Freakonomics Test | Final 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 child's name does Roland G. Fryer, Jr., say would indicate alienation from the black community?

2. To what traditionally Jewish name did a New York Sikh change his name upon immigrating to the U.S.?

3. Which of the following factors is revealed not to have a correlative effect on a child's school performance?

4. What language is most strongly represented in the list of the top 20 white girl's names that signify high-education?

5. In the authors' hypothetical comparison of two boys' lives, where does the poor black boy grow up?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Robert Lane's child-naming scheme work out?

2. According to Dubner and Levitt, what is the essential function of the gun?

3. What national trends regarding crime in the nineties belie the relevance of the Giuliani-Bratton strategy?

4. How is the quality of life of an aborted child different from one that is born?

5. Why do the authors reason that a woman who has her first child later in life will produce a higher-achieving child?

6. To what extent does every chapter in FREAKONOMICS involve a closed system?

7. What policy recommendations do the authors make regarding their theories?

8. What connection exists between celebrity and popular names?

9. What action do the authors of FREAKONOMICS think a reader might take after finishing the book?

10. How do the authors explain the above contradiction in fears?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In the world as analyzed by Dubner and Levitt in FREAKONOMICS, information is a tangible commodity. From it derives power and influence over others, and many groups primarily derive their power from information. Write an essay on information as a commodity, in three parts:

Part 1) Information asymmetry is the purposeful consolidation of information by a group for the sake of greater influence. How is this an effective technique in controlling others? What examples exist of information asymmetry exist in our culture?

Part 2) To what extent did the Ku Klux Klan's power derive from its secrecy? As such, how were Stetson Kennedy's techniques against the Klan particularly effective at disempowering them?

Part 3) The authors state that the advent of the internet was a boon for a society held hostage to information asymmetry. What businesses were affected adversely by this new freedom of information? How were they affected?

Essay Topic 2

Write an essay on the subject of honesty. What drives human beings either to act honestly or to cheat, according to the authors of FREAKONOMICS? What systems do they study in order to uncover trends and motivations behind honesty and deception? How do these systems create a dynamic in which cheating is incentivized?

Essay Topic 3

FREAKONOMICS is at heart a challenge to conventional wisdom. The authors regard conventional wisdom as something to be wary of and questioned. Write an essay on the subject of conventional wisdom in three parts:

Part 1) How did the term "conventional wisdom" enter the common lexicon? According to the authors, why is conventional wisdom comforting to people? What purpose does it serve?

Part 2) Why dot he authors deem it so important to challenge conventional wisdom? What does it add to the common discourse, and how does it illuminate the enigmatic world?

Part 3) Analyze one of the topics of any chapter in the book. What conventional wisdom are the authors challenging? How are they going about challenging it, and what conclusion do they reach?

(see the answer keys)

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