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Econ books  Get inspiration about brilliant popular science books! New posts every Thursday 📚

POPULAR ECONOMICS - John Tamny
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The book is titled popular economics, but this book is pretty much about showing how popular beliefs about how the economy works is in fact wrong.
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This book is devided into four parts: taxes, regulation, trade and money. And the general theme is to show how government generally don’t do that good of a job compared to the free market alternatives, even if well intentioned.
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The arguments are good, and it’s refreshing to hear, reading this will probably make you realise that the conventional wisdoms don’t amount to the full story about how the economy works.
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#economics #econ #econ101 #markets #freemarkets #capitalism #populareconomics #johntamny

Happy valentine everyone! 💕
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To celebrate this day, I’d like to share a little bit from one of my favourite economics books: economics of the undead.
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In the first chapter Glen Whitman explain how to apply economics to the dating market between vampires and humans!
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What I love about this books is that it uses economic theory and concepts in fun ways to explain how the world would look like if for example vampires existed
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#economicsoftheundead #economics #econ #happyvalentine #glenwhitman #jamesdow #vampires #microeconomics #dating

HOW TO LIE WITH STATISTICS - Darrell Huff
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I’m not sure that if book will make you good at deceiving with statistics as your weapon. Maybe. I would suggest it rather an antidote against bad statistics. It’s a primer on the ways the claims you encounter might be more or less misleading, deliberately or not.
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You won’t be a professional statistician after reading this short introduction (144 pages), but you will get some ideas about what statistics is all about. Even though it was first published in 1954 (revised 1982), the arguments presented are still very relevant.
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“Despite its mathematical base, statistics is as much an art as it is a science”
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#statistics #econometrics #statisticalscience #economics #econ #darrelhuff #howtoliewithstatistics
Thanks for recommending @halv_8_hos_peter

Excerpts from ”WTF?! An economic tour of the weird” by Peter T. Leeson.
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The things I marked here about rationality might sound very obvious but the concept of rationality isn’t at all obvious when you start applying it in real life. That’s because we often struggle to understand the motives behind the behaviour of other people, let alone our own behaviour.
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The story of how king solomon incentivised the true mother to reveal her identity is just one example of how the seemingly stupid actually can be very clever. There’s a lot more interesting and funny stuff in this book that might make you say “WTF?!” out loud
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#economics #econ #rationality #rationalchoice #aneconomictouroftheweird #microeconomics #economist

WTF?! An economic tour of the weird - Peter T. Leeson
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History is full of odd rituals and phenomena you might shake your head and laugh at. Witch hunts, bride auctions, and trial by combat.. “Wtf, people did some weird sh*t!”.
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In this book, Peter T. Leeson explains why a lot of those practises actually make sense. Step one is thinking about the incentives people face.
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A lot of people criticise rational choice theory, but assuming people are rational (as in that they act purposefully) really helps in trying to understanding the world. The opposite, assuming people don’t act in accordance with what they think is in their interest? Well, the world would probably look a lot different right?
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Step two, when you’ve formulated a theory, you want to put you new found theory to the test!
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To give an example: if your theory is that the lack of property right for married women was the reason for bride auctions then we would expect the practise to disappear when women rights improved.
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For example, if we hypothesise that a specific law or religious competition. That theory will be proven wrong if the phenomenon didn’t start around when the law was passed, or we should only observe these oracles in places where they didn’t have other systems to deal with disputes with thy neighbor
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Something I really enjoyed with this book is that it’s written as a conversation between a tour guide and his audience, who disagree and question the claims and theories in the book. It’s a clever and super humorous book that way!
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PS: Peter T Leeson wrote a book about the economics of pirates #theinvisiblehook I wrote about a couple of months ago! I can highly recommend it for the interested!
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#economics #econ #economics101 #econ101 #rationalchoicetheory #economist #economicsclass #economicsstudent #wtf #aneconomictouroftheweird #petertleeson #peterleeson

It seems economics students don’t really learn that much about the subject. In fact, a study by Ferraro and Taylor (see picture) suggest studying #economics101 in general actually does more harm than good!
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To learn the core concepts in economics and become good at use them, Robert H Frank argue that you need to see how they can be applied in multiple different contexts. And this is basically what this book (the economic naturalist) is full of: ways to apply economics in your everyday life!
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#theeconomicnaturalist #economics #econ #econ101 #economicsstudent #economicsclass #opportunitycost #Roberthfrank

