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Freakonomics to some, from first look, would be considered another boring economics book. But in reality it is far from it. It is an innovative look on how economists view the world.. I learned so much in relation to the way the world works. I enjoyed the readings because they offered insights the "merit pay debate" for public school teachers, an area I was not too familiar with. egardless of whether you have to read this book or not, it is definitely worth looking into if only to learn more about economics.
Authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner examine in chapter one of Freakonomics how incentives may achieve the opposite of what they are designed for. They use the comparison of sumo wrestlers and teachers to help explain their point. The chapter goes on to state that teachers, specifically public school teachers, through the incentive system, have been…
Levitt, S.D., & Dubner, S.J. (2005). Freakonomics: A rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything. New York: William Morrow.
Freakonomics (2005), the authors write, "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." In the midst of the global economic recession, an understanding of incentives is critical to how sport marketers sell their product to the public. Today, sports economics are inextricably tied to the fate of deep-pocketed corporations. Many sports facilities have been upgraded and located within gentrified business districts and teams cater to high-end clientele through luxury suites, driving up prices for all fans. As the general public sees their savings erode, they will probably be less willing to pay stratospheric ticket prices, which fund the cartoonish salaries of sports stars. Likewise, companies that dish out millions for sponsorships won't be able to justify sports-marketing expenditures to their shareholders. Therefore the intelligent market must seek new avenues to effectively reach…
Rosner, S. And Shropshire, K. 2004. The Business of Sports. Jones and Bartlett: New York.
Levitt, S. And Dubner, S. 2005. Freakonomics. Willow Morrow: New York.
But what about Bush v. Gore? Can this case be considered as anything more than a national embarrassment and one that, on its own, created a precedent for the alleged electioneering abused four years later?
Bartley contends that Bush v. Gore was a hard case and that respectable constitutional arguments can be found on both sides. If one is thinking about the case strictly in terms of 'hanging chads' and those other esoteric problems with the paper ballots, then the case would easily be seen as a matter of observable fact running into state election laws and might never have gotten to the Supreme Court. Obviously, then, there was more to it than that. Bartley notes that once the issues were taken to the Supreme Court, then additional factors were brought to light, including "gaps, and ambiguities in Florida law, federal law, and the Constitution" (Commentary 2005, p. 25+).
Abramsky, Sasha. "Did Roe V. Wade Abort Crime?" The American Prospect 1 Jan. 2001: 25. Questia. 26 June 2005 http://www.questia.com/ .
Courts, Presidents and Precedents." National Review 18 July 1986: 17+. Questia. 26 June 2005
He also says that it is common to exaggerate information in anything from house ads to resumes.
Why do Drug Dealers Still Live With Their Moms?
This chapter deals with conventional wisdom and when to question it, such as the idea that all drug dealers are wealthy, when if fact, many still live at home. The premise of this chapter is on how to find the right data to prove or disprove a theory, and how difficult that can be. To answer this question, Levitt found a researcher who had spent a long period of time with a black gang in Chicago, and learned how to ask the right questions to generate data about the gang. He finally showed that most gang drug dealing is only profitable for a very few upper echelon gang members, and most make little from their efforts.
Where Have all the Criminals Gone?
Levitt, Steven D. And Dubner, Stephen J. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.
For example, many people suffer from what psychologists call a "present-bias," where a person will choose an inferior option over a superior option because it brings more immediate gratification.
Presentation of concepts in an understandable fashion
The very aim of the book is to apply economic theory to real-life problems, problems which economists do not typically deal with. Levitt is successful in doing so without using a lot of economic jargon.
Antidotes or examples to illustrate points
Levitt uses a quite controversial example proposing a link between increased abortions and a resulting reduction in crime rates. He posited that increased abortion resulted in less unwanted children to unprepared mothers, who were often younger, poorer, and residents of poorer neighborhoods. Levitt suggests that such unwanted children were more likely to be criminals than the average child. Thus, the reduction in such children, through abortion, led to a decline in the general…
Levitt, S.D. And Dubner, S.J. (2005). Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. New York: William Morrow.
Different individuals may be capable of using the economic advantage accrued to them because of their superior knowledge with greater alacrity than others.
Another limit is the multicausal nature of behavior and shifts in the culture. The drop in crime can be attributed to so many factors, to draw an easy correlation between the abortion rate and a drop in crime is almost impossible, given that it was accompanied by an increase in material wealth during this period that spread to poorer segments of society, an increase in more effective policing, even a degrease in the prestige of criminal activity and a greater respect for authority in the culture. Human beings do not live in the laboratory, and the examples cited by Leavitt and Dubner tend to reduce most of human behavior to a singular causal framework. Regardless, the book is provoking and challenging in its analysis, although it is…
Dubner, Stephen & Steven Levitt. Freakonomics. New York: William Morrow, 2006.
