Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Freakonomics” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.94  ·  Rating details ·  565,601 Ratings  ·  14,175 Reviews
Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? What kind of impact did Roe v. Wade have on violent crime? Freakonomics will literally redefine the way we view the modern world.

These may not sound like typical questions for an econ
Published February 9th 2006 by Editions Denoël (first published April 12th 2005)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Freakonomics, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Carlos Tawer Freakonomics an indispensable book in the library of anyone who considers entrepreneur or want to be educated about the roads leading money and…moreFreakonomics an indispensable book in the library of anyone who considers entrepreneur or want to be educated about the roads leading money and possibilities to administer it. Steven D. Levit synthesized in his book as common sense and psychology directly affects the money trail and how we can use these aforementioned tools to generate revenue from an idea. My name is Thomas Joseph Kohen, I manage such sites as and Freakonomics has given me dozens of ideas to develop and optimize my work on the Internet. Sorry for my English, I speak Spanish.(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Feb 23, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: candy
This was an interesting book. I say it was interesting because I started liking it (a lot) when I first read it, as time passed I liked it less and less. In that way I call it a candy book, tastes good at first but leaves you worse off for reading it.

In my opinion, there are two problems with the book: First, Stephen Dubner comes across as a sycophant. Way to much of the book is spent praising Levitt. Secondly, I was disappointed in the lack of detail provided about Livitt's hypothesis. I wante
Jul 16, 2007 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who know data
Yes, zero stars.

There is one segment of this book that reports use of a dataset I know very well -- the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data. From what details they put into the book, it's fairly clear that the researchers did not research the reliability of the data elements they chose to use from FARS. In particular, their analysis rests on the ability to identify uninjured children in vehicles that were involved in fatal crashes. FARS has data elements for this, but the reliability
Jul 09, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Sure, this book was a compelling read that offered us all some great amo for cocktail party conversation. But ultimately I think most of what Leavitt claims is crap.

He dodges accoutability with the disclaimer about his book NOT being a scholarly work, but then goes on to drop statistics, theories and expert opinions. These assertions laid, he doesn't provide readers with enough information to critically examine his perspectives.

Ultimately I have a problem with the unquestioned, unaccoutable rol
I loved this book, though I think the title is a bit misleading. It's not really about economics. In fact, he's showing you what interesting things you can discover when you apply statistical analysis to problems where you wouldn't normally think of using it. I use statistical methods a fair amount in my own work, so I found it particularly interesting. The most startling and thought-provoking example is definitely the unexpected reduction in US urban crime that occurred towards the end of the 2 ...more
Andrew Muckle
Apr 01, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Jesus H Tittyfucking Christ on a bike! Could these two tossers be any more smarmy and self indulgent? Levitt and Dubner and probably the kind of smart arse nerds who snigger at you because you don't understand linux but sneer at you because you've actually spoken to a woman.

This book is much like the Emperor's New Clothes, people are so scared about being left out if they don't like or understand it because some sandal wearing hippy in the Guardian said it's 'This year's Das Capital' or some su
Sep 08, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well,this is the most terrible book I have ever seen,it was too terrible to read.It’s so terrible that I just want to burn it as fast as I can,and it cost me 58RMB.That was 58RMB,it was to expensive for me to afford.At first.I thought it was a good book,and I spend all my money on this book.And I was pretty annoyed about this I don’t have any other money for my breakfast,lunch,and even dinner.I haven’t drink juice for the whole year.Reading this is a waste of time,no one want to see this book ag ...more
May 07, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I assumed Freakonomics would be a book that used statistics to debunk various societal hysterias and fearmongering in a semi-humorous way. I quickly realized what I was in for when early in the book when the authors gave their background as Harvard Jews and profiled a guy that infiltrated the KKK for the ADL. The story sounds at least partially made up.

It then jumped into predictable white guilt inducing trash and goes into mental contortions using "data" and sociological explanations for black
Jul 09, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People Who Appreciate the Value of Social Science
I guess some people don't like this book because it's not centered around one theme. Instead, it's more about the seemingly diffuse academic work of one of the authors Steven D. Levitt (the other author is a journalist, Stephen J. Dubner). Levitt is something of an economist but more like a social scientist using the tools of Microeconomics applied to other fields that happen to catch his interest (often having something to do with cheating, corruption, crime, etc.). In the back of the book he m ...more
Joe S
Dec 28, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who enjoy Resistance while also enjoying their privileged position that allows them to Resist
Shelves: nonfiction
The most interesting part of this book was the introduction. Sad, but true.

Four stars for presentation. The prose is nearly invisible, which I suppose in this genre is preferable to the alternative. And the content is mildly interesting, in a "Huh. Wouldja look at that" sort of way, as though you saw a duck waddling through your back yard with jam on its head.

