Freakanomics Levitt, Steven D. & Term Paper

Total Length: 842 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 0

Page 1 of 3

Individuals do not always make career and life decisions according to the mathematical laws of probability or according to strict economic sense, despite the idea that people always go for the biggest paychecks in their working lives. Rather, the individual's perceptions of reality, rather than reality itself can govern his or her vocational choices. It is this same logic in the face of the odds that a young man in the ghetto might use when aspiring to the life of the biggest men on the block, the drug dealers whom he sees as powerful and worthy of respect, according to his own personal worldview.

Other parts of the text are cautionary fables rather than explanations, such as the note that real estate agents have more of an incentive to get rid of a house at a relatively lower price than the owner of the house, as the real estate agent works on a percentage commission, rather than receiving a large sum in bulk, like the owner of the house. Having this knowledge gives the homeowner power when negotiating with his or her agent. The last chapter discusses the idea that one's name can affect one's future status an income, examining the proposition one ought to name a child with a more 'normal' sounding name than an unusual name, given that children with unusual names often have lower incomes.
Is this because of the propensity of disadvantaged social groups to give children unusual names? Levitt and Dubner compare the incomes of individuals with unusual upper-middle class names with the incomes of individuals with more stereotypically 'ethnic' names to conclude that other factors besides the mere perception of names are of significance when analyzing this theory. (Hint: the family that gives its child a name like Flannery rather than Temptress or LaRhonda, does not mean that all of these children will have the same incomes as adults, even though all are relatively uncommon names.)

Overall, the text is fun and readable in its tone, and provides a wonderfully skewed view of the world. It is occasionally too light or too quick to draw conclusions. But one may forgive Levitt and Dubner, given the book's origin as a column, one of the reasons that the book is written on the level of a newspaper column rather than a….....

Have Any Questions? Our Expert Writers Can Answer!

Need Help Writing Your Essay?