I’ve previously mentioned the book Freakonomics as an interesting read which explains how economic thought can be applied to many different (and unusual) areas of the world around us. Well, the same authors (Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner) have recently released a follow-up book, Superfreakonomics.


This book covers in quite some depth topics such as finding solutions to global warming, using statistical analysis to find terrorists (particularly relevant at the moment) and why the solutions to big problems are often simple. I personally found that a few of these chapters strayed further from the economics-based descriptions that defined the first book – concentrating more on the details of possible solutions to global warming than the economic forces working on those solutions, for example.

Having said that, the chapter about the economics of prostitution is very much like the previous book’s chapter on drug dealing – because the relevant studies the authors were reporting on were done by the same researcher. It offers some of the detailed analysis that I felt made the first book accessible – explaining why the data gathered (and the methods used to gather the data) can tell you things you wouldn’t otherwise find out.

A very entertaining read which unfortunately is over too quickly – but the epilogue is my favourite part of the whole book, where they explain briefly the impact of explaining to monkeys the concept of money!

Click on the link to the right to buy the book from Amazon, and you’ll be doing your bit to support this site!

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Economy

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