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When to Rob a Bank: A Rogue Economist's Guide to the World Paperback – 26 May 2016

3.6 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • When to Rob a Bank: A Rogue Economist's Guide to the World
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  • Think Like a Freak: Secrets of the Rogue Economist
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  • Superfreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (26 May 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141980982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141980980
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 84,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"[A] kooky and counterintuitive collection of economic analysis. ... Plenty to revel in."--Kirkus

"Praise for the Freaknomics Books""Genius ... has you gasping in amazement."--Wall Street Journal

"We are all Freakonomists now."--Washington Post

"An afternoon with Levitt and Dubner's book will transform you into the most interesting person in the room that evening."--National Public Radio

"A splendid book, full of unlikely but arresting historical details that distinguish the authors from the run of pop social scientists."--New York Times

"An addictive, irresistible crash course in the populist application of economics."--The A.V. Club

"Good ideas ... expressed with panache."--Financial Times

"Lively, self-deprecating writing ensures an entertaining read for fans and new readers alike."--Publishers Weekly

"Praise for the Freakonomics Books: " "Genius... has you gasping in amazement."--Wall Street Journal

Lively, self-deprecating writing ensures an entertaining read for fans and new readers alike. --Publishers Weekly"

[A] kooky and counterintuitive collection of economic analysis. ... Plenty to revel in. --Kirkus"

Levitt and Dubner... return with more of their signature humor and economic perspective on everyday life. ... Will be a hit with fans of "Freakonomics." --Library Journal"

"Praise for the Freakonomics Books: " Genius... has you gasping in amazement. --Wall Street Journal"

We are all Freakonomists now. --Washington Post"

An afternoon with Levitt and Dubner s book will transform you into the most interesting person in the room that evening. --National Public Radio"

A splendid book, full of unlikely but arresting historical details that distinguish the authors from the run of pop social scientists. --New York Times"

An addictive, irresistible crash course in the populist application of economics. --The A.V. Club"

Good ideas ... expressed with panache. --Financial Times"

"Levitt and Dubner... return with more of their signature humor and economic perspective on everyday life. ... Will be a hit with fans of Freakonomics."--Library Journal

Praise for the Freakonomics Books: "Genius... has you gasping in amazement."--Wall Street Journal

-Lively, self-deprecating writing ensures an entertaining read for fans and new readers alike.---Publishers Weekly

-[A] kooky and counterintuitive collection of economic analysis. ... Plenty to revel in.---Kirkus

-Levitt and Dubner... return with more of their signature humor and economic perspective on everyday life. ... Will be a hit with fans of Freakonomics.---Library Journal

Praise for the Freakonomics Books: -Genius... has you gasping in amazement.---Wall Street Journal

-We are all Freakonomists now.---Washington Post

-An afternoon with Levitt and Dubner's book will transform you into the most interesting person in the room that evening.---National Public Radio

-A splendid book, full of unlikely but arresting historical details that distinguish the authors from the run of pop social scientists.---New York Times

-An addictive, irresistible crash course in the populist application of economics.---The A.V. Club

-Good ideas ... expressed with panache.---Financial Times --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Back Cover

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the landmark book Freakonomics comes this curated collection from the most readable economics blog in the universe. It's the perfect solution for the millions of readers who love all things Freakonomics. Surprising and erudite, eloquent and witty, When to Rob a Bank demonstrates the brilliance that has made the Freakonomics guys an international sensation, with more than 7 million books sold in 40 languages, and 150 million downloads of their Freakonomics Radio podcast.

When Freakonomics was first published, the authors started a blog--and they've kept it up. The writing is more casual, more personal, even more outlandish than in their books. In When to Rob a Bank, they ask a host of typically off-center questions: Why don't flight attendants get tipped? If you were a terrorist, how would you attack? And why does KFC always run out of fried chicken?

