Posted on

Freakonomics

Freakonomics
by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?

What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?

How much do parents really matter?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the riddles of everyday life–from cheating and crime to parenting and sports–and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head. Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They set out to explore the inner workings of a crack gang, the truth about real estate agents, the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, and much more. Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, they 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.


SuperFreakonomics
by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Four years in the making, ‘SuperFreakonomics’ asks not only the tough questions, but the unexpected ones – What’s more dangerous, driving drunk or walking drunk? Why is chemotherapy prescribed so often if it’s so ineffective? Can a sex change boost your salary? How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa? Why are doctors so bad at washing their hands? How much good do car seats do? What’s the best way to catch a terrorist? Did TV cause a rise in crime? What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common? Are people hard-wired for altruism or selfishness? Can eating kangaroo save the planet? Which adds more value – a pimp or a Realtor? Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and storytelling, whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically. By examining how people respond to incentives, they show the world for what it really is – good, bad, ugly, and, in the final analysis, super freaky.

Think Like A Freak
by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner single-handedly showed the world that applying counter-intuitive approaches to everyday problems can bear surprising results.

Think Like a Freak will take readers further inside this special thought process, revealing a new way of approaching the decisions we make, the plans we create and the morals we choose. It answers the question on the lips of everyone who’s read the previous books: How can I apply these ideas to my life? How do I make smarter, harder and better decisions? How can I truly think like a freak?

With short, highly entertaining insights running the gamut from “The Upside of Quitting” to “How to Succeed with No Talent,” Think Like a Freak is poised to radically alter the way we think about all aspects of life on this planet.


Freakonomics
by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

Modern life can be baffling and chaotic. Is there any way of making sense of it? The answer, explains groundbreaking thinker Steven Levitt, lies in economics. Not ordinary economics, but freakonomics. It is at the heart of everything we see and do and the subjects that bedevil us daily: from parenting to crime, sport to politics, fat to cheating, fear to traffic jams. away the jargon and calculations of the experts’ to explore the riddles of everyday life and examine topics such as: how chips are more likely to kill you than murder or a terrorist attack; why sportsmen cheat and how fraud can be spotted; why violent crime can be linked not to gun laws, policing or poverty, but to abortion; why a road is more efficient when everyone travels at 20mph; how the name you give your child can give them an advantage in later life; and what really causes obesity epidemics. Ultimately, he shows us that economics is all about how people get what they want, and what makes them do it. contemporary living and reaching some astonishing conclusions, Freakonomics will make you see the familiar world through a completely original lens.

Freakonomics
by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

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? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime?

These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He is a much heralded scholar who studies the stuff and riddles of everyday life-; from cheating and crime to sports and child rearing-; and whose conclusions regularly turn the conventional wisdom on its head. He usually begins with a mountain of data and a simple, unasked 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 co-author Stephen J. 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 set out to 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 Ku Klux Klan.

What unites all these stories is a belief that the modern world, despite a surfeit of obfuscation, complication, 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. Steven Levitt, through devilishly clever and clear-eyed thinking, shows how to seethrough all the clutter.

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.

Gang Leader for a Day
by Sudhir Venkatesh

A New York Times Bestseller

Foreword by Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of Freakonomics

When first-year graduate student Sudhir Venkatesh walked into an abandoned building in one of Chicago’s most notorious housing projects, he hoped to find a few people willing to take a multiple-choice survey on urban poverty–and impress his professors with his boldness. He never imagined that as a result of this assignment he would befriend a gang leader named JT and spend the better part of a decade embedded inside the projects under JT’s protection. From a privileged position of unprecedented access, Venkatesh observed JT and the rest of his gang as they operated their crack-selling business, made peace with their neighbors, evaded the law, and rose up or fell within the ranks of the gang’s complex hierarchical structure. Examining the morally ambiguous, highly intricate, and often corrupt struggle to survive in an urban war zone, Gang Leader for a Day also tells the story of the complicated friendship that develops between Venkatesh and JT–two young and ambitious men a universe apart.

