Superfreakonomics by Stephen Levitt


Superfreakonomics is a follow-up book to the popular Freakonomics, which takes an economic approach to real-world issues by using statistics and hard data to find out what really drives human behavior.

The book covers a range of interesting topics such as prostitution, terrorism, and global warming. The authors reveal how you can find non-obvious solutions to tricky problems by focusing on raw, hard data and thinking like an economist, which will get you closer to the truth than everyone else.

The main themes of the book are incentives, irrational behavior, experts, conventional wisdom, morality, prescriptive vs. descriptive thinking, nature vs. nurture, and crime. The authors explore how incentives rarely work out as planned, how we often behave irrationally, and how conventional wisdom is frequently wrong.

They also discuss the importance of collecting as much data as possible and how complex systems respond in unpredictable ways to simple interventions.

Useful takeaways from the book include:

  • Incentives rarely work out as planned.
  • You can find simple solutions to tricky problems by zooming out.
  • There’s no such thing as too much data. Always collect as much as you can.
  • Think like an economist and you’ll unlock the secrets to the world.
  • Data never hurts, to the contrary, so make sure you’re always getting more of it.
  • Overall, Superfreakonomics is an insightful and thought-provoking book that challenges readers to think differently about the world around them.

What I Liked

Interesting read, though not as good as the original.

What I Did Not Like

Nothing – it’s an interesting read.

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