But insofar as it's meant to be the vehicle for a larger framework for viewing the world, this book is old news. You mean shit's connected
Natalie (weneedhunny)
The "experts are evil, have agendas, will trick you" talk got old real fast, especially when points are later being backed up with experts research. There's not enough discussion on the data itself, no distinction between quantitative and qualitative, and not enough discussion on the many flaws of data and how we analyze it. Pretty interesting how much he dislikes criminologists but then (if I remember correctly), only mentions the same one or two names over and over when giving examples of crim ...more
☘Misericordia☘  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈   ❂❤❣
Extremely enlightening! Worthy of 15 stars out of 5! This is a book about the world and not about any science in particular. It's about learning to question the given and see beyond the obvious. An extremely useful gift in the misguiding modern world.

Yeah, populistic much too much but neverthless compulsively readable. A definite revisit and reread.

As Levitt sees it, economics is a science with excellent tools for gaining answers but a serious shortage of interesting questions. His particular
May 05, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociology, cl
Yeah, this isn't 'rogue economics'. This is sociology. It's not a new discipline. And this is really spurious sociology that wouldn't pass muster in academia, so Levitt published it for public consumption.
Niadwynwen Koch
Mar 31, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found this audiobook unbearable. I turned it off halfway through and listened to the public radio pledge drive instead.

مبدئيا هناك خدعة في عنوان الكتاب

فالكتاب ليس في الاقتصاد و لكن في علم الاجتماع و لأن المؤلف رجل إقتصاد و لأن الاقتصاد هو أحد فروع علم االإجتماع فقد استخدم ما تعلمه في تحليل بعض الظواهر الاجتماعية بأدوات إقتصادية.

مجموعة من المواضيع بعضها شيق جدا و بعضها ممل أو مغرق في المحلية لدرجة لا تجعلنا نتفاعل معه.

ما هي الأشياء المشتركة بين معلمى المدارس و مصارعى السومو

يبدو سؤالا ساذجا و لكن الإجابة سهلة.
هي أسئلة من نوعية ما وجه الشبه بين البطيخ و الموز و تأتى الإجابة بأن كل منهما لا يصلح كعصير برتقال.

Mar 17, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Everything I hate about popular science - alternating between over-simplified, patronising, naive or simply annoying, but worst of all, blatantly refusing to take account of the political and social implications of its findings, and being proud of it.
Jun 02, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-waste-basket
I went all Fahrenheit 451 on this one.
Jul 20, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Verbose, repetitive, contradictory: a book of 200-pages that could be condensed to 3-5 pages.

Titles that vary from scintillating to insulting, yet are followed by a chapter that doesn't support the title bar.

Anecdotal stories, mistaken for data or hypothesis. Interpretations and hypotheses are drawn from data that could still be interpreted in multiple ways.

The book claims that it will link the unexpected, but frankly, links the obvious, with many "well duh" moments.

Needless generations of lis
Jun 12, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is little more than Stephen Dubner jerking off Steven Levitt, but that's not why it's a 1-star read. here's why:

"Women's rights advocates... have hyped the incidence of sexual assault, claiming that one in three American women will in her lifetime be a victim of rape or attempted rape. (The actual figure is more like one in eight-but the advocates know it would take a callous person to dispute their claim.)"

In the Notes for this chapter:

"The 2002 statistics from the National Crime Surv
Peter Harrington
Feb 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this book less then one star I would. I tried so very hard to finish reading this book full of BS facts but eventually got so tired of hearing things that just are not true but the author "claims" to be fact, that I quit reading it. I almost finished but couldn't do it in the end. Some of the things the author talks about seem like they could be truths but the majority of it is not. Don't waste your time.

Update: I don't recall the specifics as this was over a year ago that I "at
Erin Stephens
Jul 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Honestly not something I would pick up if it wasn't for school. I didn't enjoy this book. It dragged on where it didn't need to and left me in the dust at times. Over all, don't read it unless you have to.
Mar 02, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sheer Rubbish. This is an awful book, yes I read the whole thing, like bitter medicine to a toddler, and had to see what the fuss was about.

This Amazon review nails it. Here's my review/rant.

I'm reading this is 2012, maybe the hype in 2005 was different and people ate this kind of stuff up, even then I don't think we were that gullible at this time. There were good social science/stats books out there. This book pales in comparison to the works of Malcolm Gladwell and others.

Levitt is making
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Freakonomics explores the hidden side of everything.

If morality describes the ideal world, then economics describes the actual world. Further, Freakonomics studies incentives and how different people in different professions respond.

Some of the case studies include bagel salesmen, sumo wrestlers, public school teachers, crack cocaine dealers and parents. This is a smart, fun book; but it's not for everyone. Through a high nerd prospective, the authors deliver a slide rule and pocket protector
Jul 09, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Basics:

Freakonomics isn’t really about any one thing, which makes it a bit hard to summarize. In essence, it’s economist Steven Levitt playing around with economic principles and basic statistical analysis to examine various cultural trends and phenomena. He tackles a variety of questions, from whether or not sumo wrestlers cheat (they do) to whether or not a child’s name determines his success (it doesn’t). He does this all through examining statistics and data, trying to find facts to back
Jun 26, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In addition to allowing 1/2 stars, Goodreads really needs an "abandoned book" shelf.

I had to abandon ship on this one, I guess I'm too liberal/free thinking/whateveryoucallit to think that teacher's unions are bad, and if only poor black women could get abortions we'd be safer after dark.

