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Book Review: Freakonomics

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freakonomicsI really had fun reading Freakonomics as the author’s attempt to answer questions about the real world with a data driven approach.  Kind of like a Moneyball approach to non-baseball topics.  Freakonomics discusses how people name their children, sumo wrestling, the drop in crime rate, the profitability of crack dealers and real estate among other things.

The global takeaway from the book is incentives.  Whether it’s big carrots, big sticks or some combination, every action is taken by people based on how they are incentivized.  On an individual scale or larger society actions are dictated by these incentives and if inappropriate or undesired action is being taken it is invariably because the incentives are in the wrong place.  Freakonomics uses data to try and assess where the incentives really are and their effectiveness.

To read more, pick up a copy of Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (P.S.) for yourself at


Written by Greg M

September 2, 2009 at 1:16 pm

Posted in Books

Tagged with ,

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