Salting out

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Prepared by S. Clayton Palmer and Adjunct Instructor Department of Economics Weber State University & Westminster College of Salt Lake J. Lon Carlson Associate Professor Department of Economics Illinois State University

Introduction Welcome to the Student’s Guide to Freakonomics! The purpose of this guide is to help you better understand the analyses presented in Freakonomics by providing a sort of “bridge” between the material covered in a traditional course in economic principles and topics addressed in what we consider to be one of the most fascinating books we’ve encountered in economics literature.

Many students view economics as a very difficult, if not impossible, course to master.This
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In order to be able to use graphs to analyze the effects of changes in key economic variables, you must have a clear understanding of how the determinants of the relationship being illustrated in a graph are related. The third section of each chapter consists of a list of what we have termed “core competencies.” How well you are able to respond to each of the questions listed in this section will be a strong indicator of the extent to which you understand the material presented in the book. Using the Student Guide

When using the student guide, remember that the overview and discussions of key graphs and terms are not substitutes for reading Freakonomics. Instead they are designed to “flag” key topics and alert you to specific items you may have missed.When completing the “core competency” questions, we strongly recommend that you avoid using your book or notes to answer the questions on your initial run through. Instead, use the questions as a way to flag topics you have not yet mastered.When you cannot answer a specific question, or you answer it incorrectly, you should take that as a signal to go back and devote more study to the topic in question.


Overview of Freakonomics: Themes and Fundamental Ideas
Positive vs. Normative Analysis

Although, as the

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