Freakonomics Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Steven Levitt
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What percentage of the vote does an incumbent candidate lose on average if he spends half as much money in his second campaign?

2. Paul Feldman makes his living delivering what to offices?

3. How long does the Black Gangster Disciple Nation hold Venkatesh in the stairwell the first time he happens upon them?

4. How long did JT run the Black Gangster Disciple Nation before being promoted to the Board of Directors?

5. Which of the following is not a reason why crack was so appealing to urban gangs in the 1980s?

Short Essay Questions

1. From what did the Ku Klux Klan derive its power in the twentieth century?

2. What unorthodox theory do the authors offer regarding the drop in crime in the late 1990s?

3. How have attitudes toward public bigotry changed in recent years?

4. What happens to the day-cares of Haifa, Israel when a late-pickup fee is introduced?

5. What are the defining characteristics of conventional wisdom?

6. How does terminology help real estate agents set a price for a house?

7. To what extent is the winning of a conventional wisdom battle key to achieving public success?

8. How is this book different from other nonfiction books, according to the authors?

9. What is important to women on dating sites?

10. Why is information crime so difficult to catch?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Juxtaposition - almost like that in a fictional work - is central to the writing of FREAKONOMICS. Dubner and Levitt often choose two groups - sumo wrestlers and school teachers, a crack-gang and McDonald's - who are connected by some unseen trend or attribute. Write an essay, analyzing three such juxtapositions. How do the authors arrive at the point of comparing these two things? What do they surprisingly have in common? What trend does this connection reveal?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay on crack cocaine, dealing with its societal role in two parts: its origin and its effect. Where did crack cocaine come from, and how did it fill a hole in American drug culture? Why did it become so immensely popular in America? Secondly, how did it affect social trends regarding udban black Americans?

Essay Topic 3

Much of the book is dedicated to parenting and the ramifications of parental influence. Write an essay about parenting, in three parts:

Part 1) Dubner and Levitt link Roe V. Wade to the drop in crime in the 1990's. How are these two connected? What does this connection say about parental influence and how it relates to the choices as child will make in life?

Part 2) The Early Child Longitudinal Study offers a broad cross-section data regarding influences on children. What factors actually have a correlative effect on a child's performance? What do these factors have in common? Can parents alter their behavior to affect performance?

Part 3) The final chapter of FREAKONOMICS deals with one of the first decisions a parent makes regarding her child: the child's name. What are child names indicative of? Do they indicate where the child is headed or where she came from? What do they say about the parent?

(see the answer keys)

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