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An Explanatory Note

In which the origins of this book are clarified.


In which the book’s central idea is set forth: namely, if morality represents how people would like the world to work, then economics shows how it actually does work.

Chapter 1: What Do Schoolteachers and Sumo Wrestlers Have in Common?

In which we explore the beauty of incentives, as well as their dark side: cheating.

Chapter 2: How Is the Ku Klux Klan Like a Group of Real-Estate Agents?

In which it is argued that nothing is more powerful than information, especially when its power is abused.

Chapter 3: Why Do Drug Dealers Still Live with Their Moms?

In which the conventional wisdom is often found to be a web of fabrication, self-interest, and convenience.

Chapter 4: Where Have All the Criminals Gone?

In which the facts of crime are sorted out from the fictions.

Chapter 5: What Makes a Perfect Parent?

In which we ask, from a variety of angles, a pressing question: do parents really matter?

Chapter 6: Would a Roshanda by Any Other Name Smell as Sweet?

In which we weigh the importance of a parent's first official act: naming the baby.

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