Yet another argument against Levitt and Dubner is the outcry surrounding the processes used to devise their controversial conclusions. While many opponents challenge the nature of the studies, people like Charles Jobs said their statistical methods were wrong. He illustrates how Freakonomics suggests “socioeconomic situations which violate a normative standard involving real life situations” (Jobs). He cites the naming study, which challenges the fabric of many people’s core beliefs and is viewed by many as unethical. Jobs attacked the virtue of the study by citing Levitt and Dubner’s conclusion of how “a person with a distinctively black name… does have a worse life outcome than a woman named Molly or a man named Jake” (119). He was just one of the many outspoken critics who claimed the study had no true bearing on possible events.
Others, like Michat Brezezski and Maria Halber, have examined the studies first hand and found “the coefficients’ estimates in abortion-crime regressions [were] not computationally stable and, therefore, are unreliable” (Brezezski and Halber). These critics affirmed Levitt and Dubner’s research was wrong in more than its moral character through their analysis. Unfortunately, these critics did not understand the purpose of the book. They drew conclusions undermining the purpose of Freakonomics and instead focus on the specifics of each study.
Freakonomics should be viewed as a form of questioning the world. Not as “an excellent subject for more rigorous analysis” but rather as an example of literature used to present information to the general public (Jobs). For example, although Charles Jobs critiques many Freakonomic studies, he discovered the importance a certain mindset can have in a c...
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Brzezinski, Michat, and Maria Halber. "Testing the perturbation sensitivity of abortion-crime regressions." Contemporary Economics 6.2 (2012): 58+. Academic OneFile. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Fung, Kaiser, and Andrew Gelman. "Freakonomics: what went wrong?" American Scientist 100.1 (2012): 6+. General OneFile. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Jobs, Charles. "Peakonomics: toward a case typology for increasing undergraduate economics literacy and concept retention." Journal of Economics and Economic Education Research 9.1 (2008): 19+.General OneFile. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Kats, Milena. "Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything." American Economist 50.1 (2006): 93+. General OneFile. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
Levitt, Steven D, and Stephen J. Dubner. Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. New York: William Morrow, 2005. Print.
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Clowes found after doing some research that “Law professors John R. Lott, Jr. of Yale Law School and John E. Whitley of the University of Adelaide found that legalizing abortion increased murder rates by up to seven percent.” He went on to say that the legalization of abortion is “a contributing factor to the great increase in out‑of‑wedlock births and single parent families, which in turn contribute to increased crime rates.” Crowes also found other statisticians had done research on the same subject and found that David Murray concluded “the number of crimes committed by older people dropped first.” before that of young people. If this is true, then Levitt’s claim that there was a correlation between young crime and abortion is false. Murray also found that eighteen years after abortion was legalized in other countries, the crime rate went up relative to the crime rate before abortion was illegal. Murray states, “FBI statistics showed that the murder rate in 1993 for 14‑ to 17‑year‑olds in the USA (born in the years 1975‑1979, which had very high abortion rates) was 3.6 times higher than that of kids who were the same age in 1984 (who were born in the pre‑legalization years of 1966‑1970).” Murray concluded the reason we saw a decline in violence after abortion was legalized is due to “the crack epidemic, not abortion.” Just because statistics show one thing, it
Renowned economist, Steven D. Levitt, and well-known journalist, Stephen J. Dubner, in their collaboration of the book, Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything, write in a mostly inoffensive style about extremely controversial topics. Levitt’s and Dubner’s purpose is to inform readers of frequently disputed topics from a purely economic standpoint. They use second person to directly speak to their readers, an impartial tone to show an unusual perspective, and contrast to provide both sides of an argument.
Even if a researcher has mountains of data, unless he carefully scrutinizes and questions all information, digging up potential lurking variables and possible bias, he can be confounded. If a reader can glean any lesson from Freakonomics, it is this—always look at every piece of evidence as closely as possible. Stare at it until eyes begin to bleed. Yank up confounders by their roots. Take the time necessary to make sure conclusions are draw correctly. Levitt spent hours researching his questions. Sometimes he failed, as with the abortions. Sometimes he triumphed, as with the
However, still in order to get convinced over the Roe’s case study given in the book I would be requiring more facts and figures about the court hearings and how the case was preceded. Since abortion is not a simple matter which the USA government can sanction easily therefore there must have been some other incidents. These might help us in further understanding of the case’s relationship with economic theories and especially the reduction in crime across America in the last decade. In addition to this supplementary referencing to some other cases regarding abortion in world’s history will better facilitate me agreeing to this particular point raised by the authors.
...began to fall roughly 18 years after abortion legalization,” and that the social benefit of this decrease in crime is about $30 billion annually (F-Levitt & Dubner). The crime reduction rate from the legalization of abortion occurred because of the abortions was mostly done by impoverished mothers and teenage parents. Due to the reason that the unborn children were at a high risk of being neglected, abused, and inadequate caregiving shows a high correlation that abused children are more likely than others to live a life of crime.
