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Report about Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner - Book Report/Review Example

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[course] Analyzing Freakonomics Written in 2005, Freakonomics has been widely used in various economics classes to introduce difficult-to-explain economic concepts. It served as a fun and entertaining training material for students to think and reason like economists…
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Book report about Freakonomics, by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
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Download file to see previous pages By finding a story from a pile of data, Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner was able to provide a deeper insight on the effects of cheating, corruption and crime to economics. What set Freakonomics apart from other books? For one, Levitt and Dubner creates connections in seemingly disconnected topics. What is common between sumo wrestlers and teachers? Why do drug dealers live with their mothers? What caused crime rates to drop in recent years? Freakonomics prompted ordinary people to think about hidden connections and to finally, begin to question why the world works as it does. Despite, or perhaps, because of its success, Freakonomics has been a subject of much criticism. In a thread in the Student Room, one commenter said, “steer clear of it [Freakonomics] if you are after a read that is mentally stimulating and will enhance your knowledge of economics. It is purely for entertainment and I personally found it a waste of time” (Summa Laude). But this is just one of them. There are others questioning whether Freakonomics is economics at all. To better understand this criticism, one must first understand how economics is defined in the book. Levitt and Dubner defines economics as a “science…explaining how people get what they want” (Levitt and Dubner 6). ...
is a direct answer to a New York Times article which says: The fact that the discipline of economics hasn’t helped us improve our predictive abilities suggests it is still far from being a science, and may never be. Still, the misperceptions persist. A student who graduates with a degree in economics leaves college with a bachelor of science, but possesses nothing [as] firm as the student of the real world processes of chemistry or even agriculture. (Rosenberg and Curtain) Through Freakonomics however, one can get a sense of how economics can be used in understanding modern life through the use of statistical tools (Dubner and Levitt)and the discovery of the hidden story behind the numbers. Of course, this is not to say that Freakonomics is faultless. I, for one, believe that any student of economics must Freakonomics with caution as its value is not so much on the economic analysis, but rather on how analysis derived by economists can sometimes lack logic. For example, many economists have criticized Freakonomics as too simplistic in that it does not consider other factors that could lead to cheating in exams, or the drop in crime rates, but the truth is that, Levitt and Dubner also put a dent to the well accepted ceteris paribus, the core of all economic analysis. In short, whatever criticisms economists may say about Freakonomics, one may find that same criticism to the “all-scientific” economic analysis, complete with charts and illustrations. Perhaps the goal of Freakonomics is not geared towards the creation of new knowledge, but rather, the awakening of modern people to the reality that economics is not at all impregnable. In fact, at the beginning of the book, Levitt said, “I don’t know very much about the field of economics” (Levitt and Dubner ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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