Sumo Wrestlers

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Chapter One- Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers “Economics is, at its root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people need the same thing.” (Levitt/Dubner-16) This quotation lays the foundation for the entire book. Every situation that Levitt and Dubner face in the following chapters revolves around this basic concept of incentives. Sure, it’s an over-simplified explanation, but it immediately gives any layman a grasp on the core of economics. Instantly the reader knows the key tools to gaining a greater understanding of economics. This is the patented “plain terms” idea—“Freakonomics,”—that has made the book so popular. It’s accessible. The key point to look at in this quote…show more content…
There are two possibilities here. One, it has never been asked because of its sheer idiocy . . . or the more exciting option, it has never been asked because there has always been an alternative that has been blindly accepted. As the authors put it, if you can ask something that overturns conventional wisdom, you’re onto something. Chapter Four- Where Have All the Criminals Gone? “The broken window theory argues that minor nuisances, if left unchecked, turn into major nuisances: that is, if someone breaks a window and sees it isn’t fixed immediately, he gets the signal that it’s all right to break the rest of the windows and maybe set the building afire too.” (Levitt/Dubner-127) If you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile. This seems to be a fairly widely accepted fact. It’s human nature to find out just what you can get away with successfully and go to the very limits. Anyone with children knows this to be true. Little Tommy has a cookie before dinner one night and gets away with it, so the next night Jill tries to take a jar of cookies to her bedroom. What is truly intriguing about this, though, is that Levitt and Dubner go on to explain that this principle made little difference in their study of criminal behavior in their
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