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The Economics of Life: From Baseball to Affirmative Action to Immigration, How Real-World Issues Affect Our Everyday Life 1st Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
1) An easy to understand intro to the usage of economic principles to solve problems. Becker's other books were essentially on similar topics, but with a much more rigorous analysis.
2) An intro to new topics that could be approached from a much more rigorous standpoint. Becker's curious mind actually points out to many issues (such as immigration, affirmative action, and many other gov't issues) that would benefit from a more rigorous economic approach.
Good entertainment value, with about 80% of essays really interesting and the rest fillers.
That said, the original columns are well-written and often provocative. It's not the best introduction to Becker's economics, which is more distinctive than this material, but it is a good read.
This book should reach a wider audience too. Now that Milton Friedman is gone, Becker is THE leading proponent of Chicago Rational Choice microeconomics. Those who want to understand policy issues should read this book because it is about the easiest way to get a feel for Chicago microeconomics. See also Hidden Order by David Friedman.
Given the controversial nature of this book it has drawn fire, and will continue to do so. While I freely admit that Chicago price theory has limits, it also has useful applications and relevance. Read The Economics of Life first, judge its merits later.
Sadly, it's not very representative of the rest of his work.
For starters, it's not really a book, it's a compilation of 800-word essays he wrote for Newsweek in the late eighties and early nineties. The timing here is critical. These essays were written at a juncture when "free market" ideology, of which Becker was a prominent preacher, was at its apogee, possibly even its moment of hubris. Keen to give a "coup de grace" to the mortally wounded ideology of central planning and hyper-regulation that suffered its biggest blow with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, Becker is having his own "end of history" moment here.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a collection of Gary Becker's articles written for the magazine Business Weekly, many co-authored with his wife, a historian. Read morePublished 8 months ago by bronx book nerd
Another argument from neo liberal, laissez faire, pro capital, pro industry, pro deregulation side of the spectrum. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Al-Maghrib
The essays in this book are well written, but the essays are now a bit dated. It was an easy read, and it explains economics in real-life ways, but recency is an issue.Published on July 28, 2013 by locombia
Gary Becker certainly has the credentials to bring economics to the masses, with a Nobel Prize in the field and positions at the economics powerhouse of the University of Chicago... Read morePublished on December 4, 2007 by Dash Manchette
This book brings economic theories down to earth. The Beckers are excellent writers and the book is easy to read because it is broken down into short segments. Read morePublished on January 9, 2007 by morning child
This is a great read. Although outdated, it still carries lots of potent articles from the man who mastered bringing economics to the masses. Read morePublished on March 10, 2006 by Ned Rierson