freakonomics copy

freakonomics copy - FREAKONOMICS A Rogue Economist Explores...

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Unformatted text preview: FREAKONOMICS A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner An e-book excerpt from CONTENTS A N EXPLANATORY NOTE vi In which the origins of this book are clarified. I NTRODUCTION: The Hidden Side of Everything 3 In which the books central idea is set forth: namely, if morality repre- sents how people would like the world to work, then economics shows how it actually does work. Why the conventional wisdom is so often wrong . . . How experts from criminologists to real-estate agents to political scientistsbend the facts . . . Why knowing what to measure, and how to measure it, is the key to understanding modern life . . . What is freakonomics, anyway? 1. What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common? 19 In which we explore the beauty of incentives, as well as their dark sidecheating. Co n t e n t s Who cheats? Just about everyone . . . How cheaters cheat, and how to catch them . . . Stories from an Israeli day-care center . . . The sudden dis- appearance of seven million American children . . . Cheating schoolteachers in Chicago . . . Why cheating to lose is worse than cheating to win . . . Could sumo wrestling, the national sport of Japan, be corrupt? . . . What the Bagel Man saw: mankind may be more honest than we think. 2. How Is the Ku Klux Klan Like a Group of Real-Estate Agents? 55 In which it is argued that nothing is more powerful than information, especially when its power is abused. Going undercover in the Ku Klux Klan . . . Why experts of every kind are in the perfect position to exploit you . . . The antidote to information abuse: the Internet . . . Why a new car is suddenly worth so much less the moment it leaves the lot . . . Breaking the real-estate agent code: what well maintained really means . . . Is Trent Lott more racist than the average Weakest Link contestant? . . . What do online daters lie about? 3. Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms? 89 In which the conventional wisdom is often found to be a web of fabri- cation, self-interest, and convenience. Why experts routinely make up statistics; the invention of chronic hali- tosis . . . How to ask a good question . . . Sudhir Venkateshs long, strange trip into the crack den . . . Life is a tournament . . . Why prostitutes earn more than architects . . . What a drug dealer, a high-school quarterback, and an editorial assistant have in common . . . How the invention of crack cocaine mirrored the invention of nylon stockings . . . Was crack the worst thing to hit black Americans since Jim Crow? 4. Where Have All the Criminals Gone? 117 In which the facts of crime are sorted out from the fictions....
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freakonomics copy - FREAKONOMICS A Rogue Economist Explores...

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