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Publisher's Summary

How can a nation create the conditions for economic growth and prosperity? And what, once these conditions are achieved, can it do to sustain this progress? Discover the answers (which may surprise you) in these 24 lectures that guide you through a stimulating and, above all, accessible examination of what economists know and don't know about the elusive search for economic prosperity.

Here, you'll learn how countries as widely different as the United States and Vietnam have grown their economies; how countries like China and India were able to recover from economic reverses; and, most important, why the critical test of any economic policy is its ability to productively alter human behavior for everyone's ultimate benefit. By looking at economic growth as the result of incentivizing such productive behavior - "making productivity more profitable than all the alternatives" - Professor Rodriguez clears up an often-shrouded economic landscape. The result is a lecture series that brings the economic strategies chosen by nations down to street level by adding a newfound clarity to key issues: Why economies succeed or fail; how economic bubbles are created, why they burst, and how nations recover from them; the challenges posed by globalization; and more.

By the end of the last lecture, you'll understand as never before both the benefits granted and the costs extracted by the "instant economy" that technology and globalization have brought us. You'll grasp what China's expected economic dominance may soon mean. And you'll have a new appreciation of the juggling act policymakers perform as they try to heed history's latest lesson in achieving national growth and maximum human happiness.

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

©2010 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2010 The Great Courses

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Fantastic course.

My son (14) and I (52) listened to it together. The professor is outstanding and explains complex concepts in easy to understand terms.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great appetizer for macroeconomics field.

I liked: Clarity, Simplicity, Worldwide coverage.
I hated: "western"-oriented, slow (I used 2x speed, solved).

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Interesting throughout

Fascinating stories about the economies of countries and the world as a whole. Will listen to it again.

  • Overall

this course really opened my eyes<br />

this course really opened my eyes and inclined me to be less doctrinaire. I would recommend it to anyone for that reason.

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Outstanding

Loved the section on the failure of capitalism in Latin America, something few economics text cover. Very interesting from start to finish.

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  • Story

Enjoyable and Interesting.

What made the experience of listening to Why Economies Rise or Fall the most enjoyable?

For the most part I listen to audiobooks to obtain information. Some books are easy to listen to while others just have useful information. This audiobook has a bit of both. <br/>

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Great for Investors

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This lecture will help you to understand what to look for when considering local or global investments. You will understand what really drives an economy up or down.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Balor of the Evil Eye
  • 07-20-15

Well presented by a confident expert

An interesting course, with an easy to listen to academic, who is obviously comfortable with the subject matter.
Rodriguez provides clear descriptions of various countries' economic fortunes, concentrating primarily on America, Japan, Europe, China and India, with extensive notes on South America and Africa, as well as Australia.
He ably charts the ascent of different countries' economies, their unique attributes, approaches and political personalites, as well as the factors that have contributed to economic stagnation, crashes and depressions.
Not to be mistaken as a prescriptive guide to good economic planning, however - by the end of the course, the listener should understand that economics is not, as Rodriguez says, a science, but only 'science-ish'; a discipline whose theories cannot be tested prior to their being unleashed on a world that suffers the consequences, both good and bad.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jad Letcher
  • 04-12-15

Very interesting and honest.

The prof obviously loves economics and this fact translates through his lectures in his passionate delivery and honesty regarding his own assumptions on the theories of economics.

It's quite enjoyable (even to the partially interested) and was over before I knew it. I actually wanted it to keep going but that's just me. I personally liked his investigation into the problems of morality, immorality and rationality and irrationality and how they affect economics.

The prof needs more dynamic examples and analogies in my opinion, a small drawback in comparison to the wealth of basic knowledge gained in these lectures.