Close cookie details

This site uses cookies. Learn more about cookies.

OverDrive would like to use cookies to store information on your computer to improve your user experience at our Website. One of the cookies we use is critical for certain aspects of the site to operate and has already been set. You may delete and block all cookies from this site, but this could affect certain features or services of the site. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, click here to see our Privacy Policy.

If you do not wish to continue, please click here to exit this site.

Hide notification

  Main Nav
Freakonomics
Cover of Freakonomics
Freakonomics
A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Borrow Borrow

One of the greatest young American thinkers offers his provocative and intriguing insights into basic life issues—from cheating to child rearing—in this highly readable and challenging new work

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? Which should be feared more: snakes or french fries? Who really deserves credit for the recent drop in crime? In this groundbreaking book, leading economist Steven Levitt—Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and winner of the American Economic Association's 2004 John Bates Clark medal for the economist under 40 who has made the greatest contribution to the discipline—reveals that the answers to such questions lie in economic theory, a field he is revolutionizing. Joined by acclaimed author Stephen J. Dubner, Levitt offers his most compelling ideas as he explores the basic questions of everyday life, reaching conclusions that have turned conventional wisdom on its head.

Brilliantly reasoned, told in compelling, forthright language, and filled with keen insight, What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common? remind us that economics is ultimately the study of incentives and competition—how people get what they want, or need, when others want or need the same thing.

One of the greatest young American thinkers offers his provocative and intriguing insights into basic life issues—from cheating to child rearing—in this highly readable and challenging new work

Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? Which should be feared more: snakes or french fries? Who really deserves credit for the recent drop in crime? In this groundbreaking book, leading economist Steven Levitt—Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago and winner of the American Economic Association's 2004 John Bates Clark medal for the economist under 40 who has made the greatest contribution to the discipline—reveals that the answers to such questions lie in economic theory, a field he is revolutionizing. Joined by acclaimed author Stephen J. Dubner, Levitt offers his most compelling ideas as he explores the basic questions of everyday life, reaching conclusions that have turned conventional wisdom on its head.

Brilliantly reasoned, told in compelling, forthright language, and filled with keen insight, What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common? remind us that economics is ultimately the study of incentives and competition—how people get what they want, or need, when others want or need the same thing.

Available formats-
  • OverDrive Read
  • EPUB eBook
Subjects-
Languages:-
Copies-
  • Available:
    1
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    9.2
  • Lexile:
  • Interest Level:
    UG
  • Text Difficulty:
    8

Recommended for you

 
Awards-
Excerpts-
  • Chapter One

    What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common?

    Imagine for a moment that you are the manager of a day-care center. You have a clearly stated policy that children are supposed to be picked up by 4 P.M. But very often parents are late. The result: at day's end, you have some anxious children and at least one teacher who must wait around for the parents to arrive. What to do?

    A pair of economists who heard of this dilemma—it turned out to be a rather common one—offered a solution: fine the tardy parents. Why, after all, should the day-care center take care of these kids for free?

    The economists decided to test their solution by conducting a study of ten day-care centers in Haifa, Israel. The study lasted twenty weeks, but the fine was not introduced immediately. For the first four weeks, the economists simply kept track of the number of parents who came late; there were, on average, eight late pickups per week per day-care center. In the fifth week, the fine was enacted. It was announced that any parent arriving more than ten minutes late would pay $3 per child for each incident. The fee would be added to the parents' monthly bill, which was roughly $380.

    After the fine was enacted, the number of late pickups promptly went... up. Before long there were twenty late pickups per week, more than double the original average. The incentive had plainly backfired.

    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. Economists love incentives. They love to dream them up and enact them, study them and tinker with them. The typical economist believes the world has not yet invented a problem that he cannot fix if given a free hand to design the proper incentive scheme. His solution may not always be pretty—it may involve coercion or exorbitant penalties or the violation of civil liberties—but the original problem, rest assured, will be fixed. An incentive is a bullet, a lever, a key: an often tiny object with astonishing power to change a situation.

    We all learn to respond to incentives, negative and positive, from the outset of life. If you toddle over to the hot stove and touch it, you burn a finger. But if you bring home straight A's from school, you get a new bike. If you are spotted picking your nose in class, you get ridiculed. But if you make the basketball team, you move up the social ladder. If you break curfew, you get grounded. But if you ace your SATs, you get to go to a good college. If you flunk out of law school, you have to go to work at your father's insurance company. But if you perform so well that a rival company comes calling, you become a vice president and no longer have to work for your father. If you become so excited about your new vice president job that you drive home at eighty mph, you get pulled over by the police and fined $100. But if you hit your sales projections and collect a year-end bonus, you not only aren't worried about the $100 ticket but can also afford to buy that Viking range you've always wanted—and on which your toddler can now burn her own finger.

    An incentive is simply a means of urging people to do more of a good thing and less of a bad thing. But most incentives don't come about organically. Someone—an economist or a politician or a parent—has to invent them. Your three-year-old eats all her vegetables for a week? She wins a trip to the toy store. A big steelmaker belches too much smoke into the air? The company is fined for each cubic foot of pollutants over the legal limit. Too many Americans aren't paying their share of income tax? It was the economist Milton Friedman who helped come up with a solution to this one: automatic tax withholding from employees'...

