In his book Levitt Steven and the colleague Dubner Stephen entitled Freakonomics, it a scoundrel economic approach to exploring the hidden side of everything. In the modern life today, there are very many issues that appear to be a mystery only to find that they are not, if only the right questions had been asked to come into face to face with reality. Arguably, the book has discredited the conventional wisdom by citing it as to be wrong. By so doing, the book content has had great impact in the way we see and view the world and everything that takes place around the globe. It is important to bring out the point that the book under discussion has been written by Levitt Steven, an economist in the University of Chicago who has good expertise in the area of economics.
It is good to state that author has deviated from what other economists pursue in the sense that they commonly talk and research on interests in the most part of their research. However, Levitt has managed to take the readers through a series of issues of which some are life threatening and others causing death along with the fact that he applies economics in them. In Freakonomics, the author has tackled life in through an economical approach ensuring that the reader or rather the audience is in a position to view issues and everything in the world from a different perspective.
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According to the authors, economics has its root foundation of study as to be the study of incentives. In line with this, the author has managed to bring out the aspect of discovering cheating as it is applied to teachers and sumo wrestlers. Again in the second chapter, the authors have covered the information control as applied to the Ki Klux Klan and real state agents. Along with this, Levitt and Dubner have also explored the economics of drug dealing examining the low earnings and abject working conditions of crack cocaine dealers. Interestingly enough, there is the controversial role legalized abortion may have played in reducing crime in United States. Additionally, the authors have tackled and explored in details the way good parenting may have negligible effects of education. Besides, the aspect of socioeconomic patterns of naming children has been brought into view in this book.
From the introduction that has just been presented, it is within this context that one can outstandingly note that the book’s content has had impact on the reader’s way of viewing the world and judging everything around altogether. As a matter of fact, the freakonomics has a lot of impact on seeing the world in a different manner. By a close examination of the chapter that has explored the incentives as the main building block of economics, has been applied in a situation whereby cheating has been applied to teachers and sumo wrestlers (Levitt and Dubner 27). In this case, the author has managed to address the fact that teachers in school work depending on the incentives that they are given. In this case, a good performance of a student leads to the teacher been given an incentive in terms of promotion and other rewards.
In such a case, the teacher will work hard to ensure that the student’s performance is kept on check. In such a situation, a teacher may make efforts to leak the test to the student in order to receive these incentives. Following this point, the teacher will engage in cheating and administering the standardized examination while he or she has leaked the tests and therefore such issues may not be detected. As a consequence, they have resulted to teachers being expelled and sent off work for engaging in cheating tests (Levitt and Dubner 29). In one way, the teacher is seen as to be doing well since the child is performing while the teacher in reality is only cheating. This is ridiculous and in actual sense unrealistic as it only breeds issues of cheating and lack of the standard education required.
On the other hand, the sumo wrestlers are rewarded when they manage to get somebody out of the ring with sore feet or to be precise when they manage to win. Notably, there have been winners who have managed to receive the rewards. Nonetheless, from another point of view, there has been a lot of cheating as well as corruption that has been ongoing in this type of sport (Levitt and Dubner 42). The author exposed the cheating in this case by considering the fact that the top division in the Sumo wresting game is meant to engage in 15 matches of which demotion is given by a failure to win in at least eight of them.
The authors studied a case where there is one who has won seven loses and seven wins and remaining with one to fight. This is contrasted with another one who has won eight already and lost six, and he is waiting to fight once. According to the information brought out in this case by the authors, the one with seven wins is the one likely to win and this was given based on the statistics to be 80 percent time of winning. Following such a case, the one with eight wins and six losses collude with the ones with seven and by so doing they secure their position in the next tournament ((Levitt and Dubner 43). This is cheating and in its actual sense corruption while it is cheered outside as winning.
As if this is not enough, Levitt and Dubner have also examined the issue of why drug dealers still stay with their mothers (Levitt and Dubner 89). Such a question may sound unrealistic but the asking of the right question is important as it can shed right in ones mind to get to think of the right answers. Although drug dealing is a business with a lot of cash as well as great wealthy out of it, it is demoralizing to find that some dealers have to put up with their mothers. This is for the reason that drug dealers’ benefits are concentrated on the top dealers. The others are paid low wages under poor conditions and others rewarded protection as the wage. As such, drug dealing only benefits the ones on top while exploiting others in the lower rank. Thus, one should not mistake it for a beneficial business as such lower rank dealers have to stay with their moms.
