SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

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by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner
     
 

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Superfreakonomics—the smash hit follow-up to the remarkable New York Times bestselling phenomenon Freakonomics—is back in a new full-color, fully illustrated and expanded edition. The brainchild of rogue economist Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner that once again brilliantly challenges our view of the way the world really

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Overview

Superfreakonomics—the smash hit follow-up to the remarkable New York Times bestselling phenomenon Freakonomics—is back in a new full-color, fully illustrated and expanded edition. The brainchild of rogue economist Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner that once again brilliantly challenges our view of the way the world really works is presented with a new, visual, superfreaky dimension added, enhancing the already provocative thinking about street prostitutes, hurricanes, heart attacks, and other seemingly mundane matters that made Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics part of the national zeitgeist.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Economist Levitt and journalist Dubner capitalize on their megaselling Freakonomics with another effort to make the dismal science go gonzo. Freaky topics include the oldest profession (hookers charge less nowadays because the sexual revolution has produced so much free competition), money-hungry monkeys (yep, that involves prostitution, too) and the dunderheadedness of Al Gore. There’s not much substance to the authors’ project of applying economics to all of life. Their method is to notice some contrarian statistic (adult seat belts are as effective as child-safety seats in preventing car-crash fatalities in children older than two), turn it into “economics” by tacking on a perfunctory cost-benefit analysis (seat belts are cheaper and more convenient) and append a libertarian sermonette (governments “tend to prefer the costly-and-cumbersome route”). The point of these lessons is to bolster the economist’s view of people as rational actors, altruism as an illusion and government regulation as a folly of unintended consequences. The intellectual content is pretty thin, but it’s spiked with the crowd-pleasing provocations—“'A pimp’s services are considerably more valuable than a realtor’s’” —that spell bestseller. (Nov.)
Kirkus Reviews
A sequel to the megaselling Freakonomics (2005). It's not exactly economics for dummies-or, as Levitt (Economics/Univ. of Chicago) and business journalist Dubner (Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper, 2003, etc.) write, "Chicken Soup for the Freakonomics Soul"-but this follow-up is certainly more of the same, a relentlessly enthusiastic cheer for the application of the dismal science to everyday life. That is, everyday life as the world knows it, as when Levitt and Dubner explore some of the curious economic questions on the underside of terror bombings. Econometrics can be a soulless and sometimes divisive business, so the authors may incite some controversy with their report that in the UK, "a person with neither a first nor last Muslim name stood only a 1 in 500,000 chance of being a terrorist," whereas for a person with both first and last Muslim names the odds went to 1:2,000. (They add, however, that the odds scale way back if the person has a savings account and a life-insurance policy.) Less controversial, perhaps, is their look at the economics of prostitution, with some surprising findings-not least that the average street hooker in Chicago earns only $27 an hour and works only 13 hours a week, drawing about $350 a week. They're priced out of the market, the ever-provocative authors assert, by women willing to have sex for free. The authors also write that it's safer to travel by car than by most other means of transport, thanks in part to no less a personage than Robert S. McNamara, and by far less safe to walk drunk than to drive drunk. The authors' view of the climate crisis through an economic lens is similarly spirited, but certainly worth adding to the debate. Jaunty,entertaining and smart. Levitt and Dubner do a good service by making economics accessible, even compelling. Agent: Suzanne Gluck/William Morris Endeavor

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061941221
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/19/2010
Edition description:
Illustrated
Pages:
281
Sales rank:
646,969
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 10.10(h) x 0.80(d)

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