Thinking Like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making

Narrated by: Randall Bartlett
Length: 6 hrs and 11 mins
Categories: Money & Finance, Economics
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,451 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

Economic forces are everywhere around you. But that doesn't mean you need to passively accept whatever outcome those forces might press upon you. Instead, with these 12 fast-moving and crystal clear lectures, you can learn how to use a small handful of basic nuts-and-bolts principles to turn those same forces to your own advantage.

Requiring no previous economics background, Professor Bartlett presents some of the fundamental principles and concepts that shape the lenses through which economists view the world. He then shows you how to use these simple analytical tools to understand what you see through those lenses. By learning to identify the many varied situations in which economics affects your life and how to wield the tools that can help you make the wisest choices in those situations, you'll enhance not only your understanding of daily life but your own success in living it.

Packed with case studies, helpful strategies, economic insights, and more, this series will equip you with a reliable toolkit for thinking more like an everyday economist and approach the issues in your own life with a more educated, seasoned eye. And after these dozen lectures with Professor Bartlett, things really will look very different. You'll see how basic economic ideas like incentives, risks, rewards, and rationality are not just the province of professional economists, government policymakers, or your local bank's loan officer, but instead lie at the root of nearly every decision you must make in your daily life.

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,059
  • 4 Stars
    315
  • 3 Stars
    56
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    4

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    958
  • 4 Stars
    251
  • 3 Stars
    47
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    3

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    885
  • 4 Stars
    277
  • 3 Stars
    70
  • 2 Stars
    17
  • 1 Stars
    3

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great for beginners, nothing you for an economist

Strictly speaking, there is really nothing new in this book for people who either took courses in economics or read some of the popular books on the topic. It's really a very superficial presentation of some of the fundamental assumptions of economics. However, if you have no prior training or exposure to economics and would like to learn some basics, this is a fun series of non technical lectures that you will probably enjoy and learn from.

54 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Economists as Kindergartners

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I would recommend but only for a few of the "nuggets" relevant to everyday life that one encounters throughout the series.

What other book might you compare Thinking Like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making to and why?

"Skepticism 101: How to Think like a Scientist" and "Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)"

Which scene was your favorite?

The sections on game theory, relative value and risk had some good information

Could you see Thinking Like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No

Any additional comments?

In several key areas the professor engages the listener in descriptions of actions that are well-documented but proceeds to state that their cause is a mystery. In each case the scientific literature relevant to the answer can be found but is apparently unknown to the professor, although most were addressed in non-economic disciplines. (i.e. cognitive dissonance) Also, his lecture on the tragedy of the commons seemed to indicate that the solution is a larger and more complex common resource, government, which leaves the stakeholders more disparate then in the localized example given.

35 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Potentially life-changing.

I cannot say this for myself, since I am since long a fan of Freakonomics and interested in behavioral economics, but to those who are looking for something that could really change their lives for the best, this is absolutely a must.
Clear, actionable and with the right tempo and digressions.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A difficult subject made easy!

I have found this the best set of lectures on economics so far. The presenter paces himself. explains a concept and then gives an anecdote. This has enabled me to comprehend relatively difficult concepts with ease.
I own a small business and have never really understood a lot of the terms used in the modern press that relate to finance. I wish I had learned this information at the beginning of my career. It would have helped me enormously.
I give this 5 stars.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Economics for dummies

This is a very basic introduction to Economics. So much so that much of it is just common sense and not at all enlightening. You would not know that from the lecturer who presents his material as if pulling back the curtain on the secrets of the universe. I found his delivery somewhat grandiose and corny. He must have repeated the phrase "think like an economist" a thousand times. Ok, we get it, it's an economics course, no need to constantly repeat it!

I don't know a whole lot about economics and yet I don't think I learned anything new in this course. It might be good if you know absolutely nothing about economics and rational decision making but I doubt most people buying The Great Courses on Audible fall into this category.

18 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • LM
  • 05-26-17

As an amateur economist, I found this excellent.

