1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The economics of cheating,
This review is from: Freakonomics [Revised and Expanded]: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (Hardcover)
The most interesting parts of this book are about cheating. I've long found it puzzling that economic theory marginalizes cheating and crime, so I would like to think Levitt's efforts to use economics to understand crime will eventually work its way into mainline economics. The cheaters are elementary school teachers, sumo wrestlers, real estate agents, governments and parents. Levitt also looks at a crack gang and finds they work pretty much the same way corporations work. I guess that means that those we expect to cheat only cheat as much as those you don't expect to cheat, but this subject isn't explored.
The general tone of the book is light hearted, though it relies on tabloid shock and exaggeration to maintain interest. It is lots of fun to poke holes in the reputations of various authority figures, but ultimately the book has little substance.
With respect to the 'abortion lower crime' argument, it would have been interesting for Levitt to investigate the relationship between abortion rates and immigration.