A review of freakonomics a book by steven levitt

Levitt and Stephen J. Freakonomics, which weighs in at just over pages plus a hefty section of bonus material for those interested in learning moretakes as its principal argument the idea that economics exist as a tool to study society.

A review of freakonomics a book by steven levitt

Poised somewhere between hip journalism and mass observation, Gladwell Studies mixes business savvy with pop sociology and has now replaced cute monographs on north Atlantic seafood and the cocoa bean as formulaic routes to riches for author and publisher alike.

Described as the Indiana Jones of his subject, when the Institute of Gladwell studies opens its economics department, Steven D Levitt, a young University of Chicago teacher, will surely be its chair. Economics is, above all, a science of measurement.

A very great deal of the woes affecting business and political life can be attributed to the repulsive Stakhanovite credo of the McKinsey management consultancy, which says: The most important things in business and political life are morality and belief.

The most important things in social and cultural life are generosity, creativity and bravery.

A review of freakonomics a book by steven levitt

None of these things can be measured. None can be quantified. Yet the consultants, economists and their pilot fish, the shoals of grey, wet accountants, keep tossing on about the primacy of measurement over emotion. I rest my case. Happily, Levitt gets more interesting. Freakonomics is about unconventional wisdom, using the raw data of economics in imaginative ways to ask clever and diverting questions.

Levitt even redefines his definition. If, as he says, economics is essentially about incentives and how people realise them, then economics is a prospecting tool, not a laboratory microscope.

Levitt has a genius for wacky inquiry. Never mind that common sense could, in many cases, provide the same answers. For instance, our number-crunching rogue proves that abortion legislation which allowed dispossessed single mothers legal terminations has led to falling crime rates in certain urban ghettoes.

Levitt specialises in anecdote and contrariness. If you are not in the mood, the Jack-and-Jill style can seem grating and patronising. But there are always good things to be found: The wise-guy answer is you never ever want to live in a city where it is easy to park.

With parking, difficulty and frustration are positive signs of local excitement and activity. The same train of thought says litter is good because it indicates prosperity. He got cross when news reports of accidents spoke of a lucky escape. His view was that the victim was extremely unlucky to have been put at risk in the first place.

It concerns the effects names might have on children with particular reference to the ghetto. It is an investigative treasure, especially the footnote on page which begins: There are now, Levitt tells us, kids called Lexus.

Two-and- a-half pages are devoted to correlating names with the years of formal education of the mother. Jake and Molly top the High End data.

Review: Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner The New Yorker's Malcolm Gladwell, is the dean of a new school of social studies whose pedagogic method is the 'international bestseller'.

Jake would get the interview and the job. Freakonomics is a brilliant, but annoying, book. I bet Levitt and the publishers now regret the bravura quote he gave the New York Times Magazine in an interview in But surely this awe-inspiring quest will, in the end, depend on belief and morality, not numerology.Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything is the debut non-fiction book by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J.

Dubner. It was published on April 12, , by William Morrow. This item: Freakonomics Rev Ed: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D.

Levitt Paperback $ In Stock. Ships from and sold by attheheels.coms: K. May 15,  · FREAKONOMICS A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. By Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. pp.

A review of freakonomics a book by steven levitt

William Morrow. $ A FEW years ago, a young economist named Steven D. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything is the debut non-fiction book by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner. It was published on April 12, , by William Morrow.

Thus the new field of study contained in this book: freakonomics. Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, 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. Book Review: Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything is a treat to read, I wonder why didn’t I pick it up before.

I’am sure am gonna read the sequel as well.

Review: Freakonomics by Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubner | Books | The Guardian