By Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, Freakonomics is more than a book—it’s been a phenomenon. It’s a book about more than economics, has sold over four million copies, and spawned a sequel, a loose movie adaptation, and a NY Times blog. In spite of its popular success and cheeky title, in fact the book does little to challenge classical economic thinking.
Its innovation, rather, lies in applying classical economics to non-traditional subjects. The economic structure of an inner-city Chicago drug gang is compared to that of McDonald’s. Baby-naming patterns and the dynamics of championship sumo wrestling matches are analyzed through an economics lens. In the book’s most talked-about chapter, declining crime rates are tied to the earlier legalization of abortion.
This book is a rare meeting of psychology and economics academic rigor and pop culture savvy. There is really no book like it in the world of great nonfiction books. Don’t miss it!