Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on December 8, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This is one of those mildly provocative ideas that would make an interesting 1,000 word article; unfortunately, it has been stretched to become 220 page book. You'll recognize all the recently quoted studies mixed with tenuous connections to assertions that are exceptional in their mediocrity.

This book is going into the garage-sale bin a.s.a.p.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I'm not like the author that buys books and after a few pages stop reading them, when I buy a book I try to be very selective, I don't like to waste my time and money.
I guess I did a mistake when I bought this book
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
14 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Tyler Cowen the economist and blogger decided to write a book. It seems like the next step of a natural progression for him to become an author, especially at a time when pop economics is falling into the hands of everyday people and housewife bookclubs. With catchy chapter titles linking economics to dating, menu-ordering, and even artwork-shopping, Mr. Cowen explains everything in terms of their incentives. This isn't a stupid approach to introducing economics at all, only that the author doesn't present anything in his book in an organized or complete manner.

Chapters are divvied up into sections that seem totally unrelated. Bullet-pointed arguments and anecdotes are abound throughout the book, leaving readers hopeless in figuring out what real incites economics provides into human behavior (besides that their are incentives beyond money). The best example would be the first chapter, which struggles to present the resulting principles of Tyler Cowen's academic career:

The Postcard Test
The Grandma Test
and The Aha Principle (no joke)

All three of these life-pointers could be summed up in a single statement and you wouldn't have to read the book. Mr. Cowen's entire message is this: "Economics should be very simple, explainable, and rewarding." The rest is personal life stories.
I have no doubt this book will sell well, just don't expect enlightenment about everyday events from this book.

Redeeming qualities?
Stylish cover, tips about how to behave while being tortured or held captive by terrorists. but then again Mr. Cowen does the kind job of pointing the reader towards even more helpful books on those subjects.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 4, 2007
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Cowen offers some interesting ideas about how to improve our lives in a surprisingly diverse array of areas. Unfortunately, these ideas rarely tied into a central theme. In the end I would have benefited from taking Cowen's advice about books and skipping some of the less exhilarating sections.

Altogether and brief and informative read with gossamer ties to economics.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2013
Format: Paperback
When first picking this book off the shelf and looking at the Title I thought it was going to be a interesting read. IT ISN'T. It not really about the economics of anything but rather psychology based which is not what I was looking for. The author talks a lot about himself which I found to got real boring. I really didn't care if he liked random offbeat Nigerian music or not, etc.

I really didn't get anything out of the book, no real interesting tid bits of information that stuck in my mind. I really felt this guy wrote this book just to say he wrote a book. I am exteremly glad I didn't buy the book but checked it out of a library instead. I do not recommend this book.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
I got this book from a local library. Read and liked it very much. When I come to amazon.com to buy one to keep, I found the average review is low. so I decide to throw in my two cents.
First, I wonder if some of the reviewers finished the book. Some of the comments seem to be based on the title of the book. There are much more in the book.
The author covered a range of topics but presented each one clearly and concisely. You can read several recent best sellers to learn about those ideas. Or just read this book, I bet you will learn as much.
The book offers a not so common way of thinking in many areas of daily life, totally worth the time.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
It is amazing how some 'books' become published.

There is no theme to this unstructured attempt either in relationship to the title, between chapters or within the chapters.

This attempt provides typical American 'intelligence' that normal people would consider common sense.

An absolute waste of paper. Avoid.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2009
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a good book that I wanted to be a great book but that wasn't. Many reviewers have commented that the book claims to be about how to use economics principles to help your decisionmaking only to show that in fact using economics principles often works at cross purposes to your decisionmaking (example: how paying your child to do chores makes them less likely to do them). To my mind this *is* showing how to use economics principles to make your decisions: it's explaining that sometimes you shouldn't do it.

So far, so good. Where the book lets off is where it stops being insightful like that. You can't review a book without reviewing the other books in its genre - the Washington Post review of this book in the Amazon page spends half the time comparing it to Freakonomics. On one level that's not fair because a book should stand or fall on its own. On the other hand, nothing exists in a vacuum and where the author himself references Freakonomics in his own book you can get a bit of a pass for doing it in a review too. As I've pointed out and as the author does as well, unlike Freakonomics, this book purports to tell you not just where economics principles can help but also where they hurt. In that case he has to get this right too. And I don't feel he did. Continuing the example: if paying your daughter to do the dishes means she won't do as good a job and will instead look for a better-paying job, is that a bad thing? Depends what you're trying to motivate her to do and what result you're seeking. It's that last analysis that Cowan doesn't give enough here. Freakonomics told you its motivations, and what would be motivated by following economics principles. Cowan doesn't tell you what you lose or what you gain by abandoning them. He should have.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2007
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Like the other reviewers I found that the main problem with this book was that it lacked a clear theme. Cowen will be writing about 1 thing and then a sentence later will be writing about something completely unrelated. However, the majority of the things he did talk about were VERY interesting and informative. For example...his final 2 chapters contained facts I would without hesitation share with others. A large amount of this book bored me because of how ADD the writing was, I actually had to put it down for a month or so, but when I decided to give it one more chance I couldn't put it down. Browse for the interesting stuff, especially the chapter on Food and 7 deadly sins, and it's worth reading. Not worth buying though. Buy the under cover economist...much more organization in the writing. Oh, and I would also buy this book over Naked Economics which I found to be completely dull.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on March 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Once you have indulged in a hand full of these pop-econ books you begin to notice an annoying pattern of repetition--identical themes dressed up in new analogies and examples that are fun, but nonetheless, identical to the previous book you read. Cowen's book is somewhat different, being extremely well written with a healthy blend of metaphors, but I was not thoroughly impressed. I see little innovation in his offered solutions and many of them are just elaborate duhs!!! However, I won't yawn at Cowens' approach to writing too much and would really suggest this book to any regimented, non-economist, individual who's looking for a little spice. For the more aware, I suggest Landsburg.

Jeremiah Dyke
[...]
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies
An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies by Tyler Cowen (Paperback - February 26, 2013)
$13.16


 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.