This is a great primer for folks who want the benefits of efficient, logical, rational thought and decision making in all areas of life. It's covers the basics of Microeconomics 101 (and to some extent macro) in very plain terms applicable to anyone.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Definitely makes you think

Great book that I would recommend to anyone. At times he does come off as condescending but I don't think it is intentional. I especially liked the tools he provided to help the individual understand decision making and incentives. Enjoy!

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Enlightening is an understatement

Where does Thinking Like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of the best that I have listened to among the Great Courses.

What other book might you compare Thinking Like an Economist: A Guide to Rational Decision Making to and why?

I cannot think of one

Have you listened to any of Professor Randall Bartlett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to him before

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

The story he told about purchasing the flat screen TV made me feel like he operated like a real person. That having this knowledge did not mean I had to always be able to apply this to my real life at a moment but to really use it professionally.

Any additional comments?

It is far from daunting. I was studying a MOOC in economics at the time which was beyond boring but this was exciting and I intend to apply the skills learned.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Good information for the Novice

The book was done well, it was organized, and relatively entertaining. The average marks I provided for the book was more for my expectations of learning more. This book is for someone that has not had a graduate course in economics. Solidly based for teenagers and students that have yet to go through any formal education on the topic.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Worth listening

2% of 1 million is 20,000 not 2,000! Hedgefund example at around 3.25.44. Good listen overall!

3 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for mr
  • mr
  • 07-03-14

Could not be better.

Complex topic covered simply, easy to follow and useful. The lecturer is fantastic, excellent delivery and content.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jerry Agbemabiese
  • Jerry Agbemabiese
  • 01-30-18

Great book to listen to, very well explained

loved it. I will keep listening to it till the principles are mastered. Now I think like Economist.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Roxana
  • Roxana
  • 08-22-17

interesting at the beginning

worth listening if you really have no I say no understanding of economics . first few lectures are really interesting and well done the rest is just too basic

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Nicholas Lalor
  • Nicholas Lalor
  • 08-05-18

Very well read and put together

entertaining, insightful and very very interesting
worth a listen at any time
lectures stand alone very well so you don't really lose out by taking time out

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 05-22-18

Really good basics on the day-to-day economics.

Lovet it! Especially on pension planning, incentives and risk aversion etc Priceless information in time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Shorty
  • Shorty
  • 11-09-17

the best great courses economics audiobook

this is the best great courses audio book that I have read so far it is five stars all the way.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Tristan Fisher
  • Tristan Fisher
  • 09-29-17

A great introduction into basic economics

This is a brilliant introduction into basic economics, giving you an insight into how economists view the world and it's issues.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Steven Tolley
  • Steven Tolley
  • 04-27-20

well structured and engaging

A well structured and engaging introduction to economics clearly produced by a lifelong educator in the field.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-17-19

Useful and never boring

Very well structured with a lot of practical examples that make easier understanding the concepts. Highly recommended.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for merlin d magician
  • merlin d magician
  • 10-14-19

fascinating! wow! what an amazing insight !

I didn't expect to enjoy this, but was surprised to find I kept saying ”wow”, at regular intervals. I am really Glad that I listened to this excellent insight into economic thinking. my life has now changed for the better!

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 07-19-19

very informative, this is a good introduction to e

very informative, this is a good introduction to economics by experts in the field. I recommend this audio book.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alison
  • Alison
  • 06-26-17

life changing course

extremely good. easy listening. very stimulating and thought provoking. I see the world and decision making differently. this course is thoroughly recommended.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-13-20

One of my favorite courses ever

I listened to this course twice through and I enjoyed it immensely both times.
The teacher is clearly both passionate and knowledgeable about his subject. He brings economics to life, which helps it stick. He makes it applicable to the everyday experience, which also helps it stick. My life is better off for having listened to and applied this course.

I would love to hear more from this teacher.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ann
  • Ann
  • 05-03-20

Excellent summary

Very insightful, love the simple explanations, really resonated with me and made me look at things differently. Thank you!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for JoJo
  • JoJo
  • 09-13-18

Very well narrated

Both Narrator and content are very good. I would highly recommend this to others!!! Thanks

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-29-18

Fantastic !!

One of the most soothing listens I’ve had, this doubled as calming therapy for me, though please don’t let that douse the epic nature of the content!!