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Publisher's Summary

Life sometimes seems illogical. Individuals do strange things: take drugs, have unprotected sex, mug each other. Love seems irrational and so does divorce. On a larger scale, life seems no fairer or easier to fathom - why do some neighborhoods thrive and others become ghettos? Why is racism so persistent? Why is your idiot boss paid a fortune for sitting behind a mahogany altar? Thorny questions, and you might be surprised to hear the answers coming from an economist. But Tim Harford, award-winning journalist and author of the best-seller The Undercover Economist, likes to spring surprises. In this deftly reasoned title, Harford argues that life is logical after all. Under the surface of everyday insanity, hidden incentives are at work, and Harford shows these incentives emerging in the most unlikely places.
Using tools ranging from animal experiments to supercomputer simulations, an ambitious new breed of economist is trying to unlock the secrets of society. The Logic of Life is the first book to map out the astonishing insights and frustrating blind spots of this new economics in a way that anyone can enjoy. It presents an X-ray image of human life, stripping away the surface to show us a picture that is revealing, enthralling, and sometimes disturbing. The stories that emerge are not about data or equations but about people.
©2008 Tim Harford; 2008 Books on Tape
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Rebecca on 01-28-08

enlightening & good fun

John Lee does an excellent job of narrating "The Logic of Life." I can't believe the number of complicated topics that Harford explains, and Lee delivers the humor and the unexpected segues without overdoing them. He reads slowly enough that you can follow along without having to rewind too often--though you might want to rewind some, especially on the sections about romance, racism and addiction, because the content gets so interesting. I kept thinking, "So that's why it works that way." This was one of my best purchases in a long while, because I think I'll retain a lot of what I learned, and it was a pleasure to listen to.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Wallace on 10-05-08

Another Gem

I'm not sure if the title of this book really conveys its coverage. The author shows that a great deal of behavior can be explained by assuming that people take a rational, economic approach to problem solving even though they may not realize it. His first book, Underground Economist, should be read first because it is an incredible introduction to topics in economics for people who hated their first economics course. This book tackles some tougher problems. It is a must read for people with or without prior economics training.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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