A collection of documentaries that explores the hidden side of human nature through the use of the science of economics. Based on the 2005 book of the same name. The film consists of a series of four documentaries:
A Roshanda by Any Other Name: Morgan Spurlock's investigation of the possible implications of names, especially "black" vs. "white" names, in personal development and social advancement.
Pure Corruption: Alex Gibney's exploration of the Japanese concept of yaochō (match fixing) in sumo wrestling.
It's Not Always a Wonderful Life: Narrated by Melvin Van Peebles and directed by Eugene Jarecki, this segment explores the question of what led to a decline in the urban crime rate in the US during the mid- to late 1990s. The authors of Freakonomics suggest that a substantial factor was the 1973 US Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which permitted women to have legal abortions, leading to more wanted children with better upbringings.
Can You Bribe a 9th Grader to Succeed?: Rachel Grady documents an experiment in Chicago Heights, Illinois to determine the efficacy of paying students to achieve higher grades.