The Armchair Economist: Economics and Everyday Life


Product Information

Product Description

Seat belts cause accidents because well-protected drivers take more risks. This widely documented fact comes as a surprise to most people, but not to economists, who have learned, perhaps better than most, to take seriously the proposition that people respond to incentives in complicated ways. In The Armchair Economist, Steven E. Landsburg shows how economic thinking illuminates the entire range of human behavior. But instead of focusing on the workings of financial markets, international trade, and other topics distant from the experience of most readers, Landsburg mines the details of daily life to reveal what the laws of economics tell us about ourselves. As Landsburg shows, some behavior that strikes most people as utterly unremarkable is quite extraordinary when seen through economists' eyes. Why, for example, does popcorn cost so much at the movie theater? The "obvious" answer is that the theater owner has a monopoly. But if that were the whole story then he would charge a monopoly price for use of the restrooms as well. When a sudden frost destroys much of the Florida orange crop and prices skyrocket, journalists often point to "obvious" evidence of monopoly power. Economists see just the opposite: If growers had monopoly power, they wouldn't have to wait for a frost to raise prices. Why do restaurants earn higher profits on liquor than on food? Why are some goods sold at auction and others at pre-announced prices? Why don't concert promoters raise ticket prices even when they sell out months in advance? Why do box seats at the ballpark sell out before bleachers do? Why do corporations confer huge pensions on failed executives? Landsburg wields the tools of the economist's tradeto solve these puzzles, often reaching conclusions that are at odds with our intuition. After revealing economic principles in readily apparent phenomena of everyday life, Landsburg applies these same principles to newspaper and media accounts of public issues. Contesting the wid
Technical Details
Binding
Hardcover
Number of Pages
241
Product group
Book
Label
Free Press
Edition
1st
Publisher
Free Press
Publication date
September 27, 1993
Author
Steven E. Landsburg
Language
English (Published), English (Original Language)
EAN
9780029177754
ISBN-10
0029177758
Item Dimensions L x W x H
0.75 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
Manufacturer
Free Press
Studio
Free Press



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