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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Discover Your Inner Economist one of America's most respected economists presents a quirky, incisive romp through everyday life that reveals how you can turn economic reasoning to your advantage — often when you least expect it to be relevant.

Like no other economist, Tyler Cowen shows how economic notions — such as incentives, signals, and markets — apply far more widely than merely to the decisions of social planners, governments, and big business. What does economic theory say about ordering from a menu? Or attracting the right mate? Or controlling people who talk too much in meetings? Or dealing with your dentist? With a wryly amusing voice, in chapters such as "How to Control the World, The Basics" and "How to Control the World, Knowing When to Stop" Cowen reveals the hidden economic patterns behind everyday situations so you can get more of what you really want.

Readers will also gain less selfish insights into how to be a good partner, neighbor and even citizen of the world. For instance, what is the best way to give to charity? The chapter title "How to Save the World — More Christmas Presents Won't Help" makes a point that is every bit as personal as it is global.

Incentives are at the core of an economic approach to the world, but they don't just come in cash. In fact, money can be a disincentive. Cowen shows why, for example, it doesn't work to pay your kids to do the dishes. Other kinds of incentives — like making sure family members know they will be admired if they respect you can work. Another non-monetary incentive? Try having everyone stand up in your next meeting if you don't want anyone to drone on. Deeply felt incentives like pride in one's work or a passing smile from a loved one, can be the most powerful of all, even while they operate alongside more mundane rewards such as money and free food.

Discover Your Inner Economist is an introduction to the science of economics that shows it to be built on notions that are already within all of us. While the implications of those ideas lead to Cowen's often counterintuitive advice, their wisdom is presented in ordinary examples taken from home life, work life, and even vacation life... How do you get a good guide in a Moroccan bazaar?

Review:

"'Perhaps mindful that the procession of Freakonomics-inspired pop-economics books is becoming a blur, blogger Cowen aims to not 'hit the reader over the head with economic principles.' Indeed, in his chatty disquisitions, economics often recedes into near invisibility. Few readers will hold it against this charming guide on how 'to get more of the good stuff in life.' An engaging narrator, Cowen offers idiosyncratic strategies for appreciating museum art, for building 'family trust and cooperation,' for writing a personal ad, for reading 'classic novels that seem boring on first inspection,' for surviving torture, for properly practicing self-deception and for most effectively giving to beggars in Calcutta. In the book's most passionate and practical chapter, on food, Cowen explains how, with planning and tactics, we can 'eat much better meals' at home and in restaurants, here and abroad. Throughout the book, the author's advice is less counterintuitive than simply surprising (he argues that 'the committed foodie should look to regions where some people are very rich and others are very poor'). Even if you don't agree with all of Cowen's cheerfully offered opinions, it's a pleasure to accompany him through his various interests and obsessions. At the least, you'll pick up some useful tips for what to order at upscale restaurants. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"'We are all Keynesians now,' President Nixon is said to have declared in 1971.

His words affirmed the influence of John Maynard Keynes, the famed British economist who decades earlier had argued that smart governments could fine-tune a nation's economy and avert major slumps by manipulating taxes and spending.

These days, though, big-think economic theories feel... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"If you like Tyler Cowen's writing on the best economics blog in the universe, you will love this book. Cowen combines an economist's tools with a teenager's recklessness, addressing problems like: how to keep meetings short, how to hire a tour guide in Marrakesh, and how to incentivize your kids to wash the dishes. His creativity is a gift." Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, authors of Freakonomics

Synopsis:

Read Tyler Cowen's posts on the Penguin Blog.

In Discover Your Inner Economist one of America’s most respected economists presents a quirky, incisive romp through everyday life that reveals how you can turn economic reasoning to your advantage—often when you least expect it to be relevant.

Like no other economist, Tyler Cowen shows how economic notions--such as incentives, signals, and markets-- apply far more widely than merely to the decisions of social planners, governments, and big business. What does economic theory say about ordering from a menu? Or attracting the right mate? Or controlling people who talk too much in meetings? Or dealing with your dentist? With a wryly amusing voice, in chapters such as “How to Control the World, The Basics” and “How to Control the World, Knowing When to Stop” Cowen reveals the hidden economic patterns behind everyday situations so you can get more of what you really want.

Readers will also gain less selfish insights into how to be a good partner, neighbor and even citizen of the world. For instance, what is the best way to give to charity? The chapter title “How to Save the World—More Christmas Presents Won’t Help” makes a point that is every bit as personal as it is global.

Incentives are at the core of an economic approach to the world, but they don’t just come in cash. In fact, money can be a disincentive. Cowen shows why, for example, it doesn’t work to pay your kids to do the dishes. Other kinds of incentives--like making sure family members know they will be admired if they respect you--can work. Another non- monetary incentive? Try having everyone stand up in your next meeting if you don’t want anyone to drone on. Deeply felt incentives like pride in one’s work or a passing smile from a loved one, can be the most powerful of all, even while they operate alongside more mundane rewards such as money and free food.

Discover Your Inner Economist is an introduction to the science of economics that shows it to be built on notions that are already within all of us. While the implications of those ideas lead to Cowen’s often counterintuitive advice, their wisdom is presented in ordinary examples taken from home life, work life, and even vacation life… How do you get a good guide in a Moroccan bazaar?

