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SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance (Freakonomics #2)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  95,251 Ratings  ·  3,995 Reviews
The New York Times bestselling Freakonomics was a worldwide sensation, selling more than four million copies in thirty-five languages and changing the way we look at the world.

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner return with Superfreakonomics, and fans and newcomers alike will find that the freakquel is even bolder, funnier, and more surprising than the first.

Audio CD, 6 pages
Published October 20th 2009 by HarperAudio
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Sarah It's different topics. So, no, you don't need to read them in any order. Sometimes things are mentioned from previous chapters, but the author seems…moreIt's different topics. So, no, you don't need to read them in any order. Sometimes things are mentioned from previous chapters, but the author seems to reiterate what was said anyways. (less)

Community Reviews

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Sep 06, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Mostly more of the same as Freakonomics with riffs on Malcolm Gladwell's books thrown in. The glaring difference is the chapter on climate change which attempts to go waaay beyond the author's expertise in behavioral economics and contains unfortunate misrepresentations of climate science. For a detailed critique, I'd recommend: Still, there's no denying that convincing the public to recognize the need to curb CO2 emissions is an almost impossible task.

Petra Eggs
All the chapters in this book start with 'How is' and then two subjects are compared or contrasted, so in this spirit I ask,

How is a follow-up book like a Shepherd's Pie?

Because shepherd's pie is made with the bits of meat discarded or not finished at a previous meal. And so it is with this book. Chapters not good enough to make it into the superb Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything have been recycled into this book. It's ok, but like anything that isn't first
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading this book was an enormous pleasure. It was like sitting down with a superb raconteur, and hearing story after story of amazing and extraordinary events. "Oh no" you exclaim, "surely that one can't be true!" But yes, it is! And so you leap on hungrily to the next peculiar story.

This is a treasure chest of information for anyone interested in psychology, economics or just sheer human cussedness. The people behind the book work brilliantly together - economics lecturer Steven Levitt, and Ne
Ryan Melena
Ugh, pop culture trash masquerading as economics (in turn masquerading as hard science).

There were so many glaring flaws in the authors' assumptions, "logic", and conclusions that within just the introduction they had already lost all credibility.

Right up front the authors declare that fears about global warming are overblown because the issue will likely be solved by technological innovation and then offer as proof the fact that cars eliminated the problems caused by horse-based transportation.
I liked this book more than I expected I would like it and liked it more than their previous effort – but have given it less stars this time than the last one. The reason for this is that their last book introduced me to the whole field of behavioural economics and one is always fond of books that introduce entire new fields.

I had some real problems with some of the contents of this book – or rather, not the contents so much as the underlying philosophy. There is a lack of consistency of thought
Jul 18, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Those renegade, cold blooded micro economists are back for more fun filled worldly observations and scathing attacks on the status quo.

This time around the pair explore the economics of the worlds oldest profession and the myths and realities of global warming. Makes me want to consider the incentives of most every occurrence and transaction.

Levitt is on to something pretty cool here.

Jan 16, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essays
TABLE OF CONTENTS (close to verbatim):

Intro--In which the global financial meltdown is entirely ignored in favor of more engaging topics:
the perils of walking drunk
the unlikely savior of Indian women
drowning in horse manure
what is freakonomics
toothless sharks & bloodthirsty elephants
things you always thought you knew but didn't

Chapter 1--In which we explain the various costs of being a woman:
LaShanna, part-time prostitute
One million dead "witches"
The many ways in which females are punished f
Apr 01, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Does anyone actually believe this crap?

The first chapter (about the economics of prostitution)in this one was way better than the entire Freakonomics. As a result, I had faith that the authors would stick more to their field. As it turns out, they get more and more ridiculous as the book progresses, finishing off with a pair of shitshows. I'm still trying to figure out if the global cooling chapter and the monkey chapters are jokes. What bothered me most about the global cooling chapter wasn't s
Yousif Al Zeera
This book is even better than Freakonomics. The amount of insights and information (from different fields) you get exposed to is incredible. I am liking "economics" much more after reading their books (Levitt and Dubner).
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
the first few chapters were just a continuation of the first book in terms of ideas, tone and excecution; thus, i was feeling pretty satisfied that i was reading such a book and becoming more of a "cold-blooded economist", than a "warm-blooded humanist" (or whatever condescending, self-congratulatory phrases they used were). and then these guys got derailed, in a very sad, strange and self-defeating way. they did this weird about face, where in one chapter they talk about the law of unintended ...more
Jun 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Huge fans of the first "Freakonomics" and/or of Malcolm Gladwell, maybe
A reluctant 3 stars. I'll give this book the benefit of the doubt and say that it probably would have worked better for me had I read it rather than listening to it. While I love the fact that audiobooks allow me to multi-task, it means that I'm less focused when I'm listening to them. That's fine if it's a book like Savannah Blues but this book demanded more concentration, especially since the writing style was highly tangential to begin with.

