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