Read Tyler Cowen's posts on the Penguin Blog.

Synopsis:

A leading economist, “who may very well turn out to be this decade’s Thomas Friedman” (Wall Street Journal), illuminates the state of American food today

Tyler Cowen, one of the most influential economists of the last decade, wants you to know that just about everything you’ve heard about how to get good food is wrong. Drawing on a provocative range of examples from around the globe, Cowen reveals why airplane food is bad, but airport food is improving, why restaurants full of happy, attractive people usually serve mediocre meals, and why American food has improved as Americans drink more wine. At a time when obesity is on the rise and forty-four million Americans receive food stamps, An Economist Gets Lunch will revolutionize the way we eat today—and show us how we’re going to feed the world tomorrow.

About the Author

Tyler Cowen is Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He blogs at www.marginalrevolution.com, the world's leading economics blog. He also writes regularly for the New York Times, and he has written for Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and the Wilson Quarterly.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780525950257
Subtitle:
Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist
Author:
Cowen, Tyler
Publisher:
Plume
Subject:
Economics
Subject:
Psychological aspects
Subject:
Personal Growth - Success
Subject:
Economics - General
Subject:
Economics -- Psychological aspects.
Subject:
Incentive (Psychology)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20080527
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8 x 5.46 x 0.56 in 0.47 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Economics » General

Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Dutton Books - English 9780525950257 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'Perhaps mindful that the procession of Freakonomics-inspired pop-economics books is becoming a blur, blogger Cowen aims to not 'hit the reader over the head with economic principles.' Indeed, in his chatty disquisitions, economics often recedes into near invisibility. Few readers will hold it against this charming guide on how 'to get more of the good stuff in life.' An engaging narrator, Cowen offers idiosyncratic strategies for appreciating museum art, for building 'family trust and cooperation,' for writing a personal ad, for reading 'classic novels that seem boring on first inspection,' for surviving torture, for properly practicing self-deception and for most effectively giving to beggars in Calcutta. In the book's most passionate and practical chapter, on food, Cowen explains how, with planning and tactics, we can 'eat much better meals' at home and in restaurants, here and abroad. Throughout the book, the author's advice is less counterintuitive than simply surprising (he argues that 'the committed foodie should look to regions where some people are very rich and others are very poor'). Even if you don't agree with all of Cowen's cheerfully offered opinions, it's a pleasure to accompany him through his various interests and obsessions. At the least, you'll pick up some useful tips for what to order at upscale restaurants. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "If you like Tyler Cowen's writing on the best economics blog in the universe, you will love this book. Cowen combines an economist's tools with a teenager's recklessness, addressing problems like: how to keep meetings short, how to hire a tour guide in Marrakesh, and how to incentivize your kids to wash the dishes. His creativity is a gift."
"Synopsis" by ,
Read Tyler Cowen's posts on the Penguin Blog.

In Discover Your Inner Economist one of America’s most respected economists presents a quirky, incisive romp through everyday life that reveals how you can turn economic reasoning to your advantage—often when you least expect it to be relevant.

Like no other economist, Tyler Cowen shows how economic notions--such as incentives, signals, and markets-- apply far more widely than merely to the decisions of social planners, governments, and big business. What does economic theory say about ordering from a menu? Or attracting the right mate? Or controlling people who talk too much in meetings? Or dealing with your dentist? With a wryly amusing voice, in chapters such as “How to Control the World, The Basics” and “How to Control the World, Knowing When to Stop” Cowen reveals the hidden economic patterns behind everyday situations so you can get more of what you really want.

Readers will also gain less selfish insights into how to be a good partner, neighbor and even citizen of the world. For instance, what is the best way to give to charity? The chapter title “How to Save the World—More Christmas Presents Won’t Help” makes a point that is every bit as personal as it is global.

Incentives are at the core of an economic approach to the world, but they don’t just come in cash. In fact, money can be a disincentive. Cowen shows why, for example, it doesn’t work to pay your kids to do the dishes. Other kinds of incentives--like making sure family members know they will be admired if they respect you--can work. Another non- monetary incentive? Try having everyone stand up in your next meeting if you don’t want anyone to drone on. Deeply felt incentives like pride in one’s work or a passing smile from a loved one, can be the most powerful of all, even while they operate alongside more mundane rewards such as money and free food.

Discover Your Inner Economist is an introduction to the science of economics that shows it to be built on notions that are already within all of us. While the implications of those ideas lead to Cowen’s often counterintuitive advice, their wisdom is presented in ordinary examples taken from home life, work life, and even vacation life… How do you get a good guide in a Moroccan bazaar?

Read Tyler Cowen's posts on the Penguin Blog.

"Synopsis" by ,
A leading economist, “who may very well turn out to be this decade’s Thomas Friedman” (Wall Street Journal), illuminates the state of American food today

Tyler Cowen, one of the most influential economists of the last decade, wants you to know that just about everything you’ve heard about how to get good food is wrong. Drawing on a provocative range of examples from around the globe, Cowen reveals why airplane food is bad, but airport food is improving, why restaurants full of happy, attractive people usually serve mediocre meals, and why American food has improved as Americans drink more wine. At a time when obesity is on the rise and forty-four million Americans receive food stamps, An Economist Gets Lunch will revolutionize the way we eat today—and show us how we’re going to feed the world tomorrow.

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