Freakonomics

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Freakonomics is a book about how economics can discover some rather unexpected realities of human behavior, like that legalized abortion decreases crime, the structure of Sumo wrestling encourages cheating, and, despite working on commission, realtors have little incentive to work harder than average.

Review

Good

  • Over all, the book is interesting and well-written.
  • From an amateur's stand point, the arguments are quite compelling.
  • The stories about incentives, like how the No Child Left Behind laws encouraged teachers to cheat, and putting the KKK's secrets in Superman ruined the Klan are especially interesting.
  • It was interesting learning about the drug dealer's syndicate and how, much like a legal corporation, it ruins the lives of nearly everyone except those at the top.

Bad

  • Critics have argued that the book has little to do with economics and much more to do with sociology and criminology, which can never be distilled into such tidy equations because the variables are myriad. Because of this, many of the results are dubious at best.

Ugly

  • Nothing.

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