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Publisher's Summary

Why are we choosing to have fewer children, even as we put more time into raising each one? Why are we so often willing to follow the herd and the opinions of strangers when making important decisions, even when those decisions are deeply personal? Most surprising: Why are questions like these increasingly attracting the attention of economists?

Find out why with these 24 fascinating lectures that will help you grasp as never before the ways in which these mechanisms for making choices are operating even in areas in which you may never have considered the forces of economics to be at work. Professor Taylor puts to rest the oft-quoted misconception of economics as "the dismal science." Instead, you'll take part in a wide-ranging and enjoyable investigation of how economic thinking - whether applied personally, nationally, or globally - relates to, and sheds fresh light on, just about everything.

With the aid of findings from recent Nobel Prize winners and rapidly evolving leading-edge fields like behavioral economics, you'll look at subjects ranging from discrimination and natural disasters to charity and risk-taking, and even whether terrorism can be considered a "career choice." As you roam with Professor Taylor across this fascinating landscape, you'll discover unique vantage points from which to survey and understand these exciting and vital territories being explored every day by economists. And you'll gain a deeper understanding of the role of choice in your own life, whether choices you've made for yourself, or those made for you by leaders you've entrusted with that authority.

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

©2011 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2011 The Great Courses

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  • Jake
  • Port Hueneme, California, United States
  • 06-21-14

Riveting Take on Big Issues from Econ Perspective

In the vein of Freakonomics, Professor Taylor, undoubtedly one of the best Great Courses lecturers, provides you with a novel perspective on a variety of issues. Kidney transplants, traffic congestion, terrorism, marriage, procreation, discrimination, addiction, obesity, and voting; Prof. Taylor gently but fascinatingly analyzes all of these areas with economics in mind. He doesn't tell you what to but how to think more clearly about these subjects. Highly recommended.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Flavius
  • Morro Bay, CA, United States
  • 07-19-16

New Insights Into Familiar Topics

This was an enjoyable, informative course. I purchased it on a friend's recommendation, and I'm better for it. Professor Taylor takes a variety of subjects--sports, obesity, risk, uncertainty, and more--and looks at them through an economist's lens. One needn't know much about the study of economics to enjoy and appreciate this lecture series--the lecture topics are pertinent to to the lives we actually lead, and not just the stuff of academics.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mike
  • WOODBRIDGE, VA, United States
  • 03-14-15

Not bad.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I love the Great Courses. This one was OK, but not my favorite. I guess the title made me think this would be full of fun, 'unexpected' economic story-telling...the untold story behind big events, etc. It is not that. This is an overview of various social science topics that could (unexpectedly) be considered to be 'economics'. Many of the lectures were simplistic probability theory sort of stuff. Some were opinions rationalized through selective inclusion of data. The lecture on addiction was particularly bad. If you are a social scientist, this might be your thing. Delivery was fine. If you are looking for education that also entertains, there are better choices.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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enlightening and exciting enough to keep focus

This knowledge is beautiful, especially the unexpected parts. No previous study is necessary to permit many wonderful considerations here.

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One of best The Great Courses audio I listened to ...

Well structured and excellent explanation of economic ideas in real world existence, simple and everyone can benefit