The Hidden Side of Everything
Steven D. Levitt is an award winning economist. Stephen J. Dubner is an award winning writer. The two met in Chicago, and the result was Freakonomics, a book that claims to explore the hidden side of everything, using real-life examples such as studies and polls conducted by Levitt to explain how economics is everywhere, that economics is how the world really functions. Through everything from analyzing the inner thought processes of real-estate agents and crack dealers, to predicting the next popular baby names, Levitt and Dubner guide readers to think differently, ask questions, and to use “Freakonomics” in their daily lives. Freakonomics is divided into six chapters, each containing studies and stories that are analyzed economically in order to try to pinpoint the backbone of the modern day world. In a nutshell, the first chapter talks about cheating schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers, the second chapter compares the Ku Klux Klan and real-estate agents, the third chapter looks at the income of drug dealers, the fourth chapter inspects criminal behavior over the past decades, the fifth chapter asks the question: “Do parents really matter?”, and the final chapter examines what a baby’s name can reveal about the parents. Each chapter contains multiple studies related to the topic of the chapter, their results, and how they affect economics and sequentially, the world. By explaining the studies, asking questions of the reader, and thinking critically, Levitt and Dubner help the reader think like an economist. Levitt and Dubner’s use of tone is an important aspect in Freakonomics, as they use it to tie together their studies and apply them to real life. Their tone could first be described as informational and statistical. The majority of Levitt’s studies rely heavily on statistics to prove his point, including surveys and censuses, that call for more critical and pedantic language. As the authors examine the effects of legalized...
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