The question as to what is more influential in affecting children's predilections for unhealthy food -- taste or packaging -- would be more useful to explore, but was not fully brought to light within the construct of the study, given that children were offered an choice between two identical assortments of sweet treats and vegetables at the same time.
The focus on cartoons advertising children's food is a distraction, says McWilliams, from the more difficult-to-control pressures that do influence childhood obesity. Parents that can afford healthy foods and parents that have the time and the energy to ensure their children have safe places to exercise tend to have slimmer children. It is easier to ban cartoon advertising for cookies, politically, then to end subsidizes to industrialized farms that make cheap, sweet corn syrup used in processed snack foods and to make urban areas safe places to play. McWilliams uses his…
McWilliams, James. (2010, July 22). What we know, and don't know about children and junk food. The New York Times. Retrieved August 2, 2010 at http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com /2010/07/22/what-we-know-and-dont-about-children-and-junk-food/?scp=2&sq=childhood' target='_blank' REL='NOFOLLOW'>
pursuant attached instructions. The argument analysis attached article, Ellen inner. As, instructions I sources -text citations/quotations.
"Sometimes our folk theories are correct: Parents do shape their children"
Ellen inner's essay "Sometimes our folk theories are correct: Parents do shape their children" is a counter-argument to recent claims that 'nurture' is of little importance in shaping children's life paths and personalities. She argues that the results of personality tests have had far too much of an influence on recent theories which suggest that biology shapes the human character more than the environment. She adds that furthermore, the lack of 'mirroring' of parents and children on personality tests is hardly adequate testimony to a lack of parental influence. Children may react to their parents' influence, in a negative way, argues inner. To substantiate this she cites the hypothetical example of an Alex P. Keaton-like child who reacts against his parent's…
"Freakonomics: How much influence does a parent have on a child's education?" Marketplace.
14 Jun 2011. 15 Feb 2012. http://www.marketplace.org/topics/life/freakonomics-radio/freakonomics-how-much-influence-does-parent-have-childs-education
Lehrer, Jonah. "Do parents matter?" Scientific American. 9 Apr 2009.
" Meanwhile the networks have critics cornered; if a reviewer says attractive women are on the sidelines to stimulate libidos in male viewers, those critics are sexist. Although it is obvious in a brutally violent game, an attractive, well-spoken female brightens up the broadcast aesthetically, it is also sexist to assume beautiful women don't understand football. As Andrew writes, "I love it when my wife talks about zone defense."
Meanwhile a research article ("College students' attitudes toward the sexualization of professional women") reported two experiments that examined "how tawdry media sexualizations of… women athletes influence the perceived gender-role orientation of athletes" (Harrison, et al., 2010). The findings revealed that when female basketball players were presented to 85 students (64 women, 24 men) in "tawdry sexualization" scenes, the perception was that they were "feminine" (read that heterosexual). However, female athletes that are beautiful and sexy "violate traditional expectations that athletes have…
Harrison, Lisa a, and Secarea, Ashley M. (2010). College Students' attitudes toward the sexualization of professional women athletes. Journal of Sport Behavior, 33(4), 403-427.
Levitt, Steven D., and Dubner, Stephen J. (2010). Why Are Most of Football's Sideline
Reporters Women? Freakonomics. The New York Times. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2010, from http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com .
There is much more to the issue and how it is addressed than that (Seamon, 2007). These states are:
Washington (Seamon, 2007)
Criticisms of Decriminalization
The war on drugs has been in the news for some time now, and marijuana has been included in that war. It continues to be listed as important in the speeches of many politicians, and it continues to be at the forefront of a great many debates about how our tax money should best be spent (Gray, 2005; Pacula, 2003b). One of the main concerns of the war on drugs, however, does not deal with what politicians think about it. Rather, it deals with what police think about it. Police are, after all, the ones that are out there on the streets every day, trying to fight the…
Anslinger, H.J. & Tompkins, William F. n.d. "The traffic in narcotics." Drug Library. Retrieved at http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/people/anslinger/traffic/appendix1.htm
Austin, James. 2005. "Rethinking the Consequences of Decriminalizing Marijuana." Washington, DC: The JFA Institute.