Over the past decade, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner have published more than 8,000 blog posts on Freakonomics.com. Many of them, they freely admit, were rubbish. But now they've gone through and picked the best of the best. You'll discover what people lie about, and why; the best way to cut gun deaths; why it might be time for a sex tax; and, yes, when to rob a bank. (Short answer: never; the ROI is terrible.) You'll also learn a great deal about Levitt and Dubner's own quirks and passions, from gambling and golf to backgammon and the abolition of the penny.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Very poor compared to their other books, and as they kind of jokingly point out at the start, why not make some money by reprinting their blog as a book? Because, frankly, it's not very good!

Returned it after a few chapters, not worth the £9.49 I paid.
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I browsed through this in an airport bookshop and was intrigued enough to download it when I got home. I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I'd bought it to read on the plane. It's not that the snippets aren't interesting, it's just that they're too short to really involve the reader. It's very much a book for dipping into rather than sitting down to read. There is one excellent section which is Levitt's father's moving account of losing his daughter. If you can find that on the Internet, it's well worth reading, but the book as a whole seems to be cashing in on earlier success.
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I've enjoyed the previous books tremendously giving them four or five stars. This one was a bit of a disappointment. It is merely a collection of blogs on their website and as such doesn't have the depth or detail that previous books do. Several of the blogs are interesting but many are not
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I was a little disappointed by this book. It is a collection of blog posts as opposed to a well thought out book meaning that it doesn't flow brilliantly and there are a number of issues raised which you wish the guys would expand on.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a collection of the best blogs from the Freakonomics website over the last ten years – starting at about the time the Freakonomics book was published in 2004. Although I got round to reading that book somewhat later than that, I have followed their work ever since, downloading their weekly podcast. I was expecting, therefore, to find quite a lot of repetitive material in this book, and while that would not have spoiled it for me, I was in fact pleasantly surprised to find that though many of the themes are common, very little of the content seemed to be duplicated. As a Brit, the second thing that I like about the authors’ writing was the substantial number of references to things in Britain – I hope that they are planning a London event to promote this book, as they did for Think Like a Freak.

Economics and empiricism shape the thinking behind most of the articles – looking for data in unlikely places, looking at the role of incentives, the effect of the laws of supply and demand – but others are more or less just observation and social comment. Most of the pieces were written by Stephen Dubner, rather fewer (though usually longer) ones by Steven Levitt, and then there are a number of guest pieces, most by authors that they have worked with in the past. The most moving pair of blog pieces were by Levitt and his father, a physician, on the death of Levitt’s sister from an aggressive cancer at the age of 50. His father’s observations on his daughter’s treatment, both clinical and pastoral, are of course a commentary on the American healthcare system, but a cause for reflection for us Brits too.

Other themes are many and varied; with the exception of one chapter called Kaleidoscopia aka miscellaneous, each has a theme.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a collection of the best blogs from the Freakonomics website over the last ten years – starting at about the time the Freakonomics book was published in 2004. Although I got round to reading that book somewhat later than that, I have followed their work ever since, downloading their weekly podcast. I was expecting, therefore, to find quite a lot of repetitive material in this book, and while that would not have spoiled it for me, I was in fact pleasantly surprised to find that though many of the themes are common, very little of the content seemed to be duplicated. As a Brit, the second thing that I like about the authors’ writing was the substantial number of references to things in Britain – I hope that they are planning a London event to promote this book, as they did for Think Like a Freak.

Economics and empiricism shape the thinking behind most of the articles – looking for data in unlikely places, looking at the role of incentives, the effect of the laws of supply and demand – but others are more or less just observation and social comment. Most of the pieces were written by Stephen Dubner, rather fewer (though usually longer) ones by Steven Levitt, and then there are a number of guest pieces, most by authors that they have worked with in the past. The most moving pair of blog pieces were by Levitt and his father, a physician, on the death of Levitt’s sister from an aggressive cancer at the age of 50. His father’s observations on his daughter’s treatment, both clinical and pastoral, are of course a commentary on the American healthcare system, but a cause for reflection for us Brits too.

Other themes are many and varied; with the exception of one chapter called Kaleidoscopia aka miscellaneous, each has a theme.
Read more ›
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I realise this is a collection of blog posts, but there appears to be no attempt at an overriding narrative or adding serious follow ups. I disappointment as with minimal effort it could've been a much more rewarding read.
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