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Home Book Review

Freakonomics

Steven Levitt

Published : Saturday, 11 April, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 1851
Reviewed by Rassiq Aziz Kabir

Freakonomics

Freakonomics

“Freakonomics”, a book authored by a renowned economist, journalist of New York Times and a graduate of University of Chicago, namely - Steven Levitt, has quite a quirky and enticing theme added with the title: "A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything". Throughout the book the authors do justice to this illustration as they went quite unorthodox about the whole discipline despite one of the authors being from arguably the best school to study Economics.
The book mainly deals with a lot of interesting questions which are outside the traditional domain of the discipline, however, it points out that the underlying reason behind almost every economic decision undertaken is incentive. The very first chapter delineates that when incentivized, drug dealers and sumo wrestlers might bend their moral codes and cheat. The following chapters deal with information control, the intricacies of drug dealing from a socio economic point of view and after that a few controversial statements are articulated by the authors like how legalized abortion decreases the crime rate, how good parenting doesn't have any substantial impact on children's education and how racial and socio-economic backgrounds play a huge role in naming children. There is also a gripping analysis in the book about the Ku Klax Klan within the second chapter which depicts how information gap created a huge impact in dismantling the white supremacist organization later on. Despite coming up with these opinions, the book provides ample statistical evidence and a very thorough analysis in favour of their statements.
 There are two more chapters at the very end of the book on one of which Steven Levitt describes his quite non-traditional journey in the academia and how he and Dubner planned to come up with this book. The very last chapter is composed of the compilation of a few questions asked to the authors and the answers to those questions are quite humorously dealt by them. Throughout the book, the authors have taken a very narrative approach which makes it a hard to put down book and the questions that have been dealt with by the authors are quite baffling from when seen with an academic viewpoint.
The book also deploys a great sense of humour, the first of this kind in an economics book which makes a seemingly rigorous and boring discipline like economics look quite interesting. The book as it goes is a great tool in popularizing and publicizing the discipline. This book is a must read not only for economics majors but also for people who have an interest in exploring how a lot of things that we consider to be conventional wisdom has a different way of working in real life.



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