Freakonomics-Expanded

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FREAKONOMICS

A Rogue Economist
Explores the Hidden
Side of Everything
Revised and Expanded Edition

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

CONTENTS

AN EXPLANATORY NOTE
In which the origins of this book are clarified.

vii

PREFACE TO THE REVISED AND EXPANDED EDITION

xi

1
INTRODUCTION: The Hidden Side of Everything
In which the book’s central idea is set forth: namely, if morality represents 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 scientists—bend 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?
15
In which we explore the beauty of incentives, as well as their dark side—cheating. Contents

Who cheats? Just about everyone . . . How cheaters cheat, and how to catch them . . . Stories from an Israeli day-care center . . . The sudden disappearance 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?
49
In which it is argued that nothing is more powerful than information, especially when its power is abused.
Spilling the Ku Klux Klan’s secrets . . . 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…...

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