About the Author-
  • Steven D. Levitt, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago, was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, given to the most influential American economist under forty. He is also a founder of The Greatest Good, which applies Freakonomics-style thinking to business and philanthropy.

    Stephen J. Dubner, an award-winning journalist and radio and TV personality, has worked for the New York Times and published three non-Freakonomics books. He is the host of Freakonomics Radio and Tell Me Something I Don't Know.

Reviews-
  • Wall Street Journal

    "If Indiana Jones were an economist, he'd be Steven Levitt... Criticizing Freakonomics would be like criticizing a hot fudge sundae."

  • New York Times Book Review: Inside the List

    "Provocative... eye-popping."

  • Washington Post Book World

    "The guy is interesting!"

  • Entertainment Weekly

    "The funkiest study of statistical mechanics ever by a world-renowned economist... Eye-opening and sometimes eye-popping"

  • Malcolm Gladwell, author of Blink and The Tipping Point

    "Steven Levitt has the most interesting mind in America... Prepare to be dazzled."

  • People: Great Reads

    "Principles of economics are used to examine daily life in this fun read."

  • San Diego Union-Tribune

    "Levitt dissects complex real-world phenomena, e.g. baby-naming patterns and Sumo wrestling, with an economist's laser."

  • Philadelphia Daily News

    "Levitt is a number cruncher extraordinaire."

  • Financial Times

    "Levitt is one of the most notorious economists of our age."

  • Publishers Weekly (starred review)

    "Hard to resist."

  • Kurt Andersen, host of public radio's Studio 360 and author of Turn of the Century

    "Freakonomics is politically incorrect in the best, most essential way.... This is bracing fun of the highest order."

  • Fort Worth Star-Telegram

    "Freakonomics was the 'It' book of 2005."

  • Kirkus Reviews

    "An eye-opening, and most interesting, approach to the world."

  • Associated Press

    "An unconventional economist defies conventional wisdom."

  • The Daily Standard

    "One of the decade's most intelligent and provocative books."

  • Book Sense Picks and Notables

    "Freakonomics challenges conventional wisdom and makes for fun reading."

  • New York Times Book Review

    "The trivia alone is worth the cover price."

  • Business World

    "An easy, funny read. Many unsolvable problems the Americans have could be solved with simple means."

Title Information+
  • Publisher
    HarperCollins
  • OverDrive Read
    Release date:
  • EPUB eBook
    Release date:
Digital Rights Information+
  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

Status bar:

You've reached your checkout limit.

Visit your Checkouts page to manage your titles.

Close

You already have this title checked out.

Want to go to your Checkouts?

Close

Recommendation Limit Reached.

You've reached the maximum number of titles you can recommend at this time. You can recommend up to 1 titles every 78 day(s).

Close

Sign in to recommend this title.

Recommend your library consider adding this title to the Digital Collection.

Close

Enhanced Details

Close
Close

Limited availability

Availability can change throughout the month based on the library's budget.

is available for days.

Once playback starts, you have hours to view the title.

Close

Permissions

Close

The OverDrive Read format of this eBook has professional narration that plays while you read in your browser. Learn more here.

Close

Holds

Total holds:


Close

Restricted

Some format options have been disabled. You may see additional download options outside of this network.

Close

MP3 audiobooks are only supported on macOS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) through 10.14 (Mojave). Learn more about MP3 audiobook support on Macs.

Close

You've reached your library's checkout limit for digital titles.

To make room for more checkouts, you may be able to return titles from your Checkouts page.

Close

Excessive Checkout Limit Reached.

There have been too many titles checked out and returned by your account within a short period of time.

Try again in several days. If you are still not able to check out titles after 7 days, please contact Support.

Close

You have already checked out this title. To access it, return to your Checkouts page.

Close

This title is not available for your card type. If you think this is an error contact support.

Close

An unexpected error has occurred.

If this problem persists, please contact support.

Close

Close

NOTE: Barnes and Noble® may change this list of devices at any time.

Close
Buy it now
and help our library WIN!
Freakonomics
Freakonomics
A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Steven D. Levitt
Choose a retail partner below to buy this title for yourself.
A portion of this purchase goes to support your library.
Close
Close

There are no copies of this issue left to borrow. Please try to borrow this title again when a new issue is released.

Close
Barnes & Noble Sign In |   Sign In

You will be prompted to sign into your library account on the next page.

If this is your first time selecting “Send to NOOK,” you will then be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

The first time you select “Send to NOOK,” you will be taken to a Barnes & Noble page to sign into (or create) your NOOK account. You should only have to sign into your NOOK account once to link it to your library account. After this one-time step, periodicals will be automatically sent to your NOOK account when you select "Send to NOOK."

You can read periodicals on any NOOK tablet or in the free NOOK reading app for iOS, Android or Windows 8.

Accept to ContinueCancel