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The Economics of Uncertainty Lecture

The Economics of Uncertainty

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Publisher's Summary

Economies are deeply complex systems. The marketplace involves many economic actors behaving in rational and irrational ways, sustaining a dizzying array of interconnected activity. Because of the number of participants involved, the unpredictability of their actions, and the sheer variety of possible actions, some degree of economic uncertainty is inevitable.

In one of the most dramatic displays of economic uncertainty in our times, a wave of toxic loans almost brought down the American financial system in 2008-2009, and with it jobs and savings. Few experts forecast this catastrophe, which stands as a lesson in the power of economic forces to defy our predictions. This event may have been exceptional, but every day we are all at the mercy of economic uncertainty in matters such as the stock market, insurance, and career and retirement planning.

Uncertainty also plagues us in smaller ways. For example, everyone is familiar with rising prices, but the Internet now makes it possible for online shoppers to be charged more based on their buying history, adding a new level of unpredictability to pricing. And anytime you hire someone for a service - from roofing to dentistry - you face the principal-agent problem, in which the person hired may take unethical advantage of your lack of expertise.

Indeed, these large and small risks are so pervasive that it is all too easy to conclude that nothing can be done. But economic uncertainty is like the weather: You can't stop storms from happening, but understanding how and why they happen allows you to be prepared. In the same way, economic uncertainty is beyond our control, but we're in a much better position to respond if we know what's happening and why.

In 24 practical and empowering half-hour lectures, The Economics of Uncertainty takes the mystery and dread out of uncertainty, giving you the tools to deal with risk in every phase of your life.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2015 The Great Courses (P)2015 The Teaching Company, LLC

What Members Say

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  •  
    Phil O. San Diego, CA, United States 09-25-15
    Phil O. San Diego, CA, United States 09-25-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good, wide-ranging, plain-language intro to risk"

    This is a very good entry point to thinking about and measuring risk and employing various tools to deal with it. It is not confined to business but addresses plenty of issues in personal finance and decision-making. Lots of vocabulary is here with straightforward explanations. I like this professor as a source of solid work and very professional delivery.
    I have moved on to other works on risk management and found this background useful.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mathias Ska, Sweden 09-25-15
    Mathias Ska, Sweden 09-25-15

    mathias2592

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Too simplistic, suitable for children almost"

    Perhaps you would find this worth your time if you had never ever read or spent any time thinking about probability theory and stuff like that. But I found this way too simplistic to be interesting and I will not be able to finish it. The narrator is OK even though I'm a bit allergic to not very funny pre-written jokes accompanied by hints of chuckling.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ramanujan 07-06-15
    Ramanujan 07-06-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great content, one caveat."

    Just wanted to mention how annoying the sing-song, artificial tone of the lecturer gets. That said, the lectures are slow-paced but have plenty of really interesting ideas ranging from decision/game theory to finance. Definitely worth it.

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LeMerovingian New York, NY United States 04-26-16
    LeMerovingian New York, NY United States 04-26-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Excellent materia for those interested."

    the audio needs to be edited. the narrator makes several mistakes during his delivery which confuses you. otherwise, the material is excellent. a lot of statistics if you can follow and understand it as well as examples.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spencer 02-24-16
    Spencer 02-24-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Not what I expected, but still good"

    I expected this course to be along the lines of a Nassim Taleb book but with more Economics jargon. I also expected it to cover a lot of topics I had never heard before in other economics textbooks or courses.
    But it turns out that this this course has mostly mainstream and standard economics stuff. that being said, the quality of the coverage was quite good and there were a few of what I would call non standard topics covered. Also, Frank Knight was given his due as the chief pioneer of the field of the economics of uncertainty and that made me smile.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robert 12-03-15
    robert 12-03-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very well thought through analysis of how to deal with uncertainty"

    This book is a reasonably complete analysis of how to deal with the uncertainties that we face in our life. This would include health, money, relationships, and much more.
    There is a significant amount of good advice about dealing with investments, insurance, and even your job outlook!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas 10-06-15
    Thomas 10-06-15
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    "Good but not what I was expecting and a little adv"

    advanced theories for the everyday Joe

    some useful concepts but little practical application

    worthwhile if you have a passion for this but not something you can just pick up

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel W. Fox, Jr. Houston TX 09-22-15
    Daniel W. Fox, Jr. Houston TX 09-22-15 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is a college-level course on finance. Prof Fullenkamp is crystal-clear and understandable.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Not applicable


    Which character – as performed by Professor Connel Fullenkamp – was your favorite?

    Not applicable


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not applicable


    Any additional comments?

    Another outstanding lecturer by The Great Courses is Timothy Taylor; he lectures Economics.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    V. Taras 08-14-16
    V. Taras 08-14-16 Member Since 2015
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    "It's OK for students, don't expect much though"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Connel Fullenkamp?

    The book is OK. Definitely a VERY useful read for students and young people, but rather trivial if you know what insurance is and how it works. So, a great book for a beginner audience, too simple for more advanced readers.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard United States 07-29-16
    Richard United States 07-29-16 Member Since 2012

    Knoxville, TN

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Flawed Calculation of Inflation Rate"

    in chapter 18 the author erroneously states: "An inflation rate of 500% means something that cost $1 on January 1st will cost $5 on December 31st of the same year. " In actuality, where there is a 500% inflation rate, the article would cost $6 on December 31st

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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