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The armchair economist : economics and everyday life

Author: Steven E Landsburg
Publisher: New York : Free Press ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, ©1993.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Seat belts cause accidents because well-protected drivers take more risks. This widely documented fact comes as a surprise to most people, but not to economists, who have learned, perhaps better than most, to take seriously the proposition that people respond to incentives in complicated ways. In The Armchair Economist, Steven E. Landsburg shows how economic thinking illuminates the entire range of human behavior.
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Landsburg, Steven E., 1954-
Armchair economist.
New York : Free Press ; Toronto : Maxwell Macmillan Canada ; New York : Maxwell Macmillan International, ©1993
(OCoLC)655191198
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Steven E Landsburg
ISBN: 0029177758 9780029177754
OCLC Number: 27975923
Description: ix, 241 pages ; 25 cm
Contents: What life is all about --
Good and evil --
How to read the news --
How markets work --
The pitfalls of science --
The pitfalls of religion.
Responsibility: Steven E. Landsburg.

Abstract:

Landsburg aims to show how economic thinking illuminates the entire range of human behaviour. But instead of focusing on the workings of financial markets and international trade, he looks at the  Read more...

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   schema:reviewBody ""Seat belts cause accidents because well-protected drivers take more risks. This widely documented fact comes as a surprise to most people, but not to economists, who have learned, perhaps better than most, to take seriously the proposition that people respond to incentives in complicated ways. In The Armchair Economist, Steven E. Landsburg shows how economic thinking illuminates the entire range of human behavior. But instead of focusing on the workings of financial markets, international trade, and other topics distant from the experience of most readers, Landsburg mines the details of daily life to reveal what the laws of economics tell us about ourselves." "As Landsburg shows, some behavior that strikes most people as utterly unremarkable is quite extraordinary when seen through economists' eyes. Why, for example, does popcorn cost so much at the movie theater? The "obvious" answer is that the theater owner has a monopoly. But if that were the whole story then he would charge a monopoly price for use of the restrooms as well. When a sudden frost destroys much of the Florida orange crop and prices skyrocket, journalists often point to "obvious" evidence of monopoly power. Economists see just the opposite: If growers had monopoly power, they wouldn't have to wait for a frost to raise prices." "Why do restaurants earn higher profits on liquor than on food? Why are some goods sold at auction and others at pre-announced prices? Why don't concert promoters raise ticket prices even when they sell out months in advance? Why do box seats at the ballpark sell out before bleachers do? Why do corporations confer huge pensions on failed executives? Landsburg wields the tools of the economist's trade to solve these puzzles, often reaching conclusions that are at odds with our intuition."" ;
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