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Publisher's Summary

When Freakonomics was initially published, the authors started a blog - and they've kept it up. The writing is more casual, more personal, even more outlandish than in their books. Now, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the landmark Freakonomics, comes this curated collection from the most readable economics blog in the world.

Why don't flight attendants get tipped? If you were a terrorist, how would you attack? And why does KFC always run out of fried chicken?

Over the past decade, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have published more than 8,000 blog posts on Freakonomics.com. Now the very best of this writing has been carefully curated into one volume, the perfect solution for the millions of listeners who love all things Freakonomics.

Discover why taller people tend to make more money; why it's so hard to predict the Kentucky Derby winner; and why it might be time for a sex tax (if not a fat tax). You'll also learn a great deal about Levitt and Dubner's own quirks and passions. Surprising and erudite, eloquent and witty, When to Rob a Bank demonstrates the brilliance that has made their books an international sensation.

©2015 Steven D. Levitt and Dubner Productions, LLC (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Spencer
  • Oklahoma City, OK, United States
  • 05-12-15

this book is free on the blog and podcast.

interesting book, but it's just articles from the blog and podcast. save your money and subscribe to the podcast.

34 of 37 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

basically a list of their best blog posts

this audiobook is a bunch of blog posts. something you could get for free by going to their website. it's nice, however, to have them all in one place and with recent updates.
there are some interesting posts. unfortunately many of them are half baked ideas with a ton of holes that the authors dont bother in covering.
there's also a personal story about one of the author's sister, that while provides an emotive touch, it has almost no relation to the rest of the audiobook or the theme of the freakonomics franchise.

the post I disliked the most was the one about one of the authors getting a rancid chicken dish at a restaurant and despite his table getting free drinks he shamlessly attempts to coerce the manager to give him a discount on the whole check on top of the free drinks. he ends this vindictive post by naming the restaurant in question. thats not a respectable person does in my opinion.

overall this is a somewhat entertaining audiobook with a catchy title. unfortunately these two authors are running out of material and dont usually explore in depth the criticisms of their arguments.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Worth your time.

Short stories and anecdotes about what motivates people and how we respond to incentives. Enjoyable content. Well read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Short little tidbits

This was more like just a collection of half-finished thoughts. It seemed more like a list of potential topics rather than being fully thought out and researched stories like previous books. It was just okay, I felt like it was a tease, didn't get down into the nitty gritty. A lot of the anecdotes were presented like "isn't it funny that this happens? Hm. And this happens too. And sometimes this happens. Hmm." But didn't actually explain why or delve into the topics more deeply.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • glennn
  • abilene, TX, United States
  • 05-11-15

So anticipated this book; so disappointed.

What would have made When to Rob a Bank better?

I only got to chapter 5 before I returned it.

a. The biggest criticism of economics in general is that it ignores reality and assumes that people are logical rational beings. So when the authors suggested that the British Health Service just give $1,000 to each citizen on January 1 to use for the year's medical expenses...??!?!?. In a rational world this would work great. In real life there would be a lot of televisions bought on January 2 and a lot of politicians unwilling to let kids go without health care in November (and shelling out more money).

b. There was a long passage in which they handed the mic to an airline pilot who went on a scree about how pilots are not paid enough and the current system is far less safe than the old 3-man crew of the 20th century. No idea how this fits the book, but the current air traffic system flies several times more people with fewer accidents than the old one did, so perhaps the system is not really that bad. (NOTE: an entire chapter was also devoted to worrying about the wrong things in life---like maybe plane crashes??)

You get the idea. I am sad that this one didn't live up to the quality of their books.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Love Freakonomics and Super Freakonomics. This was a real let-down.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Please have Dubner read future books

The new narrators in this book are terrible. Their other books rock but this one is a stinker.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • colleen
  • ANCHORAGE, AK, United States
  • 06-07-15

Nice follow-up book

If you liked Freakonomics then you should enjoy this one. Interesting from start to finish.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Poor reader

I have loved everything I have read from Levit and Dubner. But Levit is such a poor reader that I had to continuously rewind to understand what he was saying. He mumbles and fades away at the end almost every sentence. I was very disappointed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty good but not the original

I laughed, pondered and spent hours thinking about many problems from their first book. This time around I was relieved when the book was finished.

The material here isn't as much of a shock as their first so I am not responding like I did back then. This book seemed to drag on and I believe it could have been shorter, which would make it funnier.

I kept thinking Levitt has a gambling problem. Hmmm.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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A huge disappointment

Big fan of Freakonomics, but this one couldn't keep my interest for more than a few minutes. Disjointed, truncated, pointless.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful