Days of our Lives!

February 26, 2008

Freakonomics in a nutshell

Filed under: Books — Santhosh @ 3:06 AM

  • crime rate drop bcoz of legalizing abortion
  • real-estate agents sell own property at better rates (% of commission for others’ is v low)
  • amt of money spent on campaign doesn’t affect candidate’s chances
  • An incentive is simply a means of urging people to do more of a good thing and less of a bad thing
  • economic, social, and moral incentives
  • day care center – late pickups doubled after fine was imposed – the fine substituted an economic incentive for a moral incentive (guilt of parents) – parents could buy off their guilt – small fine meant late pickups weren’t a big problem
  • blood donation – giving small stipend changed noble act of charity into a painful way to make a few dollars
  • Ku Klux Klan – busted by superman radio show
  • information asymmetries – someone wud know more than another
  • online dating – A man without profile photo gets only 1/4th the responses of a man who does; a woman 1/6th without photo
  • Why do intelligent people view the world so differently? Because a gun raises a complex set of issues that change according to one factor: whose hand happens to be holding the gun.
  • There are enough guns in the United States that if you gave one to every adult, you would run out of adults before you ran out of guns. Nearly two-thirds of U.S. homicides involve a gun
  • Brady Act, passed in 1993, which requires a criminal check and a waiting period before a person can purchase a handgun.
  • The US Supreme Court gave voice to what the mothers in Romania and Scandinavia—and elsewhere—had long known: when a woman does not want to have a child, she usually has a good reason…. – childhood poverty and a single-parent household—are among the strongest predictors that a child will have a criminal future
  • legalization of abortion –> Infanticide fell dramatically. So did shotgun marriages, as well as the number of babies put up for adoption
  • Spare the rod and spoil the child; spank the child and go to jail.
  • a baby should be left to cry for fifteen to thirty minutes a day: “It is the baby’s exercise.”
  • “If you both own a gun and have a swimming pool in the backyard, the swimming pool is about 100 times more likely to kill a child than the gun is.”
  • “the risks that scare people and the risks that kill people are very different.”
  • “Risks that you control are much less a source of outrage than risks that are out of your control,” — mad cow disease vs unclean kitchen, driving vs flying
  • Risk = hazard + outrage. — often outrage ouweighs the hazard (eg. terrorism vs heart attacks)
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