Those who read “Freakonomics” are familiar with what
The Book Whisperer (aka Boof)
From monkey prostitution to raising a terrorist......

I found this book interesting, frustrating, fascinating and infuriating (mostly at the same time). The duo that brought Freakonomics with answers to why drug dealers live with their mothers and how the name that your parents gave you can determine which job you end up getting have now given us Superfreakonomics.

To rogue economists or mad scientists this books meanderings may be make perfect sense, but to the likes of me I had a job trying
An interesting dog's breakfast of apparently unrelated essays supposedly on microeconomics, though the chapter on global warming ended up almost entirely on "global" issues. One gets the impression they wrote a bunch of columns for a newspaper, say the New York Times, then decided to cash in on the fame of their previous book by publishing the essays together. Oh. That's what they did!

That global warming chapter "What to Al Gore and Mount Pinatubo have in common?" is the best in the book. No, th
Oct 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The basic premise of this book is simple: to apply economic principles and methodology to understand the reasons why people do the things they do (or as the authors call it, the incentives behind behavior).

Or, as the authors paraphrase Gary Becker on page 12, the "economic approach."

That being said, it is very similar to their first book, which I also read. This one builds upon it in that it goes on to explain more cases of things that seemingly have no connection or common theme, but in fact d
Jun 08, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I enjoyed the original, which, if memory serves had much more cohesive chapters around specific theses. While the chapters treated the topic at hand, they seemed to be much more scattershot in terms of finding a number of correlations in data that "swirled" around the main hypothesis of the chapter.

As with many reviewers, I think that Dubner and especially Levitt have stepped a little outside their expertise with some of the topics in this book and with the ongoing Freakonomics "brand," particul
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy reading books that challenge you to question conventional wisdom. If you like Malcolm Gladwell I definitely recommend this book. HOWEVER, many of the topics are covered it Gladwell's books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, so be prepared to hear some regurgitation (the brutal murder in queens with 38 onlookers who didn't call the cops, how the month you were born greatly affects your ability to play professional sports, and many others that have been covered in other more po ...more
Oct 23, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to love it, because I loved Freakonomics. But, alas, I did not. I don't know if they really chose less captivating topics than last time, but it felt like it. Also, if you happen to have read all or several of Malcolm Gladwell's and Atul Gawande's books, and even that Oshinksy book about the history of polio in the U.S., this book will feel largely like something you've already read somewhere else. I think my review might be a bit unfair. Perhaps if you haven't read any of those other b ...more
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome read!
Clif Hostetler
Feb 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: current-events
This is a book about decisions, incentives, unintended consequences and statistics showing how conventional wisdom isn’t always wise. The examples given are varied and totally unrelated to each other. The conclusions are not fully documented and the generalizations provided do not recognize exceptions or alternative points of view. If you can get past these issues the book is a lot of fun to read. Reading this book is much the same as listening in on a bull session discussion between two clever ...more
Misericordia ❣
Incredible, fast, entertaining read. Thinkers like this one occasionall remind me just why I have chosen my profession.

Short Synopsis (Q):
Putting the Freak in Economics

In which the global financial meltdown is entirely ignored in favor of more engaging topics.
The perils of walking drunk…The unlikely savior of Indian women…Drowning in horse manure…What is “freakonomics,” anyway?…Toothless sharks and bloodthirsty elephants…Things you always thought you knew but didn’t.

Chapter 1. How is a Street Pr
Dec 08, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Disappointing! I loved the first Freakonomics, but since then, they've started a blog, and they inspired me to read/watch/listen to other economists who study popular phenomena or rational/irrational thought (Tim Harford and Dan Ariely are two favorites among them). So I found most of the stories here are things that I've either read about before, or didn't find interesting. The sections on prostitutes and terrorists are as boring as anything about prostitutes or terrorists can be, and certainly ...more
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Levitt returns to his rogue genre ostensibly to unearth more secrets of the universe using an economist's toolkit. Unfortunately brash comments litter his second foray into popular literature from intro to the final page, hardly masking the lack of clever or quality research. Levitt claims profit is not the primary reason for publishing this book, but it's hard to imagine why he would otherwise leverage the success of his first with so few good ideas.

