Synopses & Reviews
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.
"A perfect marriage of economics and food. Tyler Cowen is my newest guilty pleasure." - Rocco DiSpirito, author of #1 New York Times bestseller Now Eat This!
"Tyler Cowen's latest book is a real treat, probably my favorite thing he's ever written. It does a fantastic job exploring the economics, culture, esthetics, and realities of food and delivers a mountain of compelling facts. Most of all, it's encouraging-not a screed, despite its occasionally serious arguments- and brings the fun back to eating. Delicious!" -Stephen J. Dubner, coauthor of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics
"A gastronomic, economic, and philosophical feast from one of the world's most creative economists. Tyler Cowen offers the thinking person's guide to American food culture, and your relationships with food will be hugely enriched by the result." -Tim Harford, author of The Undercover Economist and Adapt
“A fun and informative book that environmentalists, economists, and (most of all) foodies will enjoy."
"Cowen writes like your favorite wised-up food maven...a breezy, conversational style; the result is mouth-watering food for thought."
-Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Economist reveals how to find great food."
"Tips on eating food that's better for you, your wallet, and the environment."
“Tyler Cowen explains with great authority why good food doesn't have to be expensive and why expensive food isn't inevitably good. Cowen makes an argument for affordable food that results in both economic and sensory benefits. He espouses a fascinating new discipline I couldn’t help but think of as ‘Foodienomics.’”
—Barb Stuckey, author of Taste What You’re Missing
"An Economist Gets Lunch
is a mind-bending book for non-economists."
"Part economic history . . . part guide to getting a better meal at home or a restaurant. Reconowned economist . . . Professor Cowen is an expert on the economics of culture and the arts." -The New York Times Dining Section
"Will change the way you think about thinking." -Daniel H. Pink, author of A Whole New Mind
Renowned behavioral economist and commentator Tyler Cowen shows that our supernetworked world is changing the way we think-and empowering us to thrive in any economic climate. Whether it is micro-blogging on Twitter or buying single songs at iTunes, we can now customize our lives to shape our own specific needs. In other words, we can create our own economy-and live smarter, happier, fuller lives. At a time when apocalyptic thinking has become all too common, Cowen offers a much- needed information age manifesto that will resonate with readers of Dan Ariely's Predictably Irrational, Steven Johnson's Everything Bad is Good for You, and everyone hungry to understand our potential to withstand, and even thrive, in any economic climate.
One of the most influential economists of the decade-and the New York Times bestselling author of The Great Stagnation-boldly argues that just about everything you've heard about food is wrong.
Food snobbery is killing entrepreneurship and innovation, says economist, preeminent social commentator, and maverick dining guide blogger Tyler Cowen. Americans are becoming angry that our agricultural practices have led to global warming-but while food snobs are right that local food tastes better, they're wrong that it is better for the environment, and they are wrong that cheap food is bad food. The food world needs to know that you don't have to spend more to eat healthy, green, exciting meals. At last, some good news from an economist!
Tyler Cowen discusses everything from slow food to fast food, from agriculture to gourmet culture, from modernist cuisine to how to pick the best street vendor. He shows why airplane food is bad but airport food is good; why restaurants full of happy, attractive people serve mediocre meals; and why American food has improved as Americans drink more wine. And most important of all, he shows how to get good, cheap eats just about anywhere.
Just as The Great Stagnation was Cowen's response to all the fashionable thinking about the economic crisis, An Economist Gets Lunch is his response to all the fashionable thinking about food. Provocative, incisive, and as enjoyable as a juicy, grass-fed burger, it will influence what you'll choose to eat today and how we're going to feed the world tomorrow.
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 a professor of economics at George Mason University. He is the author of Discover Your Inner Economist and The Age of the Infovore, and he coblogs at www.marginalrevolution.com, one of the world's most influential economics blogs. He writes regularly for The New York Times and has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Wilson Quarterly, and Slate, among many other popular media outlets.