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Genre: Business & Investing
Author: Steven D Levitt, Stephen J Dubner

Stats made interesting. Levitt finds data that contradicts conventional wisdom and answers questions that are often overlooked or ignored. Great questions and interesting topics in this book are uncovered under a blanket of what the world generally perceives to be true. He covers such questions that don’t have usual answers, such as:

  • Do teachers cheat and why?
  • Is cheating a problem with Sumo wrestling?
  • Why has crime rate dropped?
  • Do real estate agents really get the most value for your home?
  • Why do drug dealers still live with their moms?
  • How well do honor system work for payment?

He cautions some of the approaches most studies and research follows and proves a great point. The correlations of data are not to be trusted as there are always other factors less obvious. Even some of his own research he only found by questioning what was thought to be an obvious answer. One last focus of the book covers reducing crime rates and Levitt credits this to the legalization of abortion. While I find this rather disturbing, he proves his case with credible theories and statistics.

I personally liked reading it, there are many great stories in the book with many points where I laughed out loud and was surprised by the findings that have seemed to simply slip behind the more ‘obvious’ answers to some of his questions. I think its a great book, my only disappointment from it was the last chapters on names. That ruined the end of it for me. Overall, a very good book, he doesn’t close this one very well or end with any one particular finding. You need to see that for yourself from the entire book!

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