Levitt dwells on prostitution far longer tha
Jan 24, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Generally a disappointment. When the first "Freakonomics" came out, it was a fresh foray into a field that had yet to make an impact on the popular literature: behavioral economics applied to social phenomena. Since that time, plenty of volumes have come out, giving Levitt and Dubner more competition. They certainly deserve credit for bringing the genre into publishing viability! Meanwhile, the first book's popularity has generated a heady incentive for the two of them to produce a book more qui ...more
S.Baqer Al-Meshqab
This book, as its title assures the readers, is SUPER. Freakonomics was a big success that made me an addict to the Superfreakonomics right away. This has never happened before in my reading experience.

Superfreakomoics, similar to its predecessor, simply outlines the relationship between incentives and human behavior. This time however, the authors discuss even more interesting topics.The book is so well written because it uses the question-and-answer method, and not any question, and amazingly
Mar 19, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About half way through the book, I felt this to be a less interesting sequel to the authors’ previous effort. The stories/studies seemed diffused by too many digressions into perhaps-parallel realms that didn’t always seem to support the main thesis of the chapters. I felt like there was something like incongruous name dropping (not Brad Pitt nor your local, not-yet-indicted Governor mind you, but a situation where acknowledgement or tribute needed to be paid to innumerable “rouge” colleagues). ...more
Megan Blood
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars, but the car seat chapter made me extra happy so I'll give it a boost. I particularly appreciate that, for the most part, they present their evidence with very little opinionating at the end (contrary to most books in this genre).

I hate that people write these off as 'pop' literature. Sure, they're easy, fun reading, but that doesn't mean they don't tell us something about ourselves as humans and the world we deal with. I'd rather learn about it this way than from some jargon-filled t
Nguyên ngộ ngộ
Sep 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: strategist

Những nhận thức mới, còn đọng lại được trong quyển sách “quá ư lập luận, dẫn chứng”

• Bao cao su của tổ chức WHO không hợp với người Ấn Độ.hahha. Phụ nữ là “máy đẻ”
• Cái Ti-Vi làm tăng tỉ lệ tội phạm. Nhưng ko phải nội dung chiếu, mà là trẻ em ít tiếp xúc với gia đình, nói chuyện với mấy đứa hàng xóm
• Bẫy dữ liệu: trung bình, 1 con người trên thế giới, có nửa dương vật và nửa bầu ngực. Mà thực tế có air a vậy đâu, lấy trung bình của nam và nữ đó mà
• Khi xay rượu, đi xe an toàn hơn đi bộ.
• Mại dâm
Jan 10, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read Levitt and Dubner's first book, Freakonomics, in March 2008, and I absolutely loved it. I thought it was ingenious, witty, and made economics interesting for the Average Joe who doesn't find this particular field as fascinating as I do. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that when the "sequel" to the book hit the shelves in October 2009 I would immediately add it to The List.

SuperFreakonomics -- subtitled "Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Lif
Paul  Perry
Another foray into the world of microeconomics - how using statistical analysis and asking the right questions can find sometimes unusual and counter-intuitive solutions to all sorts of issues and problems.

Like the original Freakonomics, this second book is a good read with some interesting insights, but for me seemed a lighter read. I'm not sure if this was a deliberate decision on the part of the authors or simply because they do less background explanation than in the first book, assuming tha
Kerry Nietz
Feb 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It is a quick read, partially because of the subject matter, and partially because it is just over 200 pages long. I think what is especially cool about “Super Freakonomics” is that you never quite know what you’re going to read about next. The chapters deal with seemingly disconnected (but all interesting) topics and even within the course of a single chapter a half dozen different topics might be touched upon. This also means that it isn’t necessary to have read ...more
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Steven David "Steve" Levitt is a prominent American economist best known for his work on crime, in particular on the link between legalized abortion and crime rates. Winner of the 2003 John Bates Clark Medal, he is currently the Alvin H. Baum Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, director of the Becker Center on Chicago Price Theory at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Bu ...more
More about Steven D. Levitt...

Other Books in the Series

Freakonomics (4 books)
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Freakonomics, #1)
  • Think Like a Freak
  • When to Rob a Bank

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“And knowing what happens on average is a good place to start. By so doing, we insulate ourselves from the tendency to build our thinking - our daily decisions, our laws, our governance - on exceptions and anomalies rather than on reality.” 15 likes
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