The Logic of Life



THE UNDERCOVER ECONOMIST Showed How Ordinary Economics Explained Everyday Curiosities, Such As The Price Of A Cup Of Coffee And The Traffic Jam On The Way To The Supermarket THE LOGIC OF LIFE Shows How The New Economics Of Rational Choice Theory Explains Much, Much.Drug Addicts And Teenage Muggers Can Be Rational Suburban Sprawl And Inner City Decay Are Rational Endless Meetings At The Office And The Injustices Of Working Life Rational Economics Explains Why Your Boss Is Overpaid, Whether We Should Build Prisons, And Whether A City Like New Orleans Can Recover From Disaster.THE LOGIC OF LIFE Introduces You To Engaging Stories And Characters Linked Together In A Bold Narrative Sweep The Book Starts With The Most Intimate Decisions To Have Sex, To Take Drugs, To Lead An Honest Life Then Zooms Out To Discuss The Logic Of The Family, Of Neighbourhoods, Large Corporations, Cities Themselves This Is The New Economics Of Everything You Never Thought Was Economics, And It Will Help You See The World In A New Way.The Logic of Life

Tim Harford is a member of the Financial Times editorial board His column, The Undercover Economist , which reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences, is published in the Financial Times and syndicated around the world He is also the only economist in the world to run a problem page, Dear Economist , in which FT readers personal problems are answered tongue in cheek with the late

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  • Hardcover
  • 272 pages
  • The Logic of Life
  • Tim Harford
  • 07 June 2018
  • 9780316027564

10 thoughts on “The Logic of Life

  1. says:

    I ve been trying to increase my understanding of economics lately, and have found myself reading a lot of books like this one From The Undercover Economist to Freakonomics I feel a lot informed about the world, but also better equipped to view my surroundings from new perspectives This book is no exception Harford has a knack for delivering complex information to the everyday reader in an entertaining way Most importantly, he deals with issues that are relevant to the average person s life while making his main point that the decisions we make are essentially rational By rational, Harford means, rational people respond to incentives With this assumption, he s able to flush out all kinds of interesting, and sometimes scary, incentives to which humans respond Additionally, Harford claims that we respond to incentives that go beyond mere monetary considerations to our everyday decisions, i.e sex, neighborhoods, race, culture, and so on Basically, anything that has a consequence can also be an incentive It s at this point that Harford says rational choice theory becomes controversial because it enters the realm of everyday human behavior And for me, it is also controversial because I don t think w...

  2. says:

    The explanatory ambition of this book is stunning Harford offers rational actor explanations of changes in sexual activity, racial segregation in cities, professional poker, the number of people in parks at different times of day, the productivity of cities, the industrial revolution, colonization, and even why human beings eventually triumphed over neanderthals Along the way you get informative sketches of major 20th century economists and game theorists and their theories I was most impressed by the explanation of why small scale rational decisions made by individuals can lead to large scale problems like extreme racial and class segregation in cities For discussion of this point, see chapter 5, which begins with Harford trying to decide where to live in Washington, DC, and being told by his minder at the World Bank not to live east of 16th street One statistic that stood out...

  3. says:

    I like this type of book, but sometimes it feels like pseudoscience What the heck It was insightful to be introduced to Kahneman and Tversky in a book like say Against the Gods, and then to have it rebutted in the first few chapters of this book While I may enjoy it, it is going to leave me a little like freakonomics, i.e., a good book but not quite a classic After reading it, I must say it is looking like a lesser book than freakonomics Afterall, freakonomics was the first in this genre Also, there is less subtance here than The Undercover Economist Towards the end, the studies in support of the arguments are what was earlier argued in the books as...

  4. says:

    Very disappointing Very shallow and simplistic.Fairly early in the book I reached the statement that the author s morning coffee habit and an addiction to heroin are basically the same thing, just different in a matter of degree.If I had the book from the library I would have given up at that point, but having paid for the book I soldiered on, unfortunately, hoping for something better to turn up No such...

  5. says:

    You might feel the book interesting but there were many instances I would find myself saying Really You are claiming those to be comparable in a book espousing the role of rationality

  6. says:

    edited 01 18 14Tim Harford, you re breaking my heart, and importantly, you re undermining my faith in quantitative economics I am a passionate fan of your BBC radio show, More or Less What could possibly be entertaining than a topical radio programme that uses statistics to fact check the politicians, especially if it occasionally measures things in whales and or Wales Sure, I don t have the same faith in rationality that you do well, not without completely bending the meaning of rationality out of joint to allow for irrational influences such as spite motivation but I accept the premise I greatly enjoyed your previous book, The Undercover Economist, and that book was just as insistent on human rationality But what I can t cope with is this book s betrayal of the primary credo that separates idle speculation from science.Mr Harford, what, oh what, happened to your belief in the rallying cry of More or Less What happened to correlation...

  7. says:

    Interesting book which raises various psychological issues in its exploration of rational decision making Some of the issues raised are set in context with geographical examples, which I like.The author, Tim Harford, is a self proclaimed economist and he has a website thought the book was calling for a closer integration of economics into social science research to develop a clearer understanding of the way things work Maybe this is happening, but nevertheless, I wonder if far about this world can be explained by cock up theory than conspiracy theory where muppetry and unforseen circumstance tends to result in outcomes than what is intended consequence.I did not read every word of this book from start to finish, rather I dipped in and out of it, so I may have missed some parts and this review might not be a fair reflection.I liked the consideration of the pace of development , and its relation to the size and innovation...

  8. says:

    A grandiose title that tells you this book is a little ambitious than The Undercover Economist Harford writes with passion and urgency, defending rational choice theory as a useful framework for predicting in the majority of cases how the majority of people behave Because people change their behaviours in response to incentives and these include non financial ones , rational choice theory also le...

  9. says:

    Harford books are well written, engaging, and funny If you loved the Freakonomics books, are a Malcolm Gladwell fan, and want , I wholeheartedly recommend these.The Logic of Life is a great read, with a thesis that I like, although it isn t breaking news Basically, Harford points out that, even when people seem crazy and stupid, they re usually acting rationally and responding to incentives It definitely reads a bit like a collection of article...

  10. says:

    Review for The Logic of LifeAuthor Tim HarfordISBN 978 1 58836 682 5 The logic of life the rational economics of an irrational world My chief beef with economics has always been based on 2 simple observations 1 Men and women are not rational creatures 2 Economics is horrible at forecasting future events because of irrational behaviorMy conclusion then is that economics as a field of study is flawed and there are no laws of economics because the field is so full of potholes there can t be.What intrigued me to read this particular book was the author s belief and contention that human beings are indeed rational and the underpinnings of economic theory work quite well if we would take a careful look at the behavior or observations that lead us to believe otherwise.If we take my complaints about economics in reverse order and look at econ s terrible track record of forecasting future events, the author quite readily admits as a forecasting tool the discipline is quite awful Economics can t forecast the future because of the nature of what he spends most of the book talking about People as individuals are really quite rational Large groups, while composed of rational individuals, do not always make rational decisions And i...

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