A Literary Analysis Of Freakonomics

1157 Words5 Pages

Morgan Krieger
Econ 212
5 May 2017
Analysis of Freakonomics Economic is known as the dismal science for good reason. The usual way of studying the economy is very strict and matter-of-fact in order to try to describe something that is very hard to definitively explain. This idea of why people do what they do is discussed in depth in Freakonomics, a book by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. They argue that people react in a market because of incentives. The three basic types of incentives are moral, social, and economic. By looking at unconventional situations, like bagel selling, crack cocaine dealers, and the Ku Klux Klan, Levitt and Dubner make generalizations about people and the actions we take in our lives and the effects these actions …show more content…

Who cheats and why? Even the most honorable often cheat because of incentives. This is what Chapter one of Freakonomics discusses. Sumo Wrestlers and Teachers have this in common. In the case of school teachers, a study of the Chicago Public School System had shown that some teachers were cheating on standardized tests because of the incentives of doing so. By helping their students pass the yearly tests, the teachers and schools receive benefits because the system offers incentives if their students score high. Another incidence of cheating that Levitt and Dubner discuss in sumo wrestling. Sumo wrestling is an ancient sport in Japan where it is considered to be sacred and honorable, but it was still found to be prone to cheating. Rankings and everything associated …show more content…

The Klan came to power with the aid of their secret nature that involved handshakes, code words, etc. Most people knew little about the Klan until Stetson Kennedy infiltrated the society and revealed many secrets to try to dismantle the Klan. Kennedy saw that his local chapter was comprised of poorly educated, low earning men who needed to vent their frustrations to someone. Kennedy revealed their secrets to a radio show, where children learned the Klan’s secrets and turned the seriousness of the Klan into a child’s game. Many men stopped attending meetings after this. Real estate agents operate in a similar way as did the Klan. Homeowners believe that agents will help them sell their home for the best price. However, agents serve their own interests by using certain words and other information. They want to sell a house as quickly as possible, so they may pressure the homeowner to take the first offer that is received, even if waiting would be more profitable to you. Real estate agents also market houses in a way to make a house sound less desirable or new, even if there is nothing wrong with it. In this case, the real estate agents are the experts. Those selling their homes are more likely to do what the agent says because the agent has more information, even if they are abusing

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