THE ECONOMIC NATURALIST - Robert H Frank 🐄
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If you can find a pattern in how people behave around you that strike you as odd, or a policy or cultural norm that you find interesting or peculiar. Then most likely economics can help you make sense of it.
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In this book Robert H Frank demonstrates how economics is all around us and that by putting on the economists glasses 👓 , we can start to make sense of the seemingly weird and irrational around us.
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Why do airlines and hotels charge you high cancellation fees while car rental companies don’t? (p 98)
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Why is it expected to leave a tip at the restaurant but not for many other similar services? (p 65)
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Why do the most popular books sell for less than the least popular ones while it’s the other way around for cinema tickets? (p53)
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Why are almost all cabs in New York City yellow while cabs elsewhere often are in a variety of colours? (p26)
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For most questions, the author asks us to dig a little deeper, not just answer with “because different consumers have different preferences” or that “regulation says so”. Why do people have these preferences? Why is the regulation or culture that way? These are way more interesting questions to try and answer!
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Reading this book will help you apply economics to solving puzzles in everyday life, for example doing a cost-benefit analysis, applying the “no cash on the table” principle or the “low-hanging fruit” principle, and many more economics tools.
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Reading this got me to take out my old microeconomics text book from my book case, and realised that it was written by the same author. And in it I found an additional 55 economic puzzles with solutions!
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#microeconomics #econgeek #econ101 #economics #economist #theeconomicnaturalist #roberthfrank #robertfrank #costbenefitanalysis #nocashonthetable #lowhangingfruit #economicsclass #econclass #econbook #economicsstudent

Excerpts from #Narconomics by #tomwainwright
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A firm’s most valuable asset is its people, especially for drug cartels. This is why human resource management is even more important in the drug industry. How do criminals manage recruiting? See the quotes in the pictures.👌🏻
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(The second problem for drug cartels are how to enforce contracts when you can’t rely on the legal system.)
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Governments generally focus on attacking the supply side of the narcotics market, this might sound like a good approach, higher cost for production reduces supply which leads to higher prices.
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The narcotics market isn’t like any other market however, these efforts affect the price of drug very little. Instead these efforts only hurt the farmers with very little negotiation power towards the drug cartels.
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It is further down the supply chain, by the United States border, that drugs become really valuable. Hence why cartels are willing to wage wars at the border crossings against competitors.
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#economics #microeconomics #hrm #humanresources #humanresourcemanagement #supply #supplyanddemand #narconomics #macroeconomics #econ

NARCONOMICS - TOM Wainwright 💀
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This book show that the mechanisms for how drug cartels conduct their operations resemble how big global businesses are run. It’s products are designed, manufactured, transported, marketed and sold to millions of consumers around the world.
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The problems criminal drug lords face are similar to those of business CEO’s: managing personnel, navigating government regulations, finding reliable suppliers and dealing with competition. So it makes sense to use the tools of economics to understand how this billion dollar industry works.
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While ordinary companies compete with prices, quality and customer service, criminal organisations often use more violent means to curb the competition and deal with authorities, almost always with tragic effects for the people involved.
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This book isn’t just insightful but a very entertaining price of literature. The narcotics industry is violent and the products are dangerous, and for this precise reason it makes sense to legalise it if we wish to weaken the power of the drug cartels.
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Previously I wrote here on econbooks about “the invisible hook”, a book with a similarly unusual approach, analyses another criminal organisation: pirate ships. They are quite similar but I can highly recommend you to read both!
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#narconomics #economics #econ #econbooks #narcotics #howtorunadrugcartel #plataoplomo #narcos #breakingbad #theinvisiblehook

Here are two examples of how Hannah Fry apply mathematics to the quest for love. 💕
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In behavioural economics, we learn about the decoy effect. And the theory suggest you can appear more attractive by surrounding yourself with people who look similar to you but who are a little less attractive.
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The golden ratio have been described as a metric for beauty, but as Dr Fry explains, science is about trying to test your theory, not trying to confirm it.
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Both of these examples are found in the chapter on ‘how important is beauty’ in #themathematicsoflove by #hannahfry
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#math #mathematics #economics #thedecoyeffect #thegoldenratio