“Riveting.”–The New York Times

“Compelling… dramatic… Venkatesh gives readers a window into a way of life that few Americans understand.”–Newsweek

“An eye-opening account into an underserved city within the city.”–Chicago Tribune

“The achievement of Gang Leader for a Day is to give the dry statistics a raw, beating heart.”–The Boston Globe

“A rich portrait of the urban poor, drawn not from statistics but from viivd tales of their lives and his, and how they intertwined.”–The Economist

“A sensative, sympathetic, unpatronizing portrayal of lives that are ususally ignored or lumped into ill-defined stereotype.”–Finanical Times

Sudhir Venkatesh’s latest book Floating City: A Rogue Sociologist Lost and Found in New York’s Underground Economy–a memoir of sociological investigation revealing the true face of America’s most diverse city–was published in September 2013 by Penguin Press

 

 


Scorecasting
by Tobias Moskowitz, L. Jon Wertheim

In Scorecasting, University of Chicago behavioral economist Tobias Moskowitz teams up with veteran Sports Illustrated writer L. Jon Wertheim to overturn some of the most cherished truisms of sports, and reveal the hidden forces that shape how basketball, baseball, football, and hockey games are played, won and lost.

Drawing from Moskowitz’s original research, as well as studies from fellow economists such as bestselling author Richard Thaler, the authors look at: the influence home-field advantage has on the outcomes of games in all sports and why it exists; the surprising truth about the universally accepted axiom that defense wins championships; the subtle biases that umpires exhibit in calling balls and strikes in key situations; the unintended consequences of referees’ tendencies in every sport to “swallow the whistle,” and more.

Among the insights that Scorecasting reveals:

  • Why Tiger Woods is prone to the same mistake in high-pressure putting situations that you and I are
  • Why professional teams routinely overvalue draft picks
  • The myth of momentum or the “hot hand” in sports, and why so many fans, coaches, and broadcasters fervently subscribe to it
  • Why NFL coaches rarely go for a first down on fourth-down situations–even when their reluctance to do so reduces their chances of winning.
  • In an engaging narrative that takes us from the putting greens of Augusta to the grid iron of a small parochial high school in Arkansas, Scorecasting will forever change how you view the game, whatever your favorite sport might be.

    From the Hardcover edition.


    Sin In The Second City
    by Karen Abbott

    Step into the perfumed parlors of the Everleigh Club, the most famous brothel in American history–and the catalyst for a culture war that rocked the nation. Operating in Chicago’s notorious Levee district at the dawn of the last century, the Club’s proprietors, two aristocratic sisters named Minna and Ada Everleigh, welcomed moguls and actors, senators and athletes, foreign dignitaries and literary icons, into their stately double mansion, where thirty stunning Everleigh “butterflies” awaited their arrival. Courtesans named Doll, Suzy Poon Tang, and Brick Top devoured raw meat to the delight of Prince Henry of Prussia and recited poetry for Theodore Dreiser. Whereas lesser madams pocketed most of a harlot’s earnings and kept a “whipper” on staff to mete out discipline, the Everleighs made sure their girls dined on gourmet food, were examined by an honest physician, and even tutored in the literature of Balzac.

    Not everyone appreciated the sisters’ attempts to elevate the industry. Rival Levee madams hatched numerous schemes to ruin the Everleighs, including an attempt to frame them for the death of department store heir Marshall Field, Jr. But the sisters’ most daunting foes were the Progressive Era reformers, who sent the entire country into a frenzy with lurid tales of “white slavery”——the allegedly rampant practice of kidnapping young girls and forcing them into brothels. This furor shaped America’s sexual culture and had repercussions all the way to the White House, including the formation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

    With a cast of characters that includes Jack Johnson, John Barrymore, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., William Howard Taft, “Hinky Dink” Kenna, and Al Capone, Sin in the Second City is Karen Abbott’s colorful, nuanced portrait of the iconic Everleigh sisters, their world-famous Club, and the perennial clash between our nation’s hedonistic impulses and Puritanical roots. Culminating in a dramatic last stand between brothel keepers and crusading reformers, Sin in the Second City offers a vivid snapshot of America’s journey from Victorian-era propriety to twentieth-century modernity.

