Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Freakonomics & Hidden Order

Freakonomics came in the form of a Father's Day present, and I promptly reclined in a lawn chair and absorbed it in Sunday afternoon shade. An enjoyable read, "rogue economist" Steven Levitt explores "the hidden side of everything." Topics include the financial structure of inner city gangs, cheating at school and sumo wrestling, statistical significance found in baby names, etc.

Although Freakonomics generated much more buzz, it reminds me very much of a book published ten years ago, David Friedman's Hidden Order.

Friedman's book is lengthier, and it gets into more technical detail, marginal value, supply and demand curves, explanations of comparative advantage, etc., but it contains many of the sorts of economics analyses of everyday life found in Freakonomics. If you liked Freakonomics, Friedman's book is worth a look.


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