Summary of Freakonomics

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Freakonomics book summary


9 Overall

6 Importance

9 Innovation

9 Style


Steven D. Levitt is a learned economist and academic. However, his professional interests, as well as the often-jarring questions he asks, are more those of a bookie, detective, filmmaker or treasure hunter. Indeed, Levitt professes little interest in economics per se. Instead, he likes to solve fascinating riddles and paradoxes. With the help of bestselling author Stephen J. Dubner, Levitt explores numerous offbeat, sometimes zany topics in this bestselling book, including why it doesn’t pay to attend a better high school and why many drug dealers live with their moms. getAbstract thinks you will find something to relish on every page of this eye-opening book and recommends it highly, with this update: as summarized below, the authors attributed the 1990s drop in the U.S. crime rate to the nation’s legalization of abortion in the 1970s, positing that unwanted children are likelier to become criminals. Writer Malcolm Gladwell later disproved this concept, contending that the contraceptive pill’s advent in the ’60s should have produced a similar result, but, one generation later, crime increased. Levitt has since updated his contention, stating, “During that period, more abortions implied less crime. Whether that is still true today is quite questionable.”

About the Authors

Steven D. Levitt is an economics professor at the University of Chicago. He is the recipient of the John Bates Clark Medal, given every two years to America’s best young economist. Stephen J. Dubner is the author of Turbulent Souls and Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper.


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    Pete Roberts 1 year ago
    Hey! I've actually done a summary/review on the incentives part. I'd be interested to hear what you think: Thanks!
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    Venkat N 6 years ago
    This book is one of the main reasons for the explosion in similar 'freakonomics' books in the last decade and the summary does justice to the main theme.However it would have been good if the summary contained a gist or a short conclusion on ALL the scenarios/situations discussed in the book, as it has missed a couple of them.

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