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Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism Paperback – November 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0226041025 ISBN-10: 9780226041025 Edition: Reissue

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; Reissue edition (November 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780226041025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226041025
  • ASIN: 0226041026
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #557,660 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nobel Prize–winning economist Becker (Human Capital) and U.S. Court of Appeals judge Posner (How Judges Think) apply economic perspectives to a wide range of contemporary issues in these unwieldy essays culled from their jointly written blog. Social problems ranging from terrorism and pre-emptive war to Internet gambling and steroid use are subjected to analysis yielding surprising arguments; for example, they argue that drunk-driving laws penalize behavior that is not criminal (drinking) instead of the harmful outcome (accidents) and ask, Why punish the 99-plus percent of drunk driving that is harmless? The book is most compelling when addressing the legal aspects of eminent domain and pharmaceutical patents, much less so when it pans over national and global issues like ethnic profiling, where the arguments feel well-worn. Despite some valuable insights, the writing itself is ponderous and lacks the references and rigor to make it genuinely academic, but comes across as too dense for good blog writing. And even though the authors acknowledge that their audience might be unfamiliar with the economic principles they apply, their only concession is a brief overview of economics in the introduction. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"An excellent book.... For anyone who wants a quick and easy crash course on Chicago economics - style thinking, this book is as good as it gets.... I read nearly the whole book in one sitting." - New York Times's Freakonomics blog "The best way of getting into the economics of what is known as the 'Chicago School' without paying tuition." - Chicago Tribune"

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By robert johnston on February 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have followed Becker & Posner's Blog, no need to buy this.

If not, Common Sense is a very insightful set of brief and intelligible position papers on controversial topics that are debated as gentlemen are intended to argue their positions.

There are 49 `current topics' that are adroitly argued with facts and insights. The topics are sharply distinguished as controversial, left and right, for or against, matters of the heart or otherwise. Whether you are for or against the argument, for the sake of the argument, Common Sense is effective and interesting.

This collection is certainly one of the best for serving up both sides of the issue. Quite interesting all around.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Tham on June 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great for short and powerful insights, as opposed to the more intensive books (even by the same authors) on the subject. Easier read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Klug on October 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Two authors whose knowledge about economics and its role in our lives is undeniable. Certainly worth the read!
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5 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Graham H. Seibert TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
for a book that was presented to somebody who is interested in Freakonomics. It is stolid and predictable, a series of ponderous explanations of contemporary social phenomena. Not entertaining, and not very elucidating either.

If two authors are going to be this pedantic, they should at least go through their blogs and organize them, look for a central theme, and present a single point of view. The dialectic isn't terribly informative when the two participants agree to such a great extent.
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Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism
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