    Visit www.sininthesecondcity.com to learn more!

    “Delicious… Abbott describes the Levee’s characters in such detail that it’s easy to mistake this meticulously researched history for literary fiction.” —— New York Times Book Review

    “ Described with scrupulous concern for historical accuracy…an immensely readable book.”
    —— Joseph Epstein, The Wall Street Journal

    “Assiduously researched… even this book’s minutiae makes for good storytelling.”
    —— Janet Maslin, The New York Times

    “Karen Abbott has pioneered sizzle history in this satisfyingly lurid tale. Change the hemlines, add 100 years, and the book could be filed under current affairs.” —— USA Today

    “A rousingly racy yarn.” –Chicago Tribune
    “A colorful history of old Chicago that reads like a novel… a compelling and eloquent story.” —— The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

    “Gorgeously detailed—— New York Daily News

    “At last, a history book you can bring to the beach.” —— The Philadelphia Inquirer

    “Once upon a time, Chicago had a world class bordello called The Everleigh Club. Author Karen Abbott brings the opulent place and its raunchy era alive in a book that just might become this years “The Devil In the White City.” —— Chicago Tribune Sunday Magazine (cover story)

    “As Abbott’s delicious and exhaustively researched book makes vividly clear, the Everleigh Club was the Taj Mahal of bordellos.” —— Chicago Sun Times

    “The book is rich with details about a fast-and-loose Chicago of the early 20th century… Sin explores this world with gusto, throwing light on a booming city and exposing its shadows.”
    —— Time Out Chicago

    “[Abbott’s] research enables the kind of vivid description à la fellow journalist Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City that make what could be a dry historic account an intriguing read.”
    Seattle Times

    “Abbott tells her story with just the right mix of relish and restraint, providing a piquant guide to a world of sexuality” —— The Atlantic

    “A rollicking tale from a more vibrant time: history to a ragtime beat.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    “With gleaming prose and authoritative knowledge Abbott elucidates one of the most colorful periods in American history, and the result reads like the very best fiction. Sex, opulence, murder — What’s not to love?”
    —— Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants


    “A detailed and intimate portrait of the Ritz of brothels, the famed Everleigh Club of turn-of-the-century Chicago. Sisters Minna and Ada attracted the elites of the world to such glamorous chambers as the Room of 1,000 Mirrors, complete with a reflective floor. And isn’t Minna’s advice to her resident prostitutes worthy advice for us all: “Give, but give interestingly and with mystery.”’
    —— Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City


    “Karen Abbott has combined bodice-ripping salaciousness with top-notch scholarship to produce a work more vivid than a Hollywood movie.”
    —— Melissa Fay Greene, author of There is No Me Without You

    Sin in the Second City is a masterful history lesson, a harrowing biography, and – best of all – a superfun read. The Everleigh story closely follows the turns of American history like a little sister. I can’t recommend this book loudly enough.”
    —— Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng

    “This is a story of debauchery and corruption, but it is also a story of sisterhood, and unerring devotion. Meticulously researched, and beautifully crafted, Sin in the Second City is an utterly captivating piece of history.”
    —— Julian Rubinstein, author of Ballad of the Whiskey Robber


    Betterness
    by Umair

    Betterness: Economics for Humans is a powerful call to arms for a post-capitalist economy. Umair Haque argues that just as positive psychology revolutionized our understanding of mental health by recasting the field as more than just treating mental illness, we need to rethink our economic paradigm. Why? Because business as we know it has reached a state of diminishing returns—though we work harder and harder, we never seem to get anywhere. This has led to a diminishing of the common wealth: wage stagnation, widening economic inequality, the depletion of the natural world, and more. To get out of this trap, we need to rethink the future of human exchange. In short, we need to get out of business and into betterness.