Chapter four of Freakonomics starts off by giving background information of the dictator in Romania. Nicolae Ceausescu was the dictator of Romania that made abortion illegal. With this new abortion law Ceausescu wanted to strengthen Romania’s population. Before the abortion law, there were four abortions to every live birth (Levitt and Dubner, 2009). However, women who already had four children and were apart of the communist party were exempt from this law. Within one year of this act the population had doubled. Studies had shown that people who were born after the abortion law would do worse in school, in work, and would sometimes be more likely to become
In a 2006 study conducted by the CDC, it was reported that 53-56% of abortions were performed on white women between the ages of 20 and 29. Among the 46 states that provided data consistently during 1996--2006, a total of 835,134 abortions (98.7% of the total) were reported; the abortion rate was 16.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15--44 years, and the abortion ratio was 236 abortions per 1,000 live births. During the previous decade (1997--2006), reported abortion numbers, rates, and ratios decreased 5.7%, 8.8%, and 14.8%, respectively; most of these declines occurred before 2001. During the previous year (2005--2006), the total number of abortions increased 3.1%, and the abortion rate increased 3.2%; the abortion ratio was stable. (CDC, 2009)
This analysis suggests that the legalisation of abortion also, contrary to the opinion of the opposition, did not cause a decrease in GDP by decreasing consumer base, as the decreased crime rate and decreased infrastructure costs offset the decrease in economic activity. This is supported by the consistent GDP growth in the United States since 1970, with the exception of the 2008 housing
...age. Levitt explores this passage with the same approach that he uses to explore the hidden side of many other such examples in society that have been overlooked and accepted as conventional wisdom for far too long. Take the parents who feel confident that they have made the right decision to forbid their child to play at a friend?s house whose family owns a gun, but allows their child to play at a friend?s house that has a pool. Levitt shows that the child is about ten thousand times more likely to drown in the swimming pool than in a gun accident, but that the violent conventional mindset associated with guns wrongly portrays their potential of causing death. Through these examples, Levitt establishes Freakonomics as a way by which the reader should live their life, never totally accepting something until every stone has been upturned, eventually exposing its hidden
Legalized abortion appears to be the reason for crime rates dropping 50 percent within the states. Crime rates began to drop a few years after abortion was first legalized in 1970. The few states that have passed legalized abortion first experienced the dropping in crime rates before the rest of the world. States that hold higher abortion rates in the 80’s hold lower crime rates in the 90’s (Donohue & Levitt, Doc 2). If abortion is not legalized, doctors are afraid that pregnant women that do not want their babies will resort to illegal unsafe abortions or just resort to killing their baby on their own after birth (AbortionProCon, Doc 5). This will put both the baby and the woman in danger.
On the front cover of Freakonomics, the subheading reads, “A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything,” which is the purpose of the book. The economist Steven Levitt and the author Stephen Dubner wrote this book using several rhetorical devices to achieve that purpose. A few of those devices, style, ethos, pathos, and logos, were prominent within the book and helped to convey the message and purpose well.
Revealing the hidden side of life in clarity, Freakonomics draws in all economists with unmentioned assumptions which are upheld with reasoned correlation, bonding subjects that unveil misconceptions, concluding on economic pattern limitations. Effectively, they lead their audience on their conviction route as smoothly as possible. Nice job on not screwing the map up. Allowing them to achieve their goals, this was to change people’s views. By the time a person puts down Freakonomics, they have been led to conviction about all their claims because Dubner & Levitt know that in order to change someone else’s way of thinking you must change your own.
Levitt, Steven D., and Dubner, Stephen J. Freakonomics:A Rouge Economist Explores The Hidden Side of Everything. New York: Harper, 2009. Print.
Table 2 shows how the relationships vary across the proposed types of legal abortions. For example, when used to determine the gender of a baby there is a negative view toward abortions. 80.6% of respondents oppose legalizing abortions in order to select the gender of a child, while only 7.9% support abortion for this cause. A similar majority opposition is evident in cases of financial hardship, with 54.9% of respondents opposing abortions in this case, and only 26.0% supporting them. However, in the case of rape, people tend to be much more likely to support abortions. 72.1% of respondents favored legalized abortions for rape victims, compared to 14.9% who opposed abortions in this instance. Apart from the differing views on favoring and opposing abortions when the circumstances are different, there is another situation when respondents are about evenly split. For the issue of legalizing abortion because it is a woman’s choice, 41.3% of respondents favored abortions and 40.5% opposed them. Therefore, the public’s current stance on abortion cannot be accurately stated on the topic of abortion as a whole, because the opinions vary depending on the