Freakonomics Analysis

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It is stated very on that there is no single unifying theme of the work done by Levitt and Dubner in the book Freakonomics. While there may not be one main theme, there are several key concepts that recur throughout the book. First, the idea of incentives is a major concept in Freakonomics. Levitt says, “economics is, at root, the study of incentive: how people get what they want or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.” An incentive is defined as a thing that motivates or encourages one to do something and it is a vital element to human existence. Every day, everyone responds to different incentives, whether it be tax incentives for charitable donations or getting an allowance for doing chores, and they can greatly…show more content…
Conventional wisdom is an opinion or belief that is held or accepted by most people regardless if it true or not. For example, most people believe that all drug dealers are rich, but in the chapter titled, “Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?,” Levitt bust the myth. Also in this chapter, Levitt explains why society adopts conventional wisdom, even though they are false using ideas from the economist and diplomat Kenneth Galbraith. According to Galbraith, conventional wisdom must be simple, convenient, comfortable, and comforting, even if untrue. It is human nature to want a comforting and simple lie than a complex and troubling truth. Levitt says that it is difficult to correct the conventional wisdom once it is embraced by society. This is because the wisdom, more often than not, is created by experts in a field of study. The experts will draw conclusions from their observations without checking the facts. Media then goes on to spread the false conclusions, which begins to ring true and accepted by society. According to Levitt, this problem would be solved if instead believing fallacies, society focused on using logical facts. Using analytical data, instead of conventional wisdom, would always lead us to the truth. Levitt states, “information is a beacon, a cudgel, an olive branch, a deterrent--all depending on who wields it and
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