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Freakonomics : a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
Published by Allen Lane in 2005

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much heralded scholar who studies the stuff and riddles of everyday life - from cheating and crime to sports and child rearing - and whose conclusions regularly turn the conventional wisdom on its head. He usually begins with a mountain of data and a simple, unasked question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: freakonomics.

‘Non-stop fun’
Evening Standard

‘Far more intelligent, modest and orthodox than it pretends, the book is a delight; it educates, surprises and amuses. It shows, in fact, what plain old-fashioned economics can do in the hands of a boundlessly curious and superbly skilled practitioner.’
The Economist

‘This book is a brilliant, provocative investigation into motives: what they are, how they can be changed, and how they affect what people do. It is also a deceptively easy read: its style is so light, its tone so sunny and humorous, that it is hard to realise the extent to which the arguments in Freakonomics attack some of our most basic assumptions about the way people, and society, work……. I can't recommend this book highly enough. Wherever you read it - on the beach, at home, on a train or in an office - you will be stimulated, provoked and entertained. Of how many books can that be said? ’
Alasdair Palmer, Sunday Telegraph

’Economics is not widely considered to be one of the sexier sciences. The annual Nobel Prize winner in that field never receives as much publicity as his or her compatriots in peace, literature, or physics. But if such slights are based on the notion that economics is dull, or that economists are concerned only with finance itself, Steven D. Levitt will change some minds’

Steven D. levitt is Professor in Economics at the University of Chicago. In 2004, he was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, which recognizes the most influential economist in America under the age of 40. More recently, he was named one of Time magazine’s “100 people who shape our world”.
Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author and journalist who lives in new York City.

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