I didn't stick around for the rest.
Sean Gunning
Jan 27, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
complete bollocks, un-referenced 'studies' being used to back up their meandering and un thought out claims. should've been able to tell by the cover what type of 'book' this was.
Riku Sayuj

As the old joke goes, the questions in economics exams are the same every year; only the answers change.

(re-reading in prep for the super-freaks)
Oct 05, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is a good example of garbage in, garbage out. The demonstration of critical thinking is good on a superficial level. But that it where the good stuff ends. The background facts used to perform their logical analyses suffer from gaps in relevant facts to downright misinformation. Even worse is the impression given that the background research is astonishingly thorough and accurate. It is not. Don't take their word for it on anything. A quick Google search yields rebuttals from true expe ...more
Shitikanth Kashyap
I could not finish this book. It made me cringe twice on each of the hundred odd pages that I did force myself to read.

Would I recommend this book to you? If you don't know how people use statistics to detect fraud, go ahead and read this book. You will find it to be entertaining and informative. On the other hand, if you feel strongly about the difference between correlation and causality and already know what, say, Benford's law is, spare yourself the horror. You will find yourself reaching fo
Vadassery Rakesh
May 03, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015-challenge
The apt name would have been F**konomics, for the book hovers around the passing of abortion bill in USA. How can somebody write a book of 200 pages out of nothing is a mystery to me. What intrigues me more is that many newspapers had wrote great things about this book, a perfect case of hype creating a best seller.
All gas no substance. And nothing to do with economics rather than some stupid black-white demographics and some obvious facts. Thank God, I'm through with this.
Sep 10, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This writer's name is totally a rubbish. Only a freak will have this name,from that,we can easily learn that the parents of the writer are stupid jerks,too.So sure that the family of him are all goddam stupids actually.That's why he becomes a unsuccessful writer.I wondered if why he isn't an asshole!actually he is,only that we don't admit.opps,it'ts truly a sad story.also,the books he wrote makes me sick.An animal will write a book like him actually.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • What the Dog Saw and Other Adventures
  • Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science
  • Liar's Poker
  • Armchair Economist: Economics & Everyday Life
  • Free to Choose: A Personal Statement
  • The Undercover Economist
  • Why People Believe Weird Things: Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time
  • The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century
  • Innumeracy: Mathematical Illiteracy and Its Consequences
  • The Worldly Philosophers
  • The Upside of Irrationality: The Unexpected Benefits of Defying Logic at Work and at Home
  • Free: The Future of a Radical Price
  • The Culture Code: An Ingenious Way to Understand Why People Around the World Buy and Live as They Do
  • The End of Poverty
  • Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Takes to the Streets
  • When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management
  • The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism
  • Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything
Stephen J. Dubner is an award-winning author, journalist, and radio and TV personality. He is best-known for writing, along with the economist Steven D. Levitt, Freakonomics (2005) and SuperFreakonomics (2009), which have sold more than 5 million copies in 35 languages.

Dubner is also the author of Turbulent Souls/Choosing My Religion (1998), Confessions of a Hero-Worshiper (2003), and the children
More about Stephen Dubner...

Nonfiction Deals

  • Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson's Lost Pacific Empire: A Story of Wealth, Ambition, and Survival
    $8.24 $1.99
  • A Secret Sisterhood: The Literary Friendships of Jane Austen, Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot, and Virginia Woolf
    $27.00 $2.99
  • Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
    $8.99 $1.99
  • A Room of One's Own
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Ashley's War: The Untold Story of a Team of Women Soldiers on the Special Ops Battlefield
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Life in a Medieval City
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Forged a New Afghanistan
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Too Close to Me: The Middle-Aged Consequences of Revealing A Child Called "It"
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look at England's Most Notorious Queen
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Inside the Criminal Mind: Revised and Updated Edition
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
    $13.99 $2.99
  • How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World's First Digital Weapon
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Evangelii Gaudium: The Joy of the Gospel
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Heart of Christianity
    $9.74 $1.99
  • Hidden Figures
    $4.09 $1.99
  • Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man
    $7.24 $1.99
  • Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World's Stolen Treasures
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Decoded
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Lost Art of Reading Nature's Signs: Use Outdoor Clues to Find Your Way, Predict the Weather, Locate Water, Track Animals-and Other Forgotten Skills
    $15.95 $1.99
  • A Man Called Intrepid: The Incredible True Story of the Master Spy Who Helped Win World War II
    $14.99 $1.99
  • K2: Life and Death on the World's Most Dangerous Mountain
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Kant and the Platypus: Essays on Language and Cognition
    $16.99 $2.99
  • Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Twilight of the Elites: America After Meritocracy
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Art of Living: The Classical Mannual on Virtue, Happiness, and Effectiveness
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Come to the Edge
    $6.99 $1.99
  • The Art of Communicating
    $9.49 $2.99
  • American Jezebel
    $8.24 $1.99
“Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work, wheareas economics represents how it actually does work.” 181 likes
“The conventional wisdom is often wrong.” 78 likes
More quotes…