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FREAKONOMICS A Rogue Economist
Explores the Hidden
Side of Everything
Steven D. Levitt
and Stephen J. Dubner
AN EXPLANATORY NOTE
In which the origins of this book are clarified.
INTRODUCTION: The Hidden Side of Everything
In which the book’s 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 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 which we explore the beauty of incentives, as well as their dark
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?
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 contesta