THE MATHEMATICS OF LOVE - Hannah Fry 💕💕
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In this book, Hannah Fry presents research and findings in a range of topics related to the pursuit of love (see the table of content).
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The title says mathematics of love, and it makes sense since Dr Fry is a mathematician. But it could just as well have been titled the economics of love.
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Mathematics is the study of patterns and economics is the use of mathematics to study human behaviour. And this is why a lot of the research Hannah presents have been conducted by economists or could have been.
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I expected this to be a book full of fun trivia and clever ways to apply math in real life. And it is, but I didn't expect this book to also give helpful advice based on statistics and economic theory on how to think and behave when it comes to how to find love.
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For example how to optimize your strategy to find a flirt by using game theory (the study of strategic interaction between people).
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Or how to choose a profile pic on dating sites to take advantage of findings in behavioural economics of how people are predictably irrational.
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Or how knowledge about network theory can help stop the spread of sexually transmitted diseases in society.
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#economics #mathematics #themathematicsoflove #econ #socialscience #math #book #booknerd #bookstagram #bookworm #research #statistics #mathematicsoflove #popularscience

”The word kleptocrat, meaning rule by theft, was coined to describe Mobutu’s style of governance.” ⚔️
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Mobutu Sese Seko was the president of Zaïre from 1965 to 1997. In office he stole billions and lived the high life: “owned villas in the Swiss Alps, Portugal, the French Riviera, and numerous residences in Brussels. In addition he had a presidential palace in just about every major town in Zaire...”
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“A politician who stays poor is poor at politics. ... On this basis, Zaïre’s Mobutu was a political genius.”
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#thedictatorshandbook #politics #mobutuseseseko #mobutu #politicalscience #theselectoratetheory #brucebuenodemesquita #alastairsmith

THE DICTATOR’S HANDBOOK - Bruce Bruno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith 👑
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What started with the question of why democratic nations don't fight each other evolved over two decades of research to a comprehensive theory of the rules of political survival and political behaviour.
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This book will change the way you view politics forever and should be on the to-read list for anyone interested in political science, international relations or economics.
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The authors argue that democratic leaders act differently from dictators not because they are good people with high values while dictators are not or that somehow dictators are stupid.
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They are all motivated by the wish to rise to or stay in power. For democrats, this means providing good policy for their supporters. For autocrats, they must pay a much smaller coalition in order to continue their rule.
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To get a crash course on the theory, please go check out the YouTube video “the rules for rulers” by CGP Grey. I promise that it is 20 Minutes well spent!
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#thedictatorshandbook #therulesforrulers #politics #politicalscience #internationalrelations #dictatorship #book #bookstagram #popularscience #brucebuenodemesquita #alastairsmith #socialscience

FREAKONOMICS - Steven Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner 🍏
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This is one of the more well-known popular economics books, so chances are you've heard of this one already. With no prior knowledge about economics needed, It's fine for anyone to catch on from start.
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I had quite high expectations on this one after having listened to the freakonomics podcast for some time (highly recommended), and sure it's a good book, but it doesn't give an introduction to economics. The purpose of this book is not to delve into the fundamental ideas in economics.
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Perhaps I'm being a bit unfair, but this is more a book full of interesting statistics and a collection of findings by economists. I can promise that these fun anecdotes will allow you to shine at family dinners for sure.
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Ps. I would recommend you to also have a look at the student guide by S. Clayton Palmer and J. Lon Carlsson, which you can find online.
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#freakonomics #economics #econ #stevenlevitt #stephendubner #statistics #learning #bookstagram #econbook

NAKED ECONOMICS - Charles Wheeland 👖
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It's not easy to decide what to include and what to exclude in a book on economics targeted to people who haven't studied the subject. This book is a good and entertaining introduction to economics for that group of people I'd say. Of course, what you win in width, you lose in depth, but I think the author makes a good call at what concepts and findings to include.
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The scope of the content is very much what you would expect to get in an #econ101 course. It's a little bit of micro (the market mechanism, incentives and productivity etc) and a little bit of macro (financial markets, international trade and the role of government etc).
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If you are interested in getting the mainstream take on economics, then this is a good book to start with. I the picture of the table of content I've marked what chapters I liked the most.
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#econ101 #economics #microeconomics #macroeconomics #nakedeconomics #charleswheelan #economics101

ECONOMICS OF THE UNDEAD - Glen Whitman and James Dow et al 👻
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In this book, 28 scholars have contributed to create 23 separate chapters with scientific analysis on popular concepts from culture such as vampires, zombies, ghosts etc. No need to read this one cover to cover, just have a look at the table of content and pick out what you find interesting!
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One chapter teaches about how wealth is created by discussing how to build a prosperous society in the wake of a zombie apocalypse. Another discuss how, in a world where vampires exist, a market for blood could be established, and yet another wonders if privatising humans could be a way for vampires to avoid the tragedy of the commons problem.
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It's really a fascinating book about how the tools of economics can be used in unconventional and unusual contexts, and these weird thought experiments much more memorable than any example from a standard boring econ textbook.
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If you want to practise using economic tools in aspects of life that are not purely about production and consumption in a narrow sense then I would recommend this if time!
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#economics #economicsoftheundead #econ101 #book #bookstagram #vampires #ghost #zombies #microeconomics #macroeconomics #econometrics #glenwhitman #jamesdow

