The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World

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9780812977875: The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World

Life sometimes seems illogical. Individuals do strange things: take drugs, have unprotected sex, mug each other. Love seems irrational, and so does divorce. On a larger scale, life seems no fairer or easier to fathom: Why do some neighborhoods thrive and others become ghettos? Why is racism so persistent? Why is your idiot boss paid a fortune for sitting behind a mahogany altar? Thorny questions–and you might be surprised to hear the answers coming from an economist. But award-winning journalist Tim Harford likes to spring surprises. In this deftly reasoned book, he argues that life is logical after all. Under the surface of everyday insanity, hidden incentives are at work, and Harford shows these incentives emerging in the most unlikely places.

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Review:

A Message to Amazon Readers from Author Tim Harford

Give yourself a pat on the back. You're not as stupid as everyone says you are, and now there's a book that proves it.

When I first conceived of The Logic of Life, my aim was to show that a world full of smart people--people like you, that is--doesn’t necessarily look logical on the surface. We eat too much and worry about being fat; drink too much and cringe when we remember; spend too much at Christmas and worry about the bills in New Year. And that’s just the small stuff: what about crime, racial segregation, divorce, big-money politics?

And yet underneath it all there is a hidden logic. It isn’t always pretty, but it’s there if you know how to see it. That is what The Logic of Life is all about.

But when I'd finished the first draft, my editor told me that he didn't think that people were as logical as I'd said. He wanted me to prove my point.

At first, I thought it was my editor thinks people are illogical because he works in the publishing business. Of course life looks illogical if you do that. (In fact, life looks crazy in most offices: see "Why Your Boss is Overpaid," chapter four.) But then I realised he was right. I'd left the most important step out.

So I went back and made sure that I laid out all the amazing evidence. I looked at single women hitting the dating scene in American cities; I looked at juvenile delinquents across the US; I looked at Mexican prostitutes; I looked at traders at a convention in Disney World; I looked at professional poker players in Las Vegas and professional soccer players in Europe. I looked at violent spouses, alcoholics, and school bullies.

In every case I discovered a story of hidden incentives and unexpected logic. And through the process of writing--and living--the book, I discovered that this crazy world of ours makes more sense than you might think.

About the Author:

Tim Harford is the author of the bestseller The Undercover Economist and The Logic of Life and a member of the editorial board of the Financial Times, where he also writes the “Dear Economist” column. He is a regular contributor to Slate, Forbes, and NPR’s Marketplace. He was the host of the BBC TV series Trust Me, I’m an Economist and now presents the BBC series More or Less. Harford has been an economist at the World Bank and an economics tutor at Oxford University. He lives in London with his wife and two daughters.
From the Hardcover edition.

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2009. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Life sometimes seems illogical. Individuals do strange things: take drugs, have unprotected sex, mug each other. Love seems irrational, and so does divorce. On a larger scale, life seems no fairer or easier to fathom: Why do some neighborhoods thrive and others become ghettos? Why is racism so persistent? Why is your idiot boss paid a fortune for sitting behind a mahogany altar? Thorny questions-and you might be surprised to hear the answers coming from an economist. But award-winning journalist Tim Harford likes to spring surprises. In this deftly reasoned book, he argues that life is logical after all. Under the surface of everyday insanity, hidden incentives are at work, and Harford shows these incentives emerging in the most unlikely places. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780812977875

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Descripción Random House USA Inc, United States, 2009. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. Life sometimes seems illogical. Individuals do strange things: take drugs, have unprotected sex, mug each other. Love seems irrational, and so does divorce. On a larger scale, life seems no fairer or easier to fathom: Why do some neighborhoods thrive and others become ghettos? Why is racism so persistent? Why is your idiot boss paid a fortune for sitting behind a mahogany altar? Thorny questions-and you might be surprised to hear the answers coming from an economist. But award-winning journalist Tim Harford likes to spring surprises. In this deftly reasoned book, he argues that life is logical after all. Under the surface of everyday insanity, hidden incentives are at work, and Harford shows these incentives emerging in the most unlikely places. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780812977875

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Descripción Random House USA Inc. Paperback / softback. Estado de conservación: new. BRAND NEW, The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World, Tim Harford, Life sometimes seems illogical. Individuals do strange things: take drugs, have unprotected sex, mug each other. Love seems irrational, and so does divorce. On a larger scale, life seems no fairer or easier to fathom: Why do some neighborhoods thrive and others become ghettos? Why is racism so persistent? Why is your idiot boss paid a fortune for sitting behind a mahogany altar? Thorny questions-and you might be surprised to hear the answers coming from an economist. But award-winning journalist Tim Harford likes to spring surprises. In this deftly reasoned book, he argues that life is logical after all. Under the surface of everyday insanity, hidden incentives are at work, and Harford shows these incentives emerging in the most unlikely places. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780812977875

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