Book Review: Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and other Half-Baked Theories Don’t by John Lott

As the title suggests, this book is, in part, a response to Freakonomics. Lott does correct some mistakes made in that book due to improper assumptions or just failure to conceive of alternative explanations for the phenomena they discuss.

It’s not just a response to that work, as it deals with a great number of other issues:

  • How granting women suffrage led to larger government
  • The anti-Catholic roots of public education
  • How the secret ballot reduces voter turnout
  • Campaign finance reform as a pro-incumbent policy
  • How women become more conservative as they get married and have children (and more liberal upon divorce)
  • How abortion increased crime in the 1990s (contrary to the claim in Freakonomics)
  • How governmental agencies are much more likely to engage in predatory pricing and other monopolistic practices than are private firms
  • Why campaign donations don’t influence how a politician votes
  • How the free market increases personal and corporate honesty
  • Statistical evidence for media bias

It’s definitely worth reading as it will shatter a great number of commonly held beliefs about they way things are and why they are that way. You’ll learn a lot.