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Freakonomics

315 pages, 2009

business & management

business & management

1082 books
economics & politics

economics & politics

987 books
science & nature

science & nature

1064 books
Takeaways
Description

Economists may be known for their number crunching, but Steven D. Levitt is an economist who delves into the whys and hows of everyday life. He studies subjects from crack gangs to real estate agents and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head. His collaboration with journalist Stephen J. Dubner produced Freakonomics, a compendium of surprising insights about human behavior. 

Levitt's studies reveal that incentives can determine who becomes a drug dealer, why sumo wrestlers are fat, and whether schoolteachers cheat. Dubner's lucid storytelling makes these and other deceptively innocent topics engaging and accessible, reshaping the way we look at modern life.

Everything Has a Hidden Side

In Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt encourages us to look beyond the obvious and explore the hidden side of everything. He shows us that by digging a little deeper, we can find surprising truths about the world around us.

Conventional Wisdom Can Be Misleading

Levitt challenges the conventional wisdom that we often accept without question. He shows us that what we think we know can be misleading, and encourages us to question everything. So, next time you hear a 'fact', take a moment to research it yourself.

Incentives Drive Behavior

One of the key ideas in Freakonomics is that people respond to incentives. Whether it's a child being rewarded for good behavior or a company offering bonuses for high performance, incentives can significantly influence our actions. Understanding this can help us make better decisions in our own lives.

Correlation Does Not Mean Causation

Levitt makes it clear that just because two things happen together, it doesn't mean one caused the other. He encourages us to look into the data and find the real cause behind events. This is a valuable lesson, not just for understanding the world, but also for making decisions in our own lives.

Data Can Tell Unexpected Stories

In Freakonomics, he uses data in innovative ways to tell fascinating stories about our society. From revealing the economics of drug dealing to exploring the impact of a child's name on their future success, Levitt shows us that data can provide unexpected insights if we're willing to look at it from different angles.

Quotes 5

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Dubner. It's a book that will flip your understanding of the world upside down.

Malcolm GladwellMalcolm Gladwell - Journalist, Author

Freakonomics is a fascinating exploration of riddles of everyday life and the way economics can explain them. It's a must-read!

Tim HarfordTim Harford - Economist, Journalist

Freakonomics is a book that shows you the world in a radically different way. It's a book that will make you see things you never saw before.

Jordan EllenbergJordan Ellenberg - Mathematician, Author

Freakonomics is a book that will challenge your preconceptions, transform your perspective and make you think in ways you never thought you would.

Steven PinkerSteven Pinker - Psychologist, Author

Freakonomics is a book that will change the way you think about the world. It's a book that will make you question everything you thought you knew.

Daniel KahnemanDaniel Kahneman - Psychologist, Economist
Malcolm GladwellTim HarfordJordan EllenbergSteven PinkerDaniel Kahneman

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