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Freakonomics ( P.S.) (Original) (Paperback) by Steven D. Levitt
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Economist Steven Levitt is a popularizer in the best sense of that term, and his reality-based view of economics encompasses both how it touches our daily lives (though we may not always see it) and how it can help bring clarity to that messy world we live in. In FREAKONOMICS, written with journalist Stephen J. Dubner, Levitt casts his professorial eye on a range of topics and behaviors, phrasing questions in a way that will open up the topic. The chapter "What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers have In Common?" explores the issue of cheating as an incentive. He examines the economics of crime in a chapter entitled "Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?" Perhaps he is most controversial when, in another chapter, he connects a drop in the crime rate with a rise in abortions. Along the way, Levitt probes and challenges and delights with facts and figures as he takes us down some less-traveled pathways. He remains, however, true to his discipline, and says his approach "employs the best analytical tools that economics can offer." Reading FREAKONOMICS is like being in the classroom of one of those teachers who really make the subject come alive. You won't get a master's degree from this book but you will have a learning experience. A New York Times Notable Book of the Year for 2005.