can understand. He also talks a lot about how they came to their conclusions. It really made me think a lot about the benefits/detractors of incentives. That's what I took away from it. I think it's great for people who like to discuss policy issues and things like that. It is not good for people who are easily offended in either a conservative or liberal direction.
    He really doesn't take a stance either way, he just follows the math and tells you how he got there.

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  • Posted May 9, 2010

    Freakonimics is Freakonomics is both a controversial and inciteful

    Freakonomics is both a controversial and inciteful book that will open you eyes about the truth behind people's incentives. In early in the book ,Levitt comes up with the controversial thesis that abortion curbs crime. unwanted children are more likely to grow up to become criminals; legalized abortion leads to less unwantedness .
    Levitt goes on to explore the similarities that people of certain professions share. In order to improve their income some teachers will do whatever it takes to make sure their students pass their state tests by any means necessary.He also debunks certain myths such as drug dealers make more than a doctor or a lawyer when in fact they make just below minimum wage. The reason as to why they decide to do it is not only due to their environment, but due to the lack of encouragement. This book opened my eyes to so amny things. Also he investigates how a name can determine how successful you will become. If you are in a lower class with an ethnic sounding name like Roshanda then you might not be considered for a job over someone named Kate or Madison.

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  • Posted January 10, 2010

    Freakonomics

    Freakonomics is an insightful book that takes every day topics, which are often overlooked, and examines them from an economic standpoint. Freakonomics challenges the reader to question the world around them and search for answers instead of finding them in the daily newspaper. Mixing statistics with common sense, Freakonomics devises equations to explain some open ended questions which seemed unexplainable. Bizarre comparisons used in this book really make connections in our minds which we can apply to our own lives. For example, most drug dealers make below minimum wage. Why would someone resort to dealing drugs while they could make almost double the money without the risks? This question seems as though it lacks a logical answer, but after further reading an answer arises that makes all the sense in the world. You may find that you are comparing yourself to a drug dealer more than you would have ever imagined. This book opens up our minds to the little things in life we might never think about, such as the power a name could have on our perception. This book is also straight forward and clearly defines an answer to a question that not many people have dared to ask before. By examining the root of the question, it helps give answers that are not only black and white but also allows the reader to apply their own knowledge and take what they will from it. This book is refreshing and takes a look upon human nature. It sets off light bulbs in our heads, and causes us to explore more questions of our own. Freakonomics is a great read for the curious mind.

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  • Posted January 3, 2010

    Woah! That is Freakonomics!

    Freakonomics was a fantastic book. If you are interested in uncovering unlawful doings, and cheaters this is the book for you. This book uncovers the hidden side of things, like how school teacher and sumo-wrestlers are alike. Or how the KKK are like real-estate agents.
    It makes you reconcider the world you live in. At least for a little while. READ IT!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    saaaay whaaaaaaat?

    this had me laffin my .... well u know the rest. it was so funny/comical. some of the stories here are somethin else. sometimes i had to read parts of it to other people who also found them to be comical. i didnt expect this from this book. so if u wanna good laff heres where to start.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 17, 2009

    FREAKONOMICSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

    This book was brilliant. Speaks about how to use Freakonomics in your daily life and it could help your life in some aspects if you apply them correctly. And a bunch of random things that i enjoyed.

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