From this perspective, a reader who has been seeing drug dealing as a rewarding business or rather a deal, can be in a position to take note of the fact that the benefit is meant for a few selected. Another point that the authors have managed to tackle so well is the issue to do with crime rate increase if the 1990s. It was estimated by great theorists like Fox that the crime rate would double with time of which instead reduced to a very low rate (Levitt and Dubner 120). Arguably, the authors put it that the fall was beyond the scope of forecasters and therefore they instead attributed it to legalization of abortion like Wade v, Roe case of which it led to legalization of abortion. Everyone in America by 1990s was crying of homicide and its high rate of increase. However, the rate reduced by 1995 owing to the fact that many children who were homeless and born of single mothers were few.
Debatably, children born of single mothers who happen to be poor often become criminals and therefore by granting abortion to such mothers is seen in this case as a way of reducing crime. Another point that Levitt and Dubner have so well managed to handle is issues to do with campaigns and the money or the funds that are actually paid to carry them out. The authors in this case have challenged the perception that the campaign spending determines election. In fact, Levitt analysis is based on two contrasting races whereby the same congressional candidates run against each other repeatedly. Interestingly, Levitt argues that a winning candidate can win by spending as much as half as before and win by losing only one percent while the losing candidate may spent about double of the expenditure and then lose by one percent of the vote (Levitt and Dubner 70). This is to suggest that the expenditures given to campaigns have marginal effects on what becomes of the elections and therefore concluding that it does not matter how much one spends on campaigns, the effect will always be minimal.
In the same line of thought, the authors have explored the seller’s real estate agents who live on commission paid to them to sell listed homes for the maximum dollar. A close examination of the real estate agents was done by the others by taking a consideration of one hundred thousand Chicago homes that are sold by agents. In line with this, the research by the authors pointed out that agents keep their own homes on the market for an averaged time of 10 days longer hoping to sell them for more than 3 percent more than the homes that they manage to list and sell them for clients (Levitt and Dubner 89). This makes one to look at the issue of real estate agent from a different point of view, not the way it appears but in actuality it blinds the clients being sold for the estates while benefiting the agents.
Remarkably, the authors can be accredited for their assessment on the rise to power as well as fall of the Klu Klux Klan of which their rise is attributed to hoarding of information. Once their secrets were exposed, the organization fell. Following the formation of this organization, was by Six former confederate soldiers in Pulaski, Tennessee. At first, their aim seemed to be harmless midnight pranks only to result to a multi state terrorist organization that was designed to frighten as well as kill emancipated slaves. In actual fact, the staunchest supporters of the organization were plantation owners for whom reconstruction has posed an economical and political nightmare (55). For real experts of every kind are out to exploit the ignorant and poor.
Although the organization was formerly viewed as to be harmless it eventually led to death of many. Nonetheless, Kennedy joined it later with the main aim of fighting for the freedom of many who were intimidated by the organization. Finally he discovered the secrets and identities of the organization and exposed them later leading to the downfall of the organization along with the fact that it lost membership (Levitt and Dubner 59). From a close examination of this point, people would have well thought that the organization was good without necessarily examining the other side of it. From the exposition of aims of this organization, one is able to think deeply about the things that we see on the surface without necessarily examining their deep meaning.
In reality, this stirs the reader to view the world from a different perspective. From another point of view, in the United States, about 200 million people own a gun but one is killed by it in a case ratio of one person in a million. On the other hand, in many residential homes whereby there is a swimming pool, a child drowns in a pool in a ratio of one child in hundred thousand cases (Levitt and Dubner 149). From the analysis of this case, people tend to condemn the owning of a gun than owning of a swimming pool of which the latter is more risky than the former. It is within this context that one is able to make out that the way we look at the world makes us to fear the things that have less risk as we embrace those that seem to be having less risks. This is a misconception as presumably; the numbers seem to show sense than what the conventional wisdom has to offer.
In a more practical platform, the author has tackled on the issue to do with good parenting as suggested by the experts to have great impact on education. Levitt and Dubner refute this concept by examining the education performance of a child with good parenting and another without. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the one with good parenting happens to fail in the education while the one without does excel. This then disapproves the conception of the effect that good parenting has on the education of the children. The children with good parents as presumably stated may end up being read for by their parents, watch television while ignoring the many books they have and other such related issues (Levitt and Dubner 179).
Another conception that the authors have challenged is the aspect of the patterns of naming children. They have no connection with the behavior of the children is it is always thought out to be. The authors use an example of a father who named a child Winner only become a criminal while naming the other Loser and he became successful in the long run(Levitt and Dubner 180). The book can be well said of that it is such a good book that opens the minds of the readers to come into terms with the fact that there is always the hidden side of everything in the world. It is not the way the conventional wisdom tells us but the reality that is presented by the asking the right questions, examining them and using numbers rather than the conventional wisdom which is presumably wrong. Economics in this case is represented as to show how morality works. It is in actual sense knowing what to measure and how to measure in life that reveals the modern life today.
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