Steven D. Levitt Quotes

Enjoy the top 86 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by Steven D. Levitt.

Steven D. Levitt Quotes

Keepers jump left 57 percent of the time and right 41 percent—which means they stay in the center only 2 times out of 100. A leaping keeper may of course still stop a ball aimed at the center, but how often can that happen? If only you could see the data on all penalty kicks taken toward the center of the goal! Okay, we just happen to have that: a kick toward the center, as risky as it may appear, is seven percentage points more likely to succeed than a kick to the corner. Are you willing to take the chance?
— Steven D. Levitt —

Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work, wheareas economics represents how it actually does work.

— Steven D. Levitt

The key to learning is feedback. It is nearly impossible to learn anything without it.

— Steven D. Levitt

Why is it so important to have fun? Because if you love your work (or your activism or your family time), then you'll want to do more of it. You'll think about it before you go to sleep and as soon as you wake up; your mind is always in gear. When you're that engaged, you'll run circles around other people even if they are more naturally talented. From what we've seen personally, the best predictor of success among young economists and journalists is whether they absolutely love what they do. If they approach their job like-well, a job-they aren't likely to thrive. But if they've somehow convinced themselves that running regressions or interviewing strangers is the funnest thing in the world, you know they have a shot.

— Steven D. Levitt

In the United States especially, politics and economics don't mix well. Politicians have all sorts of reasons to pass all sorts of laws that, as well-meaning as they may be, fail to account for the way real people respond to real-world incentives.

— Steven D. Levitt

When people don't pay the true cost of something, they tend to consume it inefficiently.

— Steven D. Levitt

Levitt admits to having the reading interests of a tweener girl, the Twilight series and Harry Potter in particular.

— Steven D. Levitt

Just Like Canada, with Better Bacon

— Steven D. Levitt

What most of these doomsday scenarios have gotten wrong is the fundamental idea of economics: people respond to incentives. If the price of a good goes up, people demand less of it, the companies that make it figure out how to make more of it, and everyone tries to figure out how to produce substitutes for it. Add to that the march of technological innovation (like the green revolution, birth control, etc.). The end result: markets figure out how to deal with problems of supply and demand.

— Steven D. Levitt

There is a difference between correlation and causation - many people mistake one for the other

— Steven D. Levitt

Poverty is a symptom-of the absence of a workable economy built on credible political, social, and legal institutions.

— Steven D. Levitt

In Freakonomics, we examined the causes of the rise and fall of violent crime in the United States. In 1960, crime began a sudden climb. By 1980, the homicide rate had doubled, reaching a historic peak. For several years crime stayed perilously high, but in the early 1990s it began to fall and kept falling. So what happened?
In Freakonomics, we identified one missing factor - the legalization of abortion in the early 1970s. The theory was jarring but simple. A rise in abortion meant that fewer unwanted children were being born, which meant fewer children growing up in the sort of difficult circumstances that increase the likelihood of criminality.

— Steven D. Levitt

Overall, a portfolio of the "good to great" companies looks like it would have underperformed the S&P 500.

— Steven D. Levitt

Every big problem has been thought about endlessly by people much smarter than we are. The fact that it remains a problem means it is too damned hard to be cracked in full.

— Steven D. Levitt

A story, meanwhile, fills out the picture. It uses data, statistical or otherwise, to portray a sense of magnitude; without data, we have no idea how a story fits into the larger scheme of things. A good story also includes the passage of time, to show the degree of constancy or change; without a time frame, we can't judge whether we're looking at something truly noteworthy or just an anomalous blip. And a story lays out a daisy chain of events, to show the causes that lead up to a particular situation and the consequences that result from it.

— Steven D. Levitt

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