Saturday, June 16, 2007


This is a bohemian book by a bohemian author with disdain for the conventional wisdom. The Author, Steven D.Levitt teaches economics at the University of Chicago and is rightly connoted as a "Rouge Economist". The book interestingly written by an economist seldom makes much use of hardcore economics but regression analysis.

The Author rightly points out that if Morality represents the ideal world then Economics explores the obscure side of the actual world. This book explores the hidden side of everyday chores and comes out with exciting insights. The Author insists on asking the right type of questions and an ability to sift through a large amount of data.

This read doesn’t contain any unifying theme but runs on a uniform premise of looking, discerning and of measuring the everyday facets of life in a novel way. The author is bemused and excited to entangle the mystery of how does the real world actually works.

He asks a lot of interesting and hilarious qns like:

1) If drug dealers make so much money, why do they still live with their mothers?

Once you sift through the book you will be able to appreciate that they actually do not make so much money. It is only the higher echelons as in any industry which takes home the major chunk of the windfall.

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

3) Do real estate agents have their clients’ best interests at heart?

4) Is Sumo wrestling corrupt?

These and many more like these weird qns will force you to think how the real world functions. It will help to establish relationships which were hitherto implausible.

Hence approach this text with an open and unbiased mind and you will experience the "Aha" effect as Levitt takes you through some mind boggling riddles.


Naviin said...

Its been a while that i read this book but its left an indelible impression enough for me to leave a comment.

Whats great about the book - It'll change the way you look at things, incentives/disincentives and a strong rational thought process , provided you are smart enough to apply it to yourself.

The authors a freak genius, and i've been eagerly waiting to freak -2 to come and hit me, although the book gets monotonous towards the end, and i was hoping for him to use the freak model to discuss more important topics like the middle east, oil crisis etc, backed up by sufficient data rigor.

Its a must read for anyone loves logic, and a clear thought unconvoluted thought process for decison making.

Funda-mentor said...

Naviin and Ankur Bol rahein hai toh main zaroor padhungaa.. gr8 review man