Aspect of Freakonomics that had the most impact on you

Published 22 Sep 2017

The book made me realized several aspects of life that are not seemingly obvious but actually make sense after careful analysis. It has provided interesting insights that stirs interest and stimulates thinking and reasoning.

Among the issues presented in the book, what really caught my attention were the statistics and the laws relating to guns in the United States.

In his book, Levitt (2005) said that there are just so much guns that “if you give one to every adult, you will run out of adults before you ran out of guns”. This statement leads me to think the probable reason why there is a need for so many guns and why would the US government allow the proliferation of such device in its country. What leads the Americans to have a lot of weapons?

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A national survey conducted by the International Communications Research for The Hearst Newspapers (cited in Lipman, 1997) to assess the attitude of Americans about guns found that one in every five Americans owns a gun. About one-third of the American population had at some point in their lives owned a handgun while almost half of the population had owned a certain type of gun. What’s interesting is that, almost 60 percent of these gun owners got their first gun at the age of 20.

Further research on this subject reveals that the National Academy of Sciences claims that more than 200 million privately owned guns were registered in 1999.

One of the possible reasons why there are so many guns in the US is that their Constitution actually allows the people to own and carry guns under certain conditions and restrictions.

Another interesting information that Levitt (2005) discussed in Freakonomics is the decrease in the incidence of abortion rate. This, according to researchers and experts, is attributed to the intensified effort of the enforcement agencies to enforce the law against abortion. This is however a false claim as there is really no data to back this statement.

These are just two of the interesting topics discussed in Freakonomics. The unique application of economic theories to analyze and explain unconventional subjects is very stimulating and makes it a good read.


  • Steven D Levitt; Stephen J Dubner; Anatole Muchnik “Freakonomics” Paris: Gallimard, 2007
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