    HBR Singles provide brief yet potent business ideas, in digital form, for today’s thinking professional.


    Left Turn
    by Tim Groseclose, PhD

    Dr. Tim Groseclose, a professor of political science and economics at UCLA, has spent years constructing precise, quantitative measures of the slant of media outlets. He does this by measuring the political content of news, as a way to measure the PQ, or “political quotient” of voters and politicians.

    Among his conclusions are: (i) all mainstream media outlets have a liberal bias; and (ii) while some supposedly conservative outlets—such the Washington Times or Fox News’ Special Report—do lean right, their conservative bias is less than the liberal bias of most mainstream outlets.

    Groseclose contends that the general leftward bias of the media has shifted the PQ of the average American by about 20 points, on a scale of 100, the difference between the current political views of the average American, and the political views of the average resident of Orange County, California or Salt Lake County, Utah. With Left Turn readers can easily calculate their own PQ—to decide for themselves if the bias exists. This timely, much-needed study brings fact to this often overheated debate.


    Posted on

    Superfreakonomics

    SuperFreakonomics
    by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

    Four years in the making, ‘SuperFreakonomics’ asks not only the tough questions, but the unexpected ones – What’s more dangerous, driving drunk or walking drunk? Why is chemotherapy prescribed so often if it’s so ineffective? Can a sex change boost your salary? How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa? Why are doctors so bad at washing their hands? How much good do car seats do? What’s the best way to catch a terrorist? Did TV cause a rise in crime? What do hurricanes, heart attacks, and highway deaths have in common? Are people hard-wired for altruism or selfishness? Can eating kangaroo save the planet? Which adds more value – a pimp or a Realtor? Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and storytelling, whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically. By examining how people respond to incentives, they show the world for what it really is – good, bad, ugly, and, in the final analysis, super freaky.

    SuperFreakonomics
    by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

    Freakonomics lived on the New York Times bestseller list for an astonishing two years. Now authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with more iconoclastic insights and observations in SuperFreakonomics—the long awaited follow-up to their New York Times Notable blockbuster. Based on revolutionary research and original studies SuperFreakonomics promises to once again challenge our view of the way the world really works.


    Superfreakonomics
    by Stephen J. Dubner, Steven D. Levitt

    Steven Levitt, the original rogue economist, and Stephen Dubner have spent four years uncovering the hidden side of even more controversial subjects, from terrorism to shark attacks, cable TV to hurricanes. The result is Superfreakonomics. It reveals, among other things:

    – Why you are more likely to be killed walking drunk than driving drunk
    – How a prostitute is more likely to sleep with a policeman than be arrested by one
    – Why terrorists might be easier to track down than you would imagine
    – How a sex change could boost your salary

    Because sometimes the most superfreaky solution is the simplest.


    SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition
    by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

    Superfreakonomics—the smash hit follow-up to the remarkable New York Times bestselling phenomenon Freakonomics—is back in a new full-color, fully illustrated and expanded edition. The brainchild of rogue economist Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner that once again brilliantly challenges our view of the way the world really works is presented with a new, visual, superfreaky dimension added, enhancing the already provocative thinking about street prostitutes, hurricanes, heart attacks, and other seemingly mundane matters that made Freakonomics and Superfreakonomics part of the national zeitgeist.


    Superfreakonomics
    by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

    SuperFreakonomics was an instant New York Times bestseller that caused a media uproar, continuing the amazing success begun with the groundbreaking, worldwide sensation Freakonomics. SuperFreakonomics challenges the way we think all over again, exploring the hidden side of everything with such questions as

    • How is a street prostitute like a department-store Santa?
    • Why are doctors so bad at washing their hands?
    • How much good do car seats do?
    • What’s the best way to catch a terrorist?
    • What do hurricanes, heart attacks and highway deaths have in common?
    • Are people hard-wired for altruism or selfishness?
    • Can eating kangaroo save the planet?

