Freakonomics

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Book Report: Freakonomics

For my fourth quarter book report I decided to read Freakonomics by Steven D. Levit and Stephan J. Dubner. To be honest, I was dreading reading this book. My first thought was that it was going to be boring and like all economic textbooks, but I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised! Not only is this book easy to read and understand, but it also completely changed my outlook on the subject of economics. I now have an appreciation for economics and understand that it plays an important role in all of our lives.

In the novel Freakonomics, Levit and Dubner try to take a unique approach to analyzing reasons behind why things occur in our society. Essentially, “What this book is about is stripping a layer or two from the surface of modern life and seeing what is happening underneath.” (10) A perfect example of this is how they discovered that the legalization of abortion was the cause of crime dropping to its lowest level in thirty-five years. While most expert economists simply attributed the drop to the wellness of the economy, the increase in gun control laws and the new policing strategies, Levit and Dubner searched for other possibilities where no one else thought to look. That is when they realized that approximately twenty years before the drastic drop in crime, abortion was legalized. Studies have shown that “… a child born into an adverse family environment is far more likely than other children to become a criminal.” (4) Thus, this theory was proven further by the fact that around the time when these children would have begun committing crimes, there was significantly less crime.

Something in the novel Freakonomics that I found to be even more interesting than abortion stopping crimes was Chapter 5: “What Makes a Perfect Parent?” In this section the authors try to distinguish myths about parenting from facts they discovered after doing studies. For example, apparently having many books having many books in your...
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