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Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance [Hardcover]

Steven D. Levitt , Stephen J. Dubner
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)

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Book Description

20 Oct 2009

Here at last is the long awaited sequel to the international bestselling phenomenon, Freakonomics. Steven Levitt, the original rogue economist, and Stephen Dubner have been working hard, uncovering the hidden side of even more controversial subjects, from charity to terrorism and prostitution. And with their inimitable style and wit, they will take us on another even more gripping journey of discovery.

Superfreakonomics will once again transform the way we look at the world.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (20 Oct 2009)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 071399990X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713999907
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (196 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 199,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Like Freakonomics, but better . . . thrilling . . . you are guaranteed a good time . . . underneath the dazzle, there is substance too (Tim Harford, Financial Times )

Levitt is a master at drawing counter-intuitive conclusions . . . great fun . . . Superfreakonomics travels further than its predecessor (Tom Standage, Sunday Times )

A humdinger of a book: page-turning, politically incorrect and ever-so-slightly intoxicating, like a large swig of tequila (The Times )

One of the most important books you'll read this autumn (GQ )

Levitt and Dubner's zeal for statistical anomalies is as undimmed as their eye for a good story . . . lie back and let Levitt and Dubner's bouncy prose style carry you along from one peculiarity to the next (Sunday Telegraph )

There's material here not just for one conversation, but for several.The authors mash together interesting academic research, surprising historical comparisons . . . and cute factoids

(Daily Mail )

[Freakonomics] was fascinating . . . [SuperFreakonomics] is similarly studded with intriguing examples of economic analysis in action (Daily Telegraph )

Entertaining (BBC Focus )

About the Author

Steven D. Levitt teaches economics at the University of Chicago. His idiosyncratic economic research into areas as varied as guns and game shows has triggered debate in the media and academic circles.

Stephen J. Dubner lives in New York City. He writes for The New York Times and the New Yorker. In August 2003 Dubner wrote a profile of Levitt in The New York Times magazine. The extraordinary response to that article led to a remarkable collaboration.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
71 of 78 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If it ain't broke... 23 Oct 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
'Superfreakonomics' is the cumbersomely titled sequel to the bestselling 'Freakonomics' - a book that gave an entertaining overview of microeconomics, and supplied plenty of food for thought. If you enjoyed the first volume, you will undoubtedly enjoy 'SuperFreakonomics'. It is essentially the same book, but with different case studies - if your first book sold over four million copies, why change a winning formula?

Initially I was unimpressed; the first chapter, dealing with prostitution felt like a rehash of the first book, only less interesting. Soon after, things pick up. The sections on emergency medicine and altruism were interesting and ask questions about the way in which we perceive our world. It is these alternate world views that are the 'Freakonomics' books strongest assets. Time and again the authors hold up a hand and say 'but what about...?'

Not everybody will be happy. The authors offer some thoughts on climate change, that go against current thinking, for which they will undoubtedly be pilloried. Of course challenging convention is the point of this book, and I'm sure the authors will welcome the debate. Less happy though, will be road-safety experts. 'Superfreakonomics' reveals that for the drinker, drink-driving is safer than drink-walking. (They do say that a taxi home is much better option still, but considering their findings on altruism, this seems a foolhardy admission.) The section on child safety seats will also cause great consternation, not least amongst child safety seat manufacturers.

Whilst casting doubt on the efficacy of child car seats, the book does ask a singular and important question. Since the primary users of rear seats are children, why aren't they designed with children in mind?
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Freaking Good 25 Jun 2010
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The first book was a worldwide success... and this builds on that success. Strange and bizarre views and facts on things that you'd never previously thought of, it made me see a lot of things in many new ways. The authors question everything from why more women don't become prostitutes (as it can pay very well at the high end) to why child car-seats are so ineffective (apparently), and if you can ignore the fact that it's quite obviously written from an American point of view, it's informative, amusing, and makes you ask, many times, 'why on earth does.....?' If more people questioned things in the same way that Levitt and Dunber, the authors, do, then the world might just be a better place.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as freakonomics 8 April 2010
An enjoyable book that covers some unusual subjects but is not as good as the original freakonomics book.

This one goes into a lot more detail on a single subject and as a result is not as wide-ranging, and does at times feel as if its trying to imply that the reader cannot draw their own conclusions from the initial information provided. The original Freakonomics book didnt go into as much details and left the reader able to draw their own conclusions from the outline facts rather than having everything spelled out for you.