    Levitt and Dubner mix smart thinking and great storytelling like no one else, whether investigating a solution to global warming or explaining why the price of oral sex has fallen so drastically. By examining how people respond to incentives, they show the world for what it really is—good, bad, ugly and, in the final analysis, super-freaky. Freakonomics has been imitated many times over, but only now, with SuperFreakonomics, has it met its match.


    Think Like A Freak
    by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

    Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner single-handedly showed the world that applying counter-intuitive approaches to everyday problems can bear surprising results.

    Think Like a Freak will take readers further inside this special thought process, revealing a new way of approaching the decisions we make, the plans we create and the morals we choose. It answers the question on the lips of everyone who’s read the previous books: How can I apply these ideas to my life? How do I make smarter, harder and better decisions? How can I truly think like a freak?

    With short, highly entertaining insights running the gamut from “The Upside of Quitting” to “How to Succeed with No Talent,” Think Like a Freak is poised to radically alter the way we think about all aspects of life on this planet.


    Freakonomics
    by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

    Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool?

    What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common?

    How much do parents really matter?

    These may not sound like typical questions for an economist to ask. But Steven D. Levitt is not a typical economist. He studies the riddles of everyday life–from cheating and crime to parenting and sports–and reaches conclusions that turn conventional wisdom on its head. Freakonomics is a groundbreaking collaboration between Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning author and journalist. They set out to explore the inner workings of a crack gang, the truth about real estate agents, the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, and much more. Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, they 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.


    When to Rob a Bank CD
    by Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

    When Freakonomics was initially published, the authors started a blog—and they’ve kept it up. The writing is more casual, more personal, even more outlandish than in their books. Now, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the landmark Freakonomics, comes this curated collection from the most readable economics blog in the world.

    Why don’t flight attendants get tipped? If you were a terrorist, how would you attack? And why does KFC always run out of fried chicken?

    Over the past decade, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have published more than 8,000 blog posts on Freakonomics.com. Now the very best of this writing has been carefully curated into one volume, the perfect solution for the millions of readers who love all things Freakonomics.

    Discover why taller people tend to make more money; why it’s so hard to predict the Kentucky Derby winner; and why it might be time for a sex tax (if not a fat tax). You’ll also learn a great deal about Levitt and Dubner’s own quirks and passions. Surprising and erudite, eloquent and witty, When to Rob a Bank demonstrates the brilliance that has made their books an international sensation.


    Insights on Steven Levitt’s SuperFreakonomics by Instaread
    by Instaread

     Get an Overview, Key Insights, Commentary and more from Steven Levitt’s SuperFreakonomics! Download now!


    The Accidental President
    by A. J. Baime

    “[A] well-judged and hugely readable book . . . few are as entertaining.”—Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

    “A. J. Baime is a master. His reporting and storytelling are woven to hypnotic effect. This is history and humanity in lush, vivid color.”—Doug Stanton, author of The Odyssey of Echo Company
     
    Heroes are often defined as ordinary characters who get pushed into extraordinary circumstances, and through courage and a dash of luck, cement their place in history. Chosen as FDR’s fourth-term vice president for his well-praised work ethic, good judgment, and lack of enemies, Harry S. Truman was the prototypical ordinary man. That is, until he was shockingly thrust in over his head after FDR’s sudden death. The first four months of Truman’s administration saw the founding of the United Nations, the fall of Berlin, victory at Okinawa, firebombings in Tokyo, the first atomic explosion, the Nazi surrender, the liberation of concentration camps, the mass starvation in Europe, the Potsdam Conference, the controversial decision to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the surrender of imperial Japan, and finally, the end of World War II and the rise of the Cold War. No other president had ever faced so much in such a short period of time. The Accidental President escorts readers into the situation room with Truman during a tumultuous, history-making 120 days, when the stakes were high and the challenges even higher.