Cognitive and TED collaboration

About the speakers

Ray Laurence

Steven Levitt is an American economist known for his work in the field of crime – he’s currently the William B. Ogden Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago.

Stephen Dubner is an American journalist who has written pop-factual books ranging from religion to economics.

The big issue

Are we really as altruistic as we might like to think? In this anarchic discussion Levitt and Dubner show how altruism is being tested experimentally with surprising results. The questions they raise go right to the heart of how incentives affect human behaviour.

Read the book

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

Described by the New York Post as ‘brave, bracing and beautifully contrarian’, the book takes us from the pimps and prostitutes of South Chicago through experiments in altruism, literally up to the stratosphere and offers some surprising ways of tackling global warming.

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