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Longueur : 340 pages Word Wise: Activé Composition améliorée: Activé
Langue : Anglais

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“If Indiana Jones were an economist, he’d be Steven Levitt… Criticizing Freakonomics would be like criticizing a hot fudge sundae.” (Wall Street Journal)

“Provocative… eye-popping.” (New York Times Book Review: Inside the List)

“The guy is interesting!” (Washington Post Book World)

“The funkiest study of statistical mechanics ever by a world-renowned economist... Eye-opening and sometimes eye-popping” (Entertainment Weekly)

“Steven Levitt has the most interesting mind in America... Prepare to be dazzled.” (Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point)

“Principles of economics are used to examine daily life in this fun read.” (People: Great Reads)

“Levitt dissects complex real-world phenomena, e.g. baby-naming patterns and Sumo wrestling, with an economist’s laser.” (San Diego Union-Tribune)

“Levitt is a number cruncher extraordinaire.” (Philadelphia Daily News)

“Levitt is one of the most notorious economists of our age.” (Financial Times)

“Hard to resist.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

“Freakonomics is politically incorrect in the best, most essential way.... This is bracing fun of the highest order.” (Kurt Andersen, host of public radio's Studio 360 and author of Turn of the Century)

“Freakonomics was the ‘It’ book of 2005.” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)

“An eye-opening, and most interesting, approach to the world.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“An unconventional economist defies conventional wisdom.” (Associated Press)

“A showcase for Levitt’s intriguing explorations into a number of disparate topics…. There’s plenty of fun to be had.” (

“One of the decade’s most intelligent and provocative books.” (The Daily Standard)

“Freakonomics challenges conventional wisdom and makes for fun reading.” (Book Sense Picks and Notables)

“The trivia alone is worth the cover price.” (New York Times Book Review)

“An easy, funny read. Many unsolvable problems the Americans have could be solved with simple means.” (Business World)

“Economics is not widely considered to be one of the sexier sciences.... Steven D. Levitt will change some minds.” (

Présentation de l'éditeur

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an econo-mist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much-heralded scholar who studies the riddles of everyday life—from cheating and crime to sports and child-rearing—and whose conclusions turn conventional wisdom on its head.

Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They usually begin with a mountain of data and a simple question. Some of these questions concern life-and-death issues; others have an admittedly freakish quality. Thus the new field of study contained in this book: freakonomics.

Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. In Freakonomics, they explore the hidden side of . . . well, everything. The inner workings of a crack gang. The truth about real-estate agents. The myths of campaign finance. The telltale marks of a cheating schoolteacher. The secrets of the Klu Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a great deal of complexity and downright deceit, is not impenetrable, is not unknowable, and—if the right questions are asked—is even more intriguing than we think. All it takes is a new way of looking.

Freakonomics establishes this unconventional premise: If morality represents how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work. It is true that readers of this book will be armed with enough riddles and stories to last a thousand cocktail parties. But Freakonomics can provide more than that. It will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

Bonus material added to the revised and expanded 2006 edition

  • The original New York Times Magazine article about Steven D. Levitt by Stephen J. Dubner, which led to the creation of this book.
  • Seven “Freakonomics” columns written for the New York Times Magazine, published between August 2005 and April 2006.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1452 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 340 pages
  • Editeur : William Morrow; Édition : Revised & Expand, Roughcut (17 février 2010)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000MAH66Y
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x939b81c8) étoiles sur 5 819 commentaires
33 internautes sur 36 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x938e0018) étoiles sur 5 Funny, provocative and very readable 18 avril 2007
Par Dennis Littrell - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This is an excellent, very readable book by a couple of guys who like to go against the grain.

Steven D. Levitt is the economist who teaches at the prestigious University of Chicago school of economics, and Stephen J. Dubner is the talented wordsmith. They come off a little on the self-satisfied side here, but who can blame them? They have a surprise best seller in a new edition.

What really powered this book to national attention was their argument that the sharp nation-wide drop in crime starting in about 1990 was not due so much to having more cops on the beat, or smarter, better policing, or to having so many criminals in prison--as most of us thought--but instead the reason the crime rate dropped is that Roe v. Wade became the law of the land in 1973!

