"Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would
like the world to work—whereas economics represents how it actually
does work. Economics is above all a science of measurement. It comprises
an extraordinarily powerful and flexible set of tools that can reliably
assess a thicket of information to determine the effect of any
one factor, or even the whole effect. That’s what “the economy” is,
after all: a thicket of information about jobs and real estate and banking
and investment. But the tools of economics can be just as easily
applied to subjects that are more—well, more interesting."
"Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything"
Revised and Expanded Edition
Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner