The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World
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 bestseller The Undercover Economist, likes to spring surprises. In this deftly reasoned book, 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.
The Logic of Life 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: the athlete who survived a shocking murder attempt, the computer geek who beat the hard-bitten poker pros, the economist who defied Henry Kissinger and faked an invasion of Berlin, the king who tried to buy off a revolution.
Once you’ve read this quotable and addictive book, life will never look the same again.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jimocracy - LibraryThing
This was a very fascinating book that looks at many facets of human history from an economist's point of view. I always appreciate the social scientific side of economics than the financial one. The author did a great job keeping the reader engaged and interested. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - vguy - LibraryThing
Revealing surprising, optimistic, well-argued, and funny. Cities are the centres of creativity & wealth (no surprise) but also of efficiency, ecological efficiency and tax revenue. How minorities (eg ... Read full review