Why Economies Rise or Fall

Narrated by: Peter Rodriguez
Length: 12 hrs and 11 mins
Categories: Money & Finance, Economics
4.5 out of 5 stars (194 ratings)

Audible membership

$14.95 a month

Free with a 30-day trial
1 audiobook of your choice.
A monthly selection of Audible Originals.
$14.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $34.95

Buy for $34.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

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

What listeners say about Why Economies Rise or Fall

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    118
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    4
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    104
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    96
  • 4 Stars
    47
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    3

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

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

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.

2 people found this helpful

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

Great appetizer for macroeconomics field.

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

3 people found this helpful

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

Intellectually dishonest

Uses incomplete examples of history to dismiss counterpoints and even mathematics. This professor loves the color grey whenever attempting to confuse inconvenient facts to his way of thinking.

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

Quite interesting!

A very well assembled book.

In the chapter about corruption, I would have liked to see more numbers that may help the listener get a better idea of the size of that "dead load". The research/insights on that difficult and extremely important topic should be deeper.

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

Too many words, not so many ideas

Overall the book is interesting but it can easily be cut 50-70% without loosing anything.

Just a few interesting ideas/concepts and examples and covered with obvious and unoriginal thoughts.

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

Interesting throughout

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

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

Outstanding

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

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

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.

1 person found this helpful

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

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 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 Nick
  • Nick
  • 07-22-18

Like a riveting novel

(Or as close as evidence-based economic theory ever can be to a riveting novel)

In terms of narrative, this is the best Great Course series I’ve ever listened to, and is certainly the best economics audiobook, or book for that matter, I’ve ever listened. It’s shockingly accessible, very balanced while still have an opinion, and feels like a novel in the way that you think Rodriguez is going one way, and then the next chapter he throws a spanner in the works that forces you to question everything that came before. Wonderful!

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Balor of the Evil Eye
  • 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.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Samson
  • Samson
  • 08-06-20

Very practical ideas, but flawed analysis

One of the challenges I have with this analysis of factors responsible for growth, is the absolute refusal to mention the word SLAVERY. The author talks about and agricultural revolution and only mentions crop rotation and new farming methods as being responsible. The author talks about Africa and India not pulling their weight in terms of economic growth for a period of 100 years, but this was a time, some European despotic monarch treated the largest country in Africa as his personal property. I patiently listened to the entire book and there are some useful theories and compromises to be made for achieving growth, but this author denies or does not acknowledge the role of extraction of labour and resources that the West benefited from without paying market rates at best or simply taking by force gave some form of advantage to the Western economies. You can argue that all of these happened 100 years ago at least, but there are long lasting impacts. When a former colonial master leaves only 5 University graduates in the Civil service of a whole country and departs overnight, while destroying the Civil service that could have been the basis for building the newly independent country's systems, what do you expect to happen to that country? I know of shady mining companies that are holding West African countries ransom because of deals done with past governments and refusing to allow the new governments chart a new course despite having huge amounts of natural resources. Things need to be put in context, you can't simply analyze the outward growth, without contrasting it with the systems under which they operate or their history.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jad Letcher
  • 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.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Aleksandar
  • Aleksandar
  • 07-09-20

Complete logical inconsistency

I feel like I dropped 30 points of IQ listening to this. And I really tried. All the way to the end.

He contradicts himself all throughout, in a bid to “explore” different aspects of economics, but takes NO TIME in the beginning to define any of the fundamental elements, like; what is economics the study of? What is money? How did it emerge?

There’s no discussion of human action, Private property rights, the principles of capital & capitalism or any of those core ideas.

He even says crap like savers & investors are on opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to analysing the benefits of an economic approach 🤦🏽‍♂️

Wow. This is embarrassing.
Don’t waste your time.
Go read some Rothbard, Mises or Hayek.
Don’t lower your IQ or waste your precious time with this.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Alison
  • Alison
  • 07-10-19

highly recommended

Very enlightening and informative. the lectures are easy to listen to and follow a logical format. up to date information that touches on important issues for today. provides understanding, background and context for what we observe in economies around the world today. recommend this series and lecturer highly.