Reading guide for Freakonomics by Steven Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

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A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

by Steven Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner

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  • First Published:
    Apr 2005, 256 pages
    Apr 2006, 256 pages

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Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. Most people think of economics as a dry subject matter concerning monetary and fiscal matters. How does Freakonomics change this definition?

  2. Freakonomics argues that morality represent the way we'd like the world to work, whereas economics can show how the world really does work. Do you agree?

  3. Freakonomics lists three varieties of incentives: social, moral, and financial. Can you think of others?
  4. Freakonomics shows how the conventional wisdom is often shoddily formed. What are some instances of conventional wisdom that you've always doubted?

  5. Does it seem as though "experts" truly hold too much power in the modern world, or are we lucky to have them?

  6. What are some issues in your daily life toward which you can apply some Freakonomics-style thinking?

  7. What were some of the most convincing arguments put forth in Freakonomics? What were some of the least convincing?

  8. How does the argument linking Roe v. Wade to a drop in crime change your thinking about abortion?

  9. How does the view of parenting in Freakonomics jibe with your own view?

  10. After reading Freakonomics, do you think that cheating is more prevalent or less prevalent than you thought it was before you read the book?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Penguin. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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