Steven Levitt and Conventional Wisdom

Topics: Freakonomics, Steven Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner Pages: 2 (656 words) Published: April 24, 2008
Freakonomics is best described by the title of its introductory chapter “The Hidden Side of Everything”. It puts a spin on conventional wisdom by looking at it through very different and unusual perspectives. This book was written by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner and was published by HarperCollins Publishers Inc.

A very unusual trait of this book is that, unlike most books, it honestly has no theme. In fact, it is often stated within the book that there is no theme. In the introductory chapter Stephen Levitt explained that when he and Stephen Dubner were asked by their colleagues what the book’s theme is they would just reply that they didn’t know and when the colleagues tried to connect a theme to the book they would just smile and say “you’re right, that’s the theme”. The authors’ main concern was to make people challenge conventional wisdom. They were trying to make readers question things they normally wouldn’t question or think about things they normally wouldn’t think about. Things such as are teachers like sumo wrestlers and are real- estate agents like the KKK. Even though those topics are very interesting, the two most interesting topics is do parents make that big a difference in their child’s future and what was really the cause of the crime drop in the 1990’s. Levitt and Dubner went into great detail to prove that there is a hidden side to what people believe. For example, the crime of the 1990’s brought about many different professionals giving many different causes of the sudden drop in crime. Some of the various explanations that professions came up with were: •Innovative policing strategies

Tougher gun controls
Strong economy
And an increased number of police.
However, only a couple of the explanations seemed to have and correlation to the crime drop at all. By questioning the conventional wisdom of the professionals and their explanations Levitt and Dubner proposed another explanation that, while very...
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