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The Return of The Economic Naturalist: How Economics Helps Make Sense of Your World
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The Return of The Economic Naturalist: How Economics Helps Make Sense of Your World

3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  171 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
The Economic Naturalist is back with a whole batch of intriguing new questions and answers, drawn from his New York Times columns, that reveal how we really behave when confronted with economic choices. Do tax cuts for business owners really stimulate employment? Why shouldn't we just leave everything to the market? And why do we all save so little? Discover the answers to ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 28th 2009 by Virgin Books
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Bill Glover
Sorta interesting, at least this guy is an economist instead of a reporter writing about economic issues. Two things I found frustrating:

'When the pie grows we all get a bigger piece' Frank repeats that in article after article and it's a favorite of economic theorists the world over. However, since human society turned away from subsistence the problem has been distribution of pie. He has a piece on why the trickle down theory is bullshit, but this statement is just another iteration of the sa
Nov 14, 2012 HBalikov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OK, you might rate it lower because you don't like to wade through Frank's repetition of certain fundamental observations. This is one of the hazards of a collection of mostly newspaper columns where you can't count on the audience being the same over time.

I don't begrudge Frank making some additional money by recycling his previous work. In some ways, it is delightful to see how some of his insights haven't needed to change regardless of who is making America's economic policy. Frank also offe
This is a collection of Frank's columns previous published elsewhere, often in the New York times. Frank is an economist at Cornell University. If you have read his more recent book, the Darwin economy, the themes will be familiar to you and many of the examples are the same. In both books he discusses some of the same themes, such as the idea that individuals seeking to improve their status relative to others can result in trends that make everyone worse off; and more generally that a market co ...more
May 10, 2011 Will rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad i read it, but I wouldn't recommend.

You could tell the author isn't scientific, and often uses anecdotes and evidences (bad habit, though successful)

Since it was a collection of writings, things were often repeated. He sounds like a stereotypical ivy league intellectual who is unusually fond of his own opinion.

This book does well for preaching to the choir (of which I am one) but it COULD NOT, almost on style points alone, change many minds. Great points, very thoughtful, logical, and
Jadrian Wooten
Jul 24, 2015 Jadrian Wooten rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics, teaching
Not a fan. The book is just a collection of old articles from the New York Times, which you can find online on his website. It's VERY left leaning and each piece is nearly always attacking some someone, even fellow economists.

All of his NYT articles apparently take a topic that was relevant at the time and applies one of two principles: either efficient market hypothesis or arms race. I thought this would be a follow-up to his earlier book (which wasn't bad), but this was a waste of time.
Margaret Sankey
From the Cornell economist Robert Frank's columns, popular economics as applied to problems like why brides buy gowns and grooms rent tuxedos, congestion pricing, the social costs in middle school of not keeping up with Harry Potter, reality shows and the perceptions of income inequality, the bad effects of poor economics education when coupled with policy proposals and the economics of hockey helmet rules.
Aug 06, 2016 VENKATRAMAN C K rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics, 2016
Typical books on Economics either make you glassy eyed with mathematics and graphs or/and are written in dry technical Jargon. Robert Frank's two books are a delight to read. He kindles your interest by posing questions and answers them using economic reasons!!

This book is all about behavioural economics that flies in face of rational , traditional economics. As the title claims , this approach " helps makes sense of your world ".
Sep 06, 2014 Chiara rated it liked it
The book has a very good narrative style, it is very easy to understand and is able to keep you interested even if you might to enjoy the topics. The problem with the book is that it is made up of hundreds of examples, and it gets quite tiring to read once you pass the middle. But if you are looking to learn the main ideas of economics and discover the answers to some of our worlds quirkiest questions; this is a good book for you!
Brian Sobolak
I felt he too easily dismissed some of the alternatives to his ideas. And the short articles often left me wanting more. These felt like sketches instead of essays, and while the ideas were intriguing and I agreed politically with them, in the end I was just too annoyed to both to finish the book.
Loey Dinh
Apr 18, 2016 Loey Dinh rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
I really enjoyed reading this book but tbh, I found some explanations a bit rushed and unconvincing. Sometimes I didn't even understand what it meant. And maybe it was me, but I also found the book tiring after I passed the middle.
Well, besides all of them, I'm sure it's quite worth your time.
Dec 27, 2011 Nic rated it liked it
Good idea for a book and has some great questions. The answers feel slightly rushed which causes the explanations to just scratch the surface. An interesting read but the Q&A style gets increasingly abrupt as the book progresses
Joce Ong
Sep 04, 2016 Joce Ong rated it liked it
This book consists largely of the author's previously written columns and the economic ideas/ principles behind them. It's an easy read but sometimes it felt like some ideas were just left hanging and the book would have already moved on to something else.
Oct 16, 2016 Tri rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patrick Carroll
Jan 26, 2013 Patrick Carroll rated it really liked it
I bit like saying economics and its theories answer "everything", a little like physicists claiming that all science is actual physics but a very interesting read.
You use your powers for good, not evil.
Nadia Anindyati
Dec 08, 2014 Nadia Anindyati rated it liked it
How Economics Explains Almost Everything.
Nick Degnan
Jul 24, 2009 Nick Degnan is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
provides good perspectives on our economic landscape today through a many short articles with commentary
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Robert H. Frank is the Henrietta Johnson Louis Professor of Management and a Professor of Economics at Cornell University's S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management. He contributes to the "Economic View" column, which appears every fifth Sunday in The New York Times.
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