Listen free for 30 days

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
Exclusive member-only deals.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
Buy Now for £25.99

Buy Now for £25.99

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Assume nothing, question everything. 

This is the message at the heart of Freakonomics, Levitt and Dubner's rule-breaking, iconoclastic book about crack dealers, cheating teachers and bizarre baby names that turned everyone's view of the world upside-down and became an international multi-million-copy-selling phenomenon.  

©2005 Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (P)2005 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Prepare to be dazzled." (Malcolm Gladwell)

"A sensation...you'll be stimulated, provoked and entertained. Of how many books can that be said?" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Has you chuckling one minute and gasping in amazement the next." (Wall Street Journal)

What listeners say about Freakonomics

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    397
  • 4 Stars
    187
  • 3 Stars
    82
  • 2 Stars
    13
  • 1 Stars
    22
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    239
  • 4 Stars
    103
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    5
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    224
  • 4 Stars
    95
  • 3 Stars
    54
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    5

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Micro economics for all

Brings micro economics to life and makes statistical analysis interesting and entertaining plus thought provoking. Very American in its orientation. Although 3 stars, a must.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Well presented and fun - buy it now!

I've bought 20 or so audiobooks now, and this one is my favourite by a long way. Part of its appeal is the excellent content: yes, it's about economics, but you won't hear complicated algorithms or boring spreadsheets being discussed. Instead, Freakonomics points out problems - 'how can we find out whether teachers fudge the numbers on their students exams?' or 'if drug dealers make so much money, why do most of them with their mothers?' - then discusses how the problem was solved using a mixture of cunning, inspiration and skill.

You find yourself laughing at the weird and wonderful results the authors found, because it's truly fascinating stuff. Of course, it also helps that it's very well-presented (an excellent reading, sparky music, fun chapter breaks that focus on people as well as problems, etc), which means this is one of the very few 'must buy' audiobooks out there. I just hope there'll be a sequel soon!

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Extremely enjoyable!

Well-written, pacey account of some of Leavitt's research and interests. A little of everything is here: whether it is uncovering how teachers can (and sometimes do) fiddle test scores, or studying how drug gangs operate internally. Not so much a study of economics as a window on the motivations that drive society at the start of the twenty-first century. Very thought-provoking.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Crazy statistics

Great examples of how statistical analysis can be used in more obscure situations not just macro-economics!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Great Fun - yes, it's economics......

One of those popular science books that comes along now and again and threatens to change the way you look at life for ever but falls a little short of that. The kids really enjoyed it and perhaps that's where this book really belongs in the 'I was a teenage Noam Chomsky' section - or perhaps that's really where Noam Chomsky belongs.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking and inspiring

This book is like having an in depth debate about the complexities of life with a best mate. The fact that there really insn't a theme apart from getting you to think is even more exciting. A thoroughly enjoyable listen particulary on those long motorway drives.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

an anthology of interesting happenings

There is no central thesis to this book, but a series of very interesting studies

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Cool stories

'Stories' are easy to follow although there are at times many lists, graphs and tables, which are hard to follow in audio format. It doesn't really matter, the main point is always clear nonetheless.

All in all the book is a good reminder on how the data and statistics are usually meaningless without proper analysis and the right questions asked.

Only thing I disliked in this audio book was the occasional music interludes. They came with no warning in the middle of chapter and made zero sense in this format. Please get rid of those.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Opens your eyes

Really enjoyed the book.

Great material, sometimes you had to listen more than once to understand.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Music Breaks?

Really confused as to why there’s random music breaks edited into this. It’s like they’re going to cut to an add break but then the narrator will just start chatting again while the music fades out. Bizarre.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Stephan
  • Stephan
  • 28-01-20

Very Interesting Listening

A quirky and interesting view on how the world works.

I read this book after discovery the treasure trove of hundreds of freakonomics podcasts. And it delivered with more of the same, clever research about arbitrary topics that keeps you interested.