Do you ever wonder the real cause of a big change in our society, such as why crime rates fluctuate? Why do more people…or less people start having children than in the past? What is the true cause of professional athletes salaries skyrocketing in the past three decades? Throughout the book, Freakonomics, Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner advocate the hidden truth behind what makes big changes really happen. It is often the symptom of a series of small decisions made by those in power.
For example, Levitt and Dubner explain how there are hidden consequences towards everything we do. They bring the example of how crime has dropped immensely since the early 1990’s. This may be a symptom of the Roe vs. Wade case, since it is found that children from unexpected pregancies are more likely to end up as criminals.
Levitt and Dubner also compare different kinds of professions to each other in ways that many people may not think about. For example, teachers were compared to wrestlers in the way that they may cheat on state exams due to the incentives it may provide. That is what this book is all about: how everything is driven by incentives.
Is it really worth it to the real estate agent to trek more hassle to get 10k more for your house, if it only means an extra $150 in commission to them? How about a 25 cent penalty for every time you litter, versus a $100 fine for littering? If the incentive is large enough, we all find a way to follow through.
Freakonomics really makes you realize how there are hidden consequences to everything (positive and negative). For example, if you lost your job, then found a more fulfilling career because of that, wouldn’t losing your job actually become a positive experience? Did you ever experience a material downsizing in your life? If so, did you possibly notice you and your significant other became closer? That is what this book is all about: is the hidden effects behind the actions we take. Happy reading!