Dubner is a journalist from New York Times. Together they produced this maverick work. According to Levitt, Economics is a science with excellent tools for gaining answers but a serious shortage of interesting questions.
Overview[ edit ] The book is a collection of articles written by Levitt, an expert who had gained a reputation for applying economic theory to diverse subjects not usually covered by "traditional" economists. In Freakonomics, Levitt and Dubner argue that economics is, at root, the study of incentives.
The book's chapters cover: Discovering cheating as applied to teachers and sumo wrestlers, as well as a typical Washington DC area bagel business and its customers Chapter 2: Information control as applied to the Ku Klux Klan and real-estate agents Chapter 3: The economics of drug dealingincluding the surprisingly low earnings and abject working conditions of crack cocaine dealers Chapter 4: The negligible effects of good parenting on education Chapter 6: The socioeconomic patterns of naming children nominative determinism One example of the authors' use of economic theory involves demonstrating the existence of cheating among sumo wrestlers.
In a sumo tournament, all wrestlers in the top division compete in 15 matches and face demotion if they do not win at least eight of them.
The sumo community is very close-knit, and the wrestlers at the top levels tend to know each other well. The authors looked at the final match, and considered the case of a wrestler with seven wins, seven losses, and one fight to go, fighting against an wrestler.
Statistically, the wrestler should have a slightly below even chance, since the wrestler is slightly better. Levitt uses this statistic and other data gleaned from sumo wrestling matches, along with the effect that allegations of corruption have on match results, to conclude that those who already have 8 wins collude with those who are and let them win, since they have already secured their position for the following tournament.
Despite condemnation of the claims by the Japan Sumo Association following the book's publication inthe Grand Tournament in Tokyo was cancelled for the first time since because of allegations of match fixing. The authors posit that various incentives encourage teachers to cheat by assisting their students with multiple-choice high-stakes tests.
Such cheating in the Chicago school system is inferred from detailed analysis of students' answers to multiple choice questions. Levitt asks, "What would the pattern of answers look like if the teacher cheated? Reappraisals[ edit ] In Chapter 2 of Freakonomics, the authors wrote of their visit to folklorist Stetson Kennedy 's Florida home where the topic of Kennedy's investigations of the Ku Klux Klan were discussed.
In the "Revised and Expanded Edition" this embellishment was noted and corrected: Israeli economist Ariel Rubinstein criticized the book for making use of dubious statistics and complained that "economists like Levitt Legalized abortion and crime effect Revisiting a question first studied empirically in the s, Donohue and Levitt argue that the legalization of abortion can account for almost half of the reduction in crime witnessed in the s.
This paper has sparked much controversy, to which Levitt has said "The numbers we're talking about, in terms of crime, are absolutely trivial when you compare it to the broader debate on abortion. From a pro-life view of the world: If abortion is murder then we have a million murders a year through abortion.
And the few thousand homicides that will be prevented according to our analysis are just nothing—they are a pebble in the ocean relative to the tragedy that is abortion. So, my own view, when we [did] the study and it hasn't changed is that: It's really a study about crime, not abortion.
Inthe authors published a response,  in which they argued that Joyce's argument was flawed due to omitted-variable bias. In NovemberFederal Reserve Bank of Boston economist Christopher Foote and his research assistant Christopher Goetz published a working paper,  in which they argued that the results in Donohue and Levitt's abortion and crime paper were due to statistical errors made by the authors: When the corrections were made, Foote and Goetz argued that abortion actually increased violent crime instead of decreasing it and did not affect property crime.
They even concluded that the majority of women who had abortions in the s were middle class whites rather than low income minorities as Levitt stated; this was, they stated, because white middle class women had the financial means for an abortion.If you haven’t read the popular non-fiction book Freakonomics, I highly recommend leslutinsduphoenix.com, if it’s more your speed, you can visit the website associated with the book.
The authors of the book, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, even have their own blog!. Levitt and Dubner are running a series of articles in the New York Times Magazine that read much like the chapters in their book.
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Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner Find this Pin and more on Books To Read by Crystal Purser. See more. The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J.
Dubner, which led to the creation of this book. Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August and April Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D.
Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner Another book in my collection of human behavior research. This is more of a sociological reference though.
According to its authors, Steven D. Levitt and Steven J. Dubner, Freakonomics has no unifying theme. The book's motley collection of arguments, they confess, depends on an assumption: by asking the right questions, we can trim the briar from the hedge-maze we call the postmodern world.
Jun 30, · Think Like a Freak: The Authors of Freakonomics Offer to Retrain Your Brain is the third non-fiction book by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner.