Making a critical analysis of Freakonomics, it is good to declare a statement that of course, Freakonomics is not a textbook on economics, but it can be percept by the readers as a stimulant for new ideas, which promotes reformatting of the stereotypical thinking in its new innovative quality. We know that governments create economic instruments and mechanisms, but their success and interoperability depends on how quickly and accurately paradigms of economic thinking and behavior will be assimilated by changing society. That is why the book can become a good way to stimulate creative thinking in people’s minds.
It is a well-known fact that evaluation of findings in the frames of any new theory goes through three successive stages: 1) it can not be, because this can never happen, 2) it remains to be proved, and 3) it is quite obvious. Analyzing the authors’ arguments and presented data, we can notice that all three evaluations could be awarded to presented conclusions simultaneously. In addition, David Bernstein, one of the most severe Freakonomics critics, wrote that many years ago he asked his relative, who was a person of the conservative way of thinking, what she thought about legalizing abortion, and the answer shocked him because Bernstein’s relative replied that she wanted to make abortions legal (Kleiman, 2010). It was conditioned by the fact that any person is worried about the future of the own children, and in a case of legalization of abortions other children (who were not desired and were born and educated in bad living and moral conditions) would not be able to threat the others who live in a fair way (Farmer, 2006).
Discussing the author’s arguments about discrimination, we can also say that the topic of prejudice was also among the objects of Freakonomics’ analysis and observation. It is true that the United States has been actively campaigning against discrimination of black Americans for several decades. The same propaganda was conducted against woman’s discrimination no less actively, and Levitt decided to understand the roots of the problem and to evaluate the success of all implemented activities in the above mentioned area. As the object of study, Levitt chose the famous TV show “The Weakest Link”ť, and proved on its base that prejudice present people’s choice, but participants voted not against the weaker players or strong competitors, not even against women or Afro-Americans, but against the two groups such as the elderly and Hispanics. Thinking about this fact, Levitt demonstrated that discrimination against elder people by younger participants wore irrational character because a younger generation did not want to communicate with this group of participants; while discrimination against Hispanics was based on prejudice because there exists a stereotype in American society that Latinos have weak intellectual abilities. Of course, television show cannot be the best indicator of the absence or presence of prejudice and discrimination, but even this experiment opens the problem from another perspective for curious researcher.
In conclusion, we have discussed Freakonomics with all the necessary details, and analyzed information presented in the book from various perspectives. We have demonstrated that the book presents the results of many other studies conducted at different times by the authors themselves and others. And we have also understood that the choice of all real-life examples for the book was made due to the following fundamental principles of Freakonomics: incentives are a stumbling block in modern life; conventional wisdom is often wrong; significant events are often caused by distant, sometimes barely perceptible cause; analysts and experts use their information for their own purposes; understanding of what to measure and how to do it in a proper way makes this complex world more simpler; and finally, economic choice is focused mainly on issues which products to produce and how they should be done, who and what work has to do, and for whom are made the results of this work. Thus, the book presents not only an interesting study for general audience, but it also allows experts to look at the problems from other perspective and to reappraise old values according to existing innovative changes.