Arguments about this unintended (to say the least) consequence of making abortion legal raged as soon as this book hit the stores (or maybe before) and are raging still. Personally, put me down among those who find the argument persuasive. But I don't want to rehash all that now. Instead let me point to some other topics in the book.

Most interesting is the chapter entitled "Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?" The authors tell the story of Sudhir Venkatesh who was working on a PhD in sociology at the University of Chicago. He was sent to do some sociology in Chicago's poorest black neighborhoods and ended up spending several years learning about the crack business at the street level complete with--oh, how the economists loved this!--spiral notebooks with four years worth of the crack gang's financial transactions. Venkatesh discovered that the gang worked a lot like "most American businesses, actually, though perhaps none more so than McDonald's." (p. 89) The drug dealers still lived at home with their moms because most of them were making less than minimum wage. Why do a dangerous job for such low pay? Answer: like basketball dreams, the upside potential and the glamour of it! The middle level manager, "J.T.," a university educated dude, was making tax-free about $100,000 a year while the gang board of directors each earned about half a mil per. After J.T. reached his level of incompetence as a member of the board of directors, the gang got busted and he went to jail.

Also fascinating is the information on the socioeconomic and racial status of parents as revealed by their choices in first names for their children. Whitest girls names: Molly, Amy, Claire, Emily... Blackest girls names, Imani, Ebony, Shanice, Aaliyah, Precious... Most common names given to girls of high-education parents: Katherine, Emma, Alexandra, Julia... Boys: Benjamin, Samuel, Alexander, John, William... Low education boys names: Cody, Travis, Brandon, Justin...

But it'll change, as Messrs. Levitt and Dubner explain. Names go in and out of fashion and sometimes come back in. "Susan" was the most popular girls name in 1960. It didn't make the top ten in 2000. "Emily" led the list followed by Hannah, Madison, Sarah...

Interesting is the tale of Robert Lane who named one of his kids "Winner" and another "Loser." Winner Lane went on to become one of life's losers, and Loser Lane (called "Lou" by his friends) graduated from Lafayette College, Pa. and went on to become a police sergeant in New York City. So much for the effect of names--or maybe it's like "a boy named Sue": you overcome your name or you fail to live up to it.

There's a chapter on parenting that also raised some eyebrows, but again I think our clever authors got it right. Basically parenting skills are overrated. What really counts is who your parents are, not so much whether they read a lot to you or bought you Einstein tapes or even if they sent you to Head Start. In the "nature vs. nurture" debate, clearly nature is in the ascendancy.

This, the revised and expanded edition contains a New York Times Magazine article about Levitt written by Dubner before this collaboration, seven columns from the New York Time Magazine, and some entries from the Freakonomics blog on the Web.

Bottom line: an irresistible read and a book biz phenomenon.
27 internautes sur 29 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x938e006c) étoiles sur 5 Wide Audience Book 15 février 2008
Par Maxim Masiutin - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This book, described as melding pop culture with economics, is a collection of economic articles written by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt, translated into prose meant for a wide audience by New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubner. Levitt had already gained a reputation in academia for applying economic theory to diverse subjects not usually covered by "traditional" economists.

"Freakonomics" peaked at number two among nonfiction on the New York Times bestseller list and was named the 2006 Book Sense Book of the Year in the Adult Nonfiction category.

It became so popular that the other authors began to scrutinize "Freakonomics" in their new books.
Currently, more than 18 books cite Freakonomics. For example, "Freedomnomics", a book is a book by John R. Lott, Jr. (author of More Guns, Less Crime and The Bias Against Guns) takes an economic look at the effects of the free market, and presents some arguments against those found in "Freakonomics". Another example is presented by Ben Fine, author of "Marx's Capital" (2003), "The New Development Economics" (2005), "Social Capital Versus Social Theory" (2007), will release a new book in December 2008, entitled "From Political Economy to Freakonomics".

In "Freakonomics", the authors demonstrate the power of data mining. Many of their results emerge from Levitt's analysis of various databases, and his creativity in asking the right questions. But the book is somewhat oversimplified, because it is targeted to wide audience.

If you like the creativity in asking the right questions, the power to analyze the data, to think differently to popular beliefs, and if you don't like wide audience books, I would recommend "The Only Three Questions That Count" by Kenneth L. Fisher. Both books are essentially about the same, but "The Only Three Questions That Count" is deeper than "Freakonomics".
16 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x938e04a4) étoiles sur 5 A Different Way of Looking at Things 16 novembre 2006
Par John Matlock - Publié sur
Format: CD
This is not a book on economics but on the application of economic mathematical techniques to problems outside the normal field of economic analysis. The techniques are used to attempt to identify some cause and effect relationships in our culture.