Brazaitis, Tom. 2002. "U.S. Should Concede Defeat in the War on Drugs." Media Awareness Project. Retrieved at http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v02/n1827/a09.html?397
Clements, Kenneth, et al. 2005. "Two Short Papers on Marijuana, Legalisation and Drinking: (1) Exogeneous Shocks and Related Goods: Drinking and the Legalisation of Marijuana; and (2) Notes on Projections of Alcohol Consumption Following Marijuana Legalisation." Perth, Australia: The University of Western Australia Working Paper no. 05-14. Perth, Australia: The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
LISTEINE TODAY VS. LISTEINE FOM YESTEDAY
Listerine is one of those few renowned products which have ruled globally for more than a century. Since, its inception since 1890s, it has managed to provide sustainable and effective solutions for oral hygiene.
One noticeable thing about Listerine is that its original formula hasn't changed much. In fact, now it is known as Listerine original. One can still find the same formula of Listerine which was used six decades back, in the market. However, science has made great advancement in 1900s and we have also made great progress in dental sciences. Therefore, for curing other problems related to oral protection, various other types of Listerine have been introduced in the market.
These new types are quite different from the original formula. Their color and uses that they are meant for, are also different. By providing this vast range of products, Listerine has…
ADA Seal Product Report, Retrieved from http://www.ada.org/5275.aspx?productid=4438&company=Johnson+%26+Johnson+Healthcare+Products
McCullough, M.J. And Farah, C.S. (2008), The role of alcohol in oral carcinogenesis with particular reference to alcohol-containing mouthwashes. Retrieved from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1834-7819.2008.00070.x/full
Levitt, S.D. And Dubner, S.J. (2009). Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything. New York: HarperCollins. P. 87
Types and Composition of Listerine Mouthwash, Retrieved from http://www.listerine.in/products/coolmint
Japan was once on a stellar track to economic prosperity. The end of the twentieth century saw promising chances for the island nation's economy. In 1991, the government spending was one of the lowest the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED) and 31.6% of the nation's GDP (Utt 2008). That same year, Japan's national income was at 86% of the U.S. gross national per capita income, a big improvement from just 20 years ago when the nation was only making 66% of the U.S. per capita income. This was an impressive feat for the nation to embark on. Yet, this was to change in the following years dramatically. During the later decade of the 1990s, the Japanese government took on the practice of vastly increasing government spending as a way to stimulate an economy that was beginning to lag. As the growth of the economy began to go stale,…
Associated Press. 2009, 'North Korea 'Panic' After Surprise Currency Revaluation,' Guardian [Online] Available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/dec/03/north-korea-won-currency-revaluation
Bozyk, Pawel. 2006. Globalization and the Transformation of Foreign Economic Policy, Ashgate Publishing Ltd.
Chait, Jonathon. 2010, 'The Budget-Cutting Cycle: Delusion, Failure, Recimination,' the New Republic, [Online] Available at http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/78735/the-budget-cutting-cycle-delusion-failure-recrimination
Eberstadt, Nick. 2007, the North Korean Economy: Between Crisis and Catastrophe, Transaction Publishers.
Even proponents of medical legalization concede marijuana cannot cure or even alleviate the symptoms of MS or glaucoma, merely act as a narcotic. True, other narcotics exist on the market today -- and like marijuana, they are also addictive. Whether they are more or less addictive than marijuana remains uncertain, but advocates say the chronically ill should be able to choose what works best for them while opponents say only tested, carefully titrated drugs should be used as palliatives.
Weighing the rights of the sick with marijuana's long and short-term side effects is a delicate balance. When marijuana is smoked, users often suffer similar short as well as long-term problems to those of regular smokers, including a smoker's cough and breathing problems. In fact, "marijuana smoke contains 50% to 70% more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than does tobacco smoke" (Legalization of marijuana, 2010, Legalization of marijuana). The active agent in marijuana, THC,…
Amsterdam drugs. (2005). Amsterdam Info. Retrieved July 14, 2010 at http://www.amsterdam.info/drugs/
DuPont, J. (2007, October 30). On the legalization or not of marijuana. The New York Times.
Retrieved July 14, 2010 at http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com /2007/10/30/on-the-legalization-or-not-of-marijuana/' target='_blank' REL='NOFOLLOW'>
obert eich and SUPECAPITALISM
Background- One of the freshest, possibly most realistic views, of the modern 21st century economic systems in today's world is former Secretary of Labor and political economist obert eich. Currently, he is a Professor of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, but was formerly associated with Harvard University. He is also a contributing editor to The New epublic, The American Prospect, Harvard Business eview, The Atlantic, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. He had published 13 books and is regularly featured as a pundit on several political television shows. He is an active user of social media, and has more of a long-term balanced view of economics than many. Summing up his views he says, "I don't believe in redistribution of wealth for the sake of redistributing wealth. But I am concerned about how we can afford to pay for what…
Bryer, R. (2004). "The Roots of Modern Capitalism: A Marxist Accounting History of The Origins and Consequences of Capitalist Landlords in England." Accounting
Historians Journal. 31 (1): 56-90.
