At least three reviews on Amazon.com for Freedomnomics are by Economics Professors -- All are very positive (Thank you!)
More than just three cheers for the free market., June 28, 2007
By Douglas W. Allen - See all my reviews
I'm a professor of economics, and I'm very familiar with the work of John Lott. I bought this book because I enjoy reading arm-chair econ books ... just can't get enough econ! Normally I'm disappointed because the examples and applications are usually stolen and reworked material that's been around for years. Not so with Lott's book.
The great thing about the book is not just the refreshing topics, but Lott's gifted approach to understanding them. Take, for example, the growth of government. Many bright minds have worked to explain why did governments grow so fast after WWI? Dozens of theories have been spun, none very successful. Not only does Lott have an ingenious answer (women's suffrage), but he also has an ingenious test and exploits the fact that some states voluntarily granted the right, while other states had it forced on them. It is Lott's ability to come up with clever and convincing tests and evidence that separates him from others.
I don't like the title of the book, and I don't like the sub-line "a rebuttal to Freakonomics." The book is much more than this, and I'm sure the publisher had more to do with the cover than the author. If the cover turns you off, I'd open the book and read a few pages.
The book is well written and accessible to anyone interested in social behavior. A very good read and highly recommended.
Toward Understanding How Markets Work, June 16, 2007
By Edgar K. Browning (Texas) - See all my reviews
As a professor of economics, I am aware of how difficult it is to communicate the "simple" principles of economics. The approaoch that seems to work best involves the use of lots of examples, especially ones that engage and challenge students. John Lott's new book is filled with such examples. While it can be recommended to anyone with an interest in how the economy works, it should be especially valuable to teachers and students of economics. (I am going to assign the section "Women's Suffrage and the Growth of Government" in my public finance class in the fall.)
Excellent defense of free markets, May 17, 2007
By James D. Miller (South Deerfield, MA USA) - See all my reviews
Excellent book showing the power of free markets and the harm that manifests when governments interfere in markets. Many economists claim that free markets work great in theory but there are many types of market failures that require government intervention. Lott points out how markets themselves can overcome these so called market failures and how government attempts to correct these failures often makes the situation much worse.
Lott takes on very politically incorrect topics that the mainstream media would never touch such as how affirmative action influences police effectiveness and how giving women the right to vote has influenced the size of the government.
The book is very readable and is clearly intended for a general audience. I would strongly recommend it to people who enjoy the writings of columnists such as Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell.
I have also gotten nice emails from Ralph Winter at UBC and a young professor at Univ of Wisconsin as well as many others.