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Sex, Drugs and Economics: An Unconventional Introduction to Economics Hardcover – October 23, 2002

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Texere; 1 edition (October 23, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1587991470
  • ISBN-13: 978-1587991479
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,067,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Coyle, an economist, author, and journalist, sets out to explain economics as a method for thinking about any subject--marriage, sports, and even sex. She provides a checklist of rules to remember in order to think like an economist: for example, everything has a cost, things always change, supply and demand work, there is no easy profit, prices make the best incentives, people do what they want when common sense and economics conflict, and common sense is wrong. The first part of the book demonstrates that economics offers a rigorous analysis of most topics common to daily life. The next four sections are devoted to government and public policy, the changing structure of the economy, global issues, and traditional subject matter, such as growth and inflation. This is an excellent book, presenting economics as an important subject for readers with many different interests and concerns. Mary Whaley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"A fun read, it will give both the novice and the technician a great deal of food for thought." -- Dr. Sherry Cooper, Executive Vice-President and Global Economic Strategist, Bank of Montreal Group of Companies

"Diane Coyle delivers a most enjoyable tour and an effortless education in economics by exploring everyday subjects." -- Peter Sutherland, Chairman, BP

"Diane Coyle has done the best job yet of showing how economic thinking can be applied to life . . ." -- Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and International Trade, Princeton University

"This is a highly engaging and remarkably literate survey of economics . . . Dr. Coyle has a rare talent . . ." -- Andrew W. Lo, Harris & Harris Group Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management, and Director, MIT Laboratory for Financial Engineering

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Jonathan Dolhenty on October 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
If you think economics is really the "dismal science," then Diane Coyle, a Harvard-trained economist who lives and works in London, is out to change your mind. And what a job she does in her new book on the basics of general economics. This work is indeed an easy read on a complex subject but Coyle never insults the intelligence of her readers and fully intends to explain in a readable style exactly what the study of economics is all about.
Right at the beginning, Dr. Coyle tells us precisely what she intends her book to do: "This book aims to demonstrate that economics is essentially a particular way of thinking about the world that can be applied to almost any situation affecting individuals, companies, industries, and governments." Then, to make sure we all understand that the study of economics is not just for the professional or the academic but has a broader horizon, she insists that economics is "the subject for you whatever your interests and concerns" and that her objective is "to provide a new light and refreshing appetizer that might satisfy delicate appetites but also encourage some readers to develop a taste for more."
One of the things that makes this book so appealing is that Dr. Coyle uses our ordinary life experiences to allow us to grasp many of the major concepts of economics. She does discuss sex and illegal drugs and how economics applies to them, but she also has chapters on sports, music, energy, auctions, war games, movies, the Internet, weather, and other common topics with which we are very familiar, all utilized as a means to introduce, explain and describe various technical terms and concepts at different points in the book.
For instance, the first chapter of the book, titled "Sex: Can you have too much of a good thing?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAME on June 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Most books about economics tend to be rather dry and technical. Not this one. Diane Coyle writes with humor and grace, infusing her erudition into lively prose, never burdening the reader or demanding that you patiently suffer through academic digressions. She views economics not as a subject but as yoga; it's not a bunch of stuff you ought to know but rather a way of learning and reflection. Coyle manages to touch on all of the major contemporary economic issues - literally, sex, drugs and rock and roll - and to make it clear how economic logic relates to such phenomena as sexual behavior, drug taking, war, fashion, major league sports and the Internet. This is an interesting, amusing book by an excellent author, both saucy and unconventional. We know that it might not help you make a lot of money - it's not that kind of book - but believes that it will make you richer in other ways.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fallon Douglas on March 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book for a collage class book report. For an economics book its not bad at all. The author does a good job of making the information entertaining and accessible to a wide audience.
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