I like the Freakonomic books but if you are new to these then the original is the better of the two in my view.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a spot on the first effort 7 April 2010
By Wibblah
Having now finished the book I recall the first few pages waxing on about how this was not just a sequel but very much something that stood by itself as an accomplishment in itself and was an improvement on the original. I can't disagree more.

If this was written by different author I am sure it would have been slated and quickly disposed of as an attempt to wring more out the same theme. However much I try to see it standing by itself it seems that the authors have sought out a very few valid illustrations to demonstrate their alternative take on economics. Whilst I have to agree "freakonomics" to use their term is extremely interesting, but no more interesting than the first time they introduced it and much less so with stretched examples. Those in the first book were far more entertaining.

Much of the problem I feel stems from the authors using too many prospective examples as opposed to real after the event analysis. They speak of how a novel approach may do this or that - even solve global warming with a cheap but effective solution. These are unproven methods and frankly can be found in journals and across the internet with little effort. What I found interesting in the first book and for only a handful of illustrations in the second was their ability to explain tangental views of problems in their entirety, specifically including what worked and demonstrating how a different path of exploration would have solved a problem faster or explained the statistics at hand. Instead there are far too many pie in the sky ideas.

I devoured the first book and despite this attempt would still pick up any future writings. I have to believe that this book was not just a search for more money but was painstakingly researched and written with best intentions. It just suffers from lack of enough interesting materiel and has been done with slightly different takes in other books enough times for a sequel to no longer be required.
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39 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Light Entertainment. Enjoy the Read! 21 Oct 2009
By Mr. William Oxley VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Read the book before you judge it. You may not agree with all the facts or conclusions, but it will make you think and debate the issues. The book is fascinating and 3 people reading it will give you three different opinions on it and about how good it is.

Should you read it - yes. Will you enjoy it - yes. Will you agree with everything - no.

Prostitution: The price of oral sex has fallen as it has become less taboo socially. Pimps value their prostitutes - which makes sense because I would expect a taxi driver to value his car because it is their means of making a living. And controversially prostitutes are more likely to have sex with a police officer than be arrested by one!

Global Warming: so controversial that people will down rate this book if it disagrees with their own accepted wisdom. The book contains hyperbole and overstatements that generates heated debate - (intended!) economic consequence of this is more press and more sales. But the authors do not deny global warming, rather they want to show how costly and difficult the current answers suggested by the big governments are, and they offer some potentially interesting solutions.

Read it in short bursts - it is not a Dan Brown novel!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Good not great
this wasn't as good as the first one but I still found the mini stories fun and interesting to read, worth it as a follow on but if I had to choose the first one gets my vote as... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Anneka Pycroft
4.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting, but not the best of the trio
This is the second of the Freakonomics trio and it is slightly weaker than the other two (Freakonomics and Think like a Freak). Nonetheless it is an interesting (and amusing) book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by E. A. Parr
5.0 out of 5 stars A great follow-up to the classic original
As with the phenomenally successful Freakonomics, what we have here is a very clever application of the tools of economics (in effect, mostly statistics, though with some more... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Brian Clegg
4.0 out of 5 stars An engaging read to inspire healthy cynicism without the tiresome...
although the formula does lack the novelty of it's predecessor volumes.

All the same, it's a drill that needs reinforcing to become a habit of life affirming vigilance.
Published 3 months ago by Michael Morrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book.
I didn't realise that economics are actually all around us and affect just about everything we do on a daily basis.
Published 3 months ago by Mabassa
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
OK, some of the stories are dated now and it would be great to get a Super Super Freaknomics (vol 3) as it is really opens one's mind as to cause and effect. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Keith Lawson
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first one
Liked the original a lot. This seems much shorter and not as insightful. Suggest you go for a glad well instead.
Published 4 months ago by T0P C4T
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Makes you see things like an accountant on acid. Funny as hell yet packed with the strange facts the ONS just wouldn't publish!
Published 5 months ago by L. Ostle
5.0 out of 5 stars great reading
a different look at the normal things in life which is really refreshing.
It captured me from start to finish
Published 5 months ago by Marcel
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed it
This is a second book that came after Freakonomics, I enjoyed the first book so when I found out about the second one I bought it straight away. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Sophia
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