The big one that has generated is his analysis that relates the passage of Roe v. Wade (the abortion case) to the big reduction in crime that's been seen in recent years. His analysis offends a lot of people, but for the most part the author just puts out the data as he sees it.

Other points that directly affect what our culture is doing involve the public education system:

One analysis of his says if you install standardized tests in school with a program to reward the teachers who do best, then you encourage teachers to cheat -- in some cases by directly altering the test sheets, as was the cause of a scandal in Chicago.

Another looks at what things (such as reading to them) help a kid in school. As with his other studies, the results are surprising.

This is a popular book, written somewhat to amuse and illustrate. It does not have the heavy mathematical analysis that you would expect in an economics book.
60 internautes sur 73 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x938e0870) étoiles sur 5 2 Big Problems, 1 Big Merit 14 janvier 2007
Par Steven Scott - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I rather liked Freakonomics (I bought it because of the cover), except for two key reasons.

One, each chapter has relentless, almost odious self-aggrandizing and promotion.

Two, this book isn't about economics at all!

I'm surprised none of the newspaper articles I've read about this book have stipulated this. Before every chapter, there's a little excerpt hailing Levitt: "Levitt turns the world of economics upside down!" or "so talented" or "the most brilliant young economist in America" or "acknowledged as a master" get the idea

Second, I was wondering where the economics comes in. Freakonomics is all about statistical analysis and thinking. Levitt looks at numbers and comes up with conclusions that are different from most other people's - conclusions that are presented as correct (while others are woefully wrong and misled) and ingenious...

The thing is - the various conclusions Levitt `conjure' aren't really that surprising. They seem pretty logical - although one might say it's due to the Holmes-Watson effect.

But I'm not bashing Freakonomics - it's a great, smooth, easy read that explores several very interesting (although not necessarily novel) cultural phenomena. But this book qualifies for only 3 stars, for the two reasons stated above.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x938e0954) étoiles sur 5 social science 5 juin 2007
Par hibernian - Publié sur
Format: Relié
This is a great work in social science. I am a political scientist, and I encourage my graduate students to read this book for my Research Methods course. The book nearly functions as a wonderful textbook on how do conduct studies in social science. For example, the review of Levitt's work on crime and abortion is both brilliant and methodically explained - beginning with a good, creative theory, followed a comparison of alternative explanations for the decline of the crime rate, a rational and clear-headed data-driven analysis, and a solid conclusion. I will say that they perhaps make too much of what amounts to finding one more statistically significant independent variable, but their ability to explain the social science method in a way that is clear and interesting to the larger public is, to say the least, enviable (at least for those of us who are academics). There are a few problems. First, one must notice that much of the "rogue" ideas they explore are really summaries of past research in other social sciences or minor additions in areas that are currently being researched by scores of social scientists . They owe a debt to other scholars that they often glance over. It is also worth noting that what they are engaged in is, and let's be clear on this, orthodox social science. Readers should be clear on this point; Dubner seems to reveal in pointing out that this is not traditional economics. He seems to be mesmerized by his talented coauthor to some extent because he is unfamiliar with what sociologists, political scientists and psychologists do day after day, study after study. It is true, few social scientists have Levitt's intelligence and ability to deftly perform interdisciplinary studies with such ease. However, consider Robert Putnam, for example. His question about why Americans are no longer joining bowling leagues does not strike one as the traditional study of politics or society that political scientists or sociologists typically perform. Yet, Putnam was recently the president of the American Political Science Assoication, and I certainly do not consider him to be a rogue political scientist (or, in the case of Bowling Alone, sociologist). Levitt has done excellent work on campaign finance, but most of it is well within the orthodoxy of what we as political scientists know about the effect of money on campaigns and elections. The public has a difficult time understanding exactly what social science is. In short, while Freakonomics is a wonderful book and does so much to expose the public to the best of social science, it would be even better if the authors would acknowledge the efforts of thousands of psychologists, criminologists, anthropologists, political scientists and sociologists on whose shoulders they stand.
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