Sunday, December 23, 2012

Freakonomics by Steven D.Levitt

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner is an easy, interesting book, even for people who do not usually like nonfiction or economics. Levitt addresses a number of questions in Freakonomics and uses straight-forward analysis to turn conventional wisdom on its head. Freakonomics will give you plenty to talk about.

Freakonomics started as a New York Times Magazine article in 2003. Stephen J. Dubner, a journalist for The New York Times, was assigned to write a profile of economist Steven D. Levitt. Levitt and Dubner hit it off, and thousands of New York Times readers also felt a connection. Readers responded to the content of the article, which talked about the unique questions Levitt was finding answers to by applying economic analysis to problems. 
Sound dull? That's because you have not read the articles or Freakonomics yet. I was skeptical that Freakonomics would hold my attention, but once I started reading it, I had trouble putting it down. The writing was fresh and the content engaging. I found myself interested in what school teachers and sumo wrestlers have in common and amazed at how much relevance the answer had to my life.

Levitt and Dubner maintain that "if morality is how we would like the world to work, then economics represents how it actually does work." They also show that conventional wisdom is often a convenient way to think about a problem more than a correct way to think about it. Freakonomics asks some good questions, and it inspires readers to do the same. The appeal of Freakonomics lies not in the answers it gives, but in the revelation that answers exist and can be discovered if only we know the right questions to ask.

Price: RM25

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