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Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything | [Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner]

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

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? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime?
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Audible Editor Reviews

Statistics shouldn't be this interesting. They should be dry, lifeless, and grey, and they should bring to mind pocket protectors and Econ 101 professors with too much ear hair. Statistics shouldn't be engaging or compelling, but somehow the authors of Freakonomics manage to make them amusing and fascinating.

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner make statistics apply to your life, and they make you see those things in a whole different light. Somehow, they make stats seem...cool. Narrator Dubner pulls off a little miracle, too. At first, he sounds a bit geeky, but it doesn't take long before you are hanging on to his every word, waiting for the next nugget of information, and thinking that this geeky-sounding guy is really pretty smart. And it doesn't take long before you realize that you've read an entire book on economic theory and statistics - and enjoyed every minute of it. Go figure.

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? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on 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 regularly turn the conventional wisdom on its head. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: 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 set out to explore the hidden side of...well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The secrets of the Ku 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. Steven Levitt, through devilishly clever and clear-eyed thinking, shows how to see through all the clutter.

©2005 Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner; (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • 2006 Book Sense Book of the Year, Adult Nonfiction
  • 2005 Publishers Weekly Listen Up Award, Nonfiction

"An eye-opening, and most interesting, approach to the world." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Prepare to be dazzled." (Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point)
"It might appear presumptuous of Steven Levitt to see himself as an all-purpose intellectual detective, fit to take on whatever puzzle of human behavior grabs his fancy. But on the evidence of Freakonomics, the presumption is earned." (The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (6385 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Paige 10-15-08
    Paige 10-15-08 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    27
    23
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    Overall
    "Fascinating"

    Not too heavy or terse, but full of well researched and developed information...just fascinating. A great listen for just about anyone; though a couple of topics can be touchy, the authors are careful to approach them purely from a scientific economics perspective with no social agenda.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Ashburnham, MA, USA 09-09-08
    Kathryn Ashburnham, MA, USA 09-09-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
    ratings
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    22
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    Overall
    "Fascinating"

    Lots of good things to think about. And to think I nearly flunked statistics! :-)

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dallas powassan, Ontario, Canada 07-09-08
    dallas powassan, Ontario, Canada 07-09-08 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    57
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    23
    5
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    2
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    Overall
    "some good facts but too drawn out"

    I thought this book would be better than it was, there was some great insights and startling correlations but I found it repetative and not in depth enough to really sink my teeth into.

    it was difficult listening to the lists, not really suited to audio book.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Rockford, IL, USA 02-10-08
    Martin Rockford, IL, USA 02-10-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    2
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    Overall
    "very good listening"


    Different ways to look at at lot of things. Makes you stop and think. Would recommend. The last segment about names was a little bit .......boring but otherwise a great tape.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jay M. 09-14-07
    Jay M. 09-14-07 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    33
    5
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    Overall
    "Good book, but maybe not the best format"

    This is a good book, however this type of book, with many figures and references may not lend itself well to the audio realm.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim Carrollton, TX, USA 05-29-07
    Kim Carrollton, TX, USA 05-29-07 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    2
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    Overall
    "Freakonomics"

    Interesting but not relevant.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Audrey Hustisford, WI, USA 05-09-07
    Audrey Hustisford, WI, USA 05-09-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    7
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    Overall
    "Lots of opinions"

    I thought this book was a poor excuse for the author to share his opinions on Real Estate Agents and abortion. I wasn't even able to finish the book because of boredom and frustration.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Draper Sacramento 05-31-06
    William Draper Sacramento 05-31-06 Member Since 2014

    sneaky12u

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    179
    2
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    Overall
    "Pass on this one"

    Aside from crediting abortion with crime reduction, there is not much fun or interesting. You will get more from Blink.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jen Hamilton, ON, Canada 02-15-06
    Jen Hamilton, ON, Canada 02-15-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
    ratings
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    Overall
    "Interesting, but not worth the read"

    This book had some interesting points and case studies, many of which have been already made in similar books, such as the tipping point. The narrator lacks the skill of narrators of other audiobooks which i have read. Perhaps investing in a professional rather than one of the authors reading it would have been better. The book is written with an academic audience in mind, despite its use of plain language. The authors make grand generalizations and state them as fact. They are too confident in their analyses. There is a lot of self-glorification in this novel, to the point where it becomes irritating.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Youngsville, LA, USA 01-08-06
    Steven Youngsville, LA, USA 01-08-06 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    27
    3
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    Overall
    "Thick but interesting"

    The book presented some compelling evidence across to support some interesting conclusion.
    As a statistician myself, I appreciate the work and the ability to find a data set. Of all the situations presented, I found fault with only one -- real estate agents.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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