Dubner, S.J. (1 May 2008). Robert Reich Answers Your Labor Questions. The New York Times. Retrieved from: http://www.freakonomics.com/2008/05/01/robert-reich-answers-your-labor-questions/
Hitt, M., et.al. (2010). Strategic Management: Competitiveness & Globalization. Mason, OH: Cenage/SWestern Learning.
Human Psychology Drives Economy
Animal Spirits - How Human Psychology Drives Economy - the Theory ehavioral Economics Particularly work authors Robert Shiller ( Akerlof) Yale Richard Thaler Chicago. Shiller a web.
The essay is based upon behavioral economics and how human behavior or rather psychology act as an economic driver, thou this theory or opinion hasn't been fully accepted by all economist and authors the essay intends to explore more into behavioral theory or economic and at the end give its own conclusion about the topic.
The essay will first introduce the topic of study then look at some of the economic drivers that have been suggested by other authors and economist to understand more on what an economic driver is. After looking at some of the economic drivers that have been laid out, the essay embarks on the sub-topic which is the theory of behavioral economic in a manner…
Ainslie, G. (1992). Picoeconomics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ainslie, G. (1975). "Specious Reward: A Behavioral / Theory of Impulsiveness and Impulse Control." Psychological Bulletin 82 (4): 463 -- 496.
Alkerlof & Shiller (2009) Animal Spirits: How Human psychology drives economy and why it matters for global capitalism
Arrow, Kenneth and Gerard Debreu. (1954). "Existence of a Competitive Equilibrium for a Competitive Economy." Econometrica 22, no. 3 (1954): 265-90.
However, local enterprises face problems related to diseconomies of scale and this has forced them to charge higher prices which the lower and middle income classes cannot afford. There are instances where the local governments have had to intervene by subsidizing their operations something that has worsened the citizen's tax burden. Proponents of buying local have posited that buying locally made goods enhances velocity of money arguing that the currency will circulate more quickly and pass through more hands. Consequently, more people will have the benefit of that money and what it has purchased for them (Schwartz, 2009). Buying local as opposed to chain stores means more money will be put into the community.
However, quality of products and prices charged cannot be substituted with velocity of money. It is good when money flows in the local economy but no body in his right senses can buy an extremely expensive…
Cranbrook, C. (1997). The Rural Economy and Supermarkets. Suffolk: Great Glemham.
DeWeerdt, S. (2013, Jun. 22). Is Local Better? World Watch Institute.
McGinnis, M .V. (ed). (1999). Bioregionalism. London and New York: Routledge.
New, C. (2012, Sept. 18). Made in America Is a Luxury Label That Will Cost You. Huffington
A history of a typical American meal
When a typical consumer purchases a rib-eye steak for dinner, he or she will pay far less than his or her grandfather did for the same cut of meat. This is because of the efficiencies generated by the commercial meat industry. While the cow will begin its life in a manner similar to that of cows of the past -- by the side of his or her mother on a ranch -- that will quickly change. "Cows raised on grass simply take longer to reach slaughter weight than cows raised on a richer diet, and the modern meat industry has devoted itself to shortening a beef calf's allotted time on earth" (Pollan 2002). On a factory farm, cows are quickly weaned from their mother and fed a corn-based diet or 'finished' on corn while they are held in pens. Instead of…
Big dairy enters the era of big data. (2012). Businessweek. Retrieved:
Bittman, Mark. (2008). Rethinking the meat guzzler. The New York Times. Retrieved:
Farmers' markets: A history
Farmers' markets are often praised as the solution to many of our nation's food problems. "Farmers markets are an integral part of the urban/farm linkage and have continued to rise in popularity, mostly due to the growing consumer interest in obtaining fresh products directly from the farm" (Farmers Markets, 2012, USDA). Farmers' markets are defined as places were farmers can sell products directly to consumers. The products are believed to be more likely to be locally grown and the food sold there is viewed as having a lower carbon footprint regarding transportation. According to the USDA: "farmers markets allow consumers to have access to locally grown, farm fresh produce, enables farmers the opportunity to develop a personal relationship with their customers, and cultivate consumer loyalty with the farmers who grows the produce" (Farmers Markets, 2012, USDA). In an age in which so many people feel disconnected…
Etter, Lauren. (2010) Food for thought. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved at:
Farmers markets. (2012). USDA. Retrieved at:
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…