Superfreakonomics Review

Topics: Prostitution, Sudhir Alladi Venkatesh, Freakonomics Pages: 3 (1085 words) Published: February 17, 2013
Superfreakonomics Review

Superfreakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner was an interesting read. The authors did a great job of taking what was probably a mind-numbing amount of numbers and figures, and turned them into relatable situations. Each chapter compares and contrasts to explain how seemingly unrelated subject matter, is actually related. Which could be confusing at times but the information was entertaining to learn.

The introduction first shows you that while driving drunk is the main focus of the US Department of Transportation, walking drunk is actually more dangerous. The authors estimate that walking drunk is eight times more fatal than driving drunk. Then the introduction goes on to describe how cable TV’s influence might have improved the standing of women in India. Indian women see how the actors on TV act, then simulate these actions in their own lives, mainly standing up for themselves more.

The first chapter is about how a street prostitute is like a department store santa. The authors bring out some interesting observations of the data gathered by Sudhir Venkatesh. Their conclusions tell that prewar prostitutes were earning far more than current street prostitutes and one of the reasons could be the rise of premarital sex. Then they analyze the economics of prostitution in Chicago. Street prostitutes earn about $25-$30 per hour, which is three to four times more than minimum wage jobs. But their higher wage is compensated with the substantial risk they encounter. Data shows that prostitutes are better off if they have a pimp because they provide protection and pay competent wages. Condoms are only used 25% of the time, and the discount for using one is small. Evidence shows that more prostitutes join the profession around the 4th of July, because of a demand increase and prostitutes can charge more. Although punishment for prostitution is relatively small, it is more likely for prostitute to have sex with a police officer...
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