HOW ADAM SMITH CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE - Russ Roberts 🤝
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You’ve most probably heard of Adam Smith, the super famous economics thinker who wrote Wealth of nations in 1776. He actually wrote another great book, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759), in which he writes about such things as what makes a virtuous and good life, how to treat the people around you and what’s really important to us as humans.
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Russ Roberts writes about what Adam Smith realised about human behaviour and what we can learn from him. He does a great job of putting it all in a bigger context and explain the connections between the two books by Smith. .
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Smith’s both books looks at how order is created spontaneously, without anyone being in control. In wealth of nations, he looks at the sphere of commerce, at the emergence of prices and trade. In his other book, he focuses on the emergence of social norms and culture.
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The books contains basically no economics lingo or models but gives depth to an understanding of human behaviour. I’m not sure to whom I’d recommend this book, perhaps to my future self. This is a book I think I will be able to read a couple of years from now and get new realisations about my life, human behaviour and society. .
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#econ #economics #adamsmith #theinvisiblehand #howadamsmithcanchangeyourlife #thetheoryofmoralsentiments #morality

THE INVISIBLE HOOK - Peter T. Leeson ⚓️
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“The hidden economics of pirates”.. isn't that the most interesting subtitle ever?! Wow, I wish would have written this book. Not only because it's such a funny idea but it's a really interesting book too. It exceeded my expectations by far.
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A lot of the things we believe about the pirates in the seventeenth and eighteenth century are more fiction than fact. Pirates being a bunch of crazy, violent thugs? Yeah well they are thugs for sure, but it turns out that pirates really tried hard to avoid having to use violence to get what they wanted.
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The famous pirate flag, the Jolly Roger, had the purpose of signaling to merchant ships to surrender or face brutal death in order to incentivise their victims not to try and fight the pirate if they wished to return to shore with all limbs intact.
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This book not only explain a lot about how the pirate ship pretty much functioned like a firm, for example by building a pirate brand: a reputation of being brutal and crazy. It also explain why it was on these pirate ships that we see the earliest examples of democratic rulings being established, with sophisticated institutions of governance and separations of power.
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Can voluntary democratic governance arise without government? Well apparently the answer is yes. And this book explains when and why.
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#economics #econ #markets #pirate #pirates #politicalscience #anarchism #voluntarianism #anarchocapitalism #libertarianism #libertarian #theinvisiblehook #theinvisiblehand

AN ECONOMIST GETS LUNCH - Tyler Cowen 🍕
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I really like books where the author use economics in new and creative ways. In this book, you can definitely see how an economist tackles problems in the world outside of the economics domain. Tyler Cowen, big foodie, writes on a bunch of subject tied to food and dining, and he does it applying the the tools of economics.
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The best application of economics in this book is around what strategy to use if you are in a new town, in a foreign country, to get good food for the price.
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Most people know not to pick the standard tourist places on the main streets and go for the small family restaurant hidden in some alley 20 meters from the Main Street. Cowen uses economic theory to describe the logic behind this thinking and many more ways to find good dining when outside of your comfort zone.
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To be honest, I would have wished for more economics, however this is a book filled with a lot of interesting knowledge about different cuisines in the world. So if food is a main ingredient in your traveling, and you are interested in the the secrets of the barbecue tradition in South America or how the name of a Chinese restaurant entails which culinary region it is, well then this is a book for you. .
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#foodie #foodstagram #book #bookstagram #bookgeek #economics #econ #foodblog #tylercowen #aneconomistgetslunch

PREDICTION - Bruce Bruno de Mesquita 🎲
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This book is about game theory, the use of mathematical models to study strategic behaviour by intelligent rational decision-makers in situations of cooperation and conflict. After an introduction to game theory, de Mesquita spends most of the book demonstrating how this tool can be of use in things like achiving durable peace agreements in the middle east and solving lawsuit disputes.
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This book really highlights the strength of the rational choice take on human behaviour. And realising that there is a lot to gain for business leaders, diplomats and pretty much everyone from applying a game theoretical perspective when trying to understand their social environment.
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I get that the model Mesquita have created and uses in the book is quite complex but it’s mostly presenten as a black box for the reader which I think is a unfortunate. I would have wanted more than that initial introduction. My favourite chapters are 1-3 and 11, so those I would definately recommend to anyone interested.
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#prediction #gametheory #predict #prediction #predictions #predictable #economics #microeconomics #book #bookstagram #booknerd #bookgeek #brucemesquita #brucebuenodemesquita

THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST - Tim Harford (2006) 🕵🏻‍♂️
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So this is the best popular economics book i have that dives into everything microeconomics. In the beginning he explains in a very simple yet in great depth where prices comes from. .
Perhaps it sounds like a simple question, but Harford really makes you realise that you haven't truly given the question much thought. Pretty soon you'll probably start thinking about what determines the prices of the goods in the grocery store or anywhere else where people buy and sell stuff.
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When I browse through the pages of this book, in addition to my highlightings I've scribbled plentiful of terms and models that he explain yet don't use the overly complicated technical terms. Price, scarcity, rent seeking, pareto efficiency, the coase theorem, random walk, auction design etc…
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I hope that others who read this book will have as much of an eye opener about how everything so magically is tied together in the economy. Harford have also produced a number of really nice podcasts for BBC that I can recommend for lovers of podcasts like myself.
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#economics #econ #microeconomics #bookgeek #economist #undercovereconomist #theundercovereconomist #timharford

NAKED STATISTICS - Charles Wheelan (2013) 📊
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When someone tells me they're about to or thinking about starting to study economics I normally advice them to read some popular science books on economics first. Often courses in economics but a lot of effort on using the models and not so much on the ideas and assumptions behind them. Why? Well it's easier to test how well you can preform the calculations than how well you understand the theories.
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Popular science books are great tools to learn the intuitions and ideas, why I give these recommendations. Statistics is a similar subject, and this is a book I will start recommending people to read if they are curious on the craft behind the figures and statistics around us.
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Repetition is the mother of learning said someone, and this will be my go to book to refresh my statistics knowledge. You get both the easy parts (like the median and the mean) and the more complex parts (the central limit theorem and regression) in a very enlightening way!
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#economics #economist #economy #statistics #nakedstatistics #bookstagram #book #bookgeek #booknerd #charleswheelan #econometrics

THE ARMCHAIR ECONOMIST - Steven E. Landsburg (2012) 👏🏻
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This is a book I've read more than once because it's really a great book as an introduction to the economic perspective of viewing the world. How to see society, life and the world from the eyes of an economist.
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The general theme of this book is the power of incentives: people are rational in the sense that they respond to incentives. Even when it comes to the most important decisions in life such as what college to go to, if we should quit our job or not and when deciding about having a baby we are all affected by incentives on the margin.
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This is a book you don't necessarily have to read from start to finish, you can pretty much start at whatever chapter title you find most captivating, even though I'd say the first part of the book (chapter 1-5) really gives a neat presentation of some of the most useful concepts.
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The book doesn't use economics lingo and there are no mathematical equations, it's full of clever examples and illustrations. Hopefully this book changes you as much as it changed my view of the world.
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#economics #thearmchaireconomist #stevenelandsburg #economist #econbook #econ #economics101 #econ101 #incentives #rationality #armchaireconomist

MARKETS WITHOUT LIMITS, Jason Brennan and Peter M. Jaworski 🤝
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This book discusses if there are certain goods or services that simply should not to be bought and sold on the market. Such as maybe organs, sex, surrogacy, votes, paying children to read books or your spouse to do household chores.
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Their thesis is that if you're allowed to do it for free you aught to be allowed to do it for money. There are things that should not be traded on the market, child pornography, murder services and slaves for example, but that is not because the market as such creates wrongness where there was none before. Slavery is wrong, and that has nothing to do with the market.
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This book really exceeded my expectations. It makes a very sober and detailed defence of markets, but at the same time doesn't exaggerate he weight of their arguments and they are honest about when opponents makes good arguments or when scientific research isn't decisive on an issue.
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I didn't expect to learn so much about research in the domains of psychology, sociology and philosophy as I have. Does the market turn people selfish? How does people understand value? Why and how do sociologists often misinterpret economists? Why does the Marxist claim about labor work being exploiting sounds so attractive? And why is the claim wrong?Those are just a couple of questions discussed that I found to be very interesting.
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This is one of those books that I will keep in my bookshelf and bring out at occasions when the discussion about commodification in a specific good or service comes up and I want to put things in a bigger perspective.
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#marketswithoutlimits #jasonbrennan #marketeconomy #economics #econ #econbook #economics101 #econ101 #capitalism #trade #bookstagram #economicsclass #economicsstudent #econometrics #economize #economia #econgeek #macroeconomics #microeconomics

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