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Mstation Book Reviews
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Mon, 01 May 2006

Freakonomics

Steven D. Levitt, Stephen J. Dubner Freakonomics,
Penguin

Now out in paperback, this best-selling book entertains by looking beyond the obvious. Freakonomics isn't a discipline and the cases in the book have only one thing in common -- a search for hidden truth looking beyond conventional wisdom.

One of the cases is the recent fall in the US crime rate. Was this due to clever police and clever politicians? Was it due to economic factors? Levitt's conclusion was that it was due to Roe vs Wade which made abortions widely available and as a result many would-be criminals just weren't born. What the implications are for somewhere like the UK where a single mother might use a baby to get state supplied housing are easy to figure out. Needless to say Right-to-Lifers and conservative Christians haven't liked Levitt's explanation one bit.

It is a fun book with nice demonstrations of braininess at work.

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