Stephen J.Dubner,Steven D.Levitt

Freakonomics

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    Anindya Khas quoted5 years ago
    when there are a lot of people willing and able to do a job, that job generally doesn’t pay well. This is one of four meaningful factors that determine a wage. The others are the specialized skills a job requires, the unpleasantness of a job, and the demand for services that the job fulfills.
    Alla Nabatovahas quoted6 years ago
    the risks that scare people and the risks that kill people are very different.
    Alla Nabatovahas quoted6 years ago
    Unseasonably pleasant weather inspires people to pay at a higher rate. Unseasonably cold weather, meanwhile, makes people cheat prolifically; so do heavy rain and wind.
    Anindya Khas quoted5 years ago
    Economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. Economists love incentives.
    Anindya Khas quoted5 years ago
    Incentives are the cornerstone of modern life.And understanding them – or, often, deciphering them – is the key to understanding a problem, and how it might be solved.

    Knowing what to measure, and how to measure it, can make a complicated world less so.There is nothing like the sheer power of numbers to scrub away layers of confusion and contradiction, especially with emotional, hot-button topics.

    The conventional wisdom is often wrong.And a blithe acceptance of it can lead to sloppy, wasteful, or even dangerous outcomes.

    Correlation does not equal causality.When two things travel together, it is tempting to assume that one causes the other. Married people, for instance, are demonstrably happier than single people; does this mean that marriage causes happiness? The data suggests otherwise – that happy people are more likely to get married in the first place. As one researcher puts it, “if you’re grumpy, who the hell wants to marry you?”
    Anindya Khas quoted5 years ago
    Cocaine had never been a big seller in the ghetto: it was too expensive. But that was before the invention of crack. This new product was ideal for a low-income, street-level customer. Because it required such a tiny amount of pure cocaine, one hit of crack cost only a few dollars. Its powerful high reached the brain in just a few seconds—and then faded fast, sending the user back for more. From the outset, crack was bound to be a huge success.
    Alla Nabatovahas quoted6 years ago
    Information is a beacon, a cudgel, an olive branch, a deterrent—all depending on who wields it and how
    An Nguyenhas quoted7 years ago
    seeking to legalize abortion. The defendant was Henry Wade, the Dallas County district attorney. The case ultimately made it
    An Nguyenhas quoted7 years ago
    mind. In short course, they became conventional wisdom.
    There was only one problem: they weren’t true.
    Sanzhar Surshanovhas quoted7 years ago
    Another barrier to thinking like a Freak is that most people are too busy to rethink the way they think – or to even spend much time thinking at all. When was the last time you sat for an hour of pure, unadulterated thinking?
    An Nguyenhas quoted7 years ago
    So had the rate of just about every other sort of crime, from assault to car theft.
    Swara Hindlekarhas quoted8 months ago
    Or, as W. C. Fields once said: a thing worth having is a thing worth cheating for
    George Titushas quoted10 months ago
    Jim Crow laws
    George Titushas quoted10 months ago
    The early Klan did its work through pamphleteering, lynching, shooting, burning, castrating, pistol-whipping, and a thousand forms of intimidation. They targeted former slaves and any whites who supported the blacks’ rights to vote, acquire land, or gain an education.
    George Titushas quotedlast year
    In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant spelled out for the House of Representatives the true aims of the Ku Klux Klan: “By force and terror, to prevent all political action not in accord with the views of the members, to deprive colored citizens of the right to bear arms and of the right of a free ballot, to suppress the schools in which colored children were taught, and to reduce the colored people to a condition closely allied to that of slavery.”
    George Titushas quotedlast year
    Glaucon’s story posed a moral question: could any man resist the temptation of evil if he knew his acts could not be witnessed? Glaucon seemed to think the answer was no. But Paul Feldman sides with Socrates and Adam Smith—for he knows that the answer, at least 87 percent of the time, is yes.
    George Titushas quotedlast year
    The Theory of Moral Sentiments, was the innate honesty of mankind. “How selfish soever man may be supposed,” Smith wrote, “there are evidently some principles in his nature, which interest him in the fortune of others, and render their happiness necessary to him, though he derives nothing from it, except the pleasure of seeing it.”
    George Titushas quotedlast year
    (Feldman wondered if perhaps the executives cheated out of an overdeveloped sense of entitlement. What he didn’t consider is that perhaps cheating was how they got to be executives.)
    George Titushas quotedlast year
    nseasonably cold weather, meanwhile, makes people cheat prolifically
    George Titushas quotedlast year
    fice comparison, bagel crime seems to mirror street crime. There is far less street crime per capita in rural areas than in cities, in large part because a rural criminal is more likely to be known (and therefore caught). Also, a smaller community tends to exert greater social incentives against crime, the main one being shame.
    The bagel data also reflect how much personal mood seems to affect honesty. Weather, for instance, is a major factor. Unseasonably pleasant weather inspires people to pay at a higher rate.
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