Sheila's Reviews > ec·o·nom·ics: a simple twist on normalcy

ec·o·nom·ics by Kersten L. Kelly
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May 19, 12

bookshelves: cultural, current_issues, non-fiction, young-adult
Read in May, 2012

Subtitled A Blend of Pop Culture, Economics and Social Trends, Kersten Kelly’s Economics, A Simple Twist on Normacly is definitely heavier on the culture and society than it is on accurate economic theory. The author aims to make economics interesting by showing how it applies in regular life. To this end she avoids complicated analysis, though it sometimes ends up replaced by tortuous analogy and lengthy numerical explanation.

The author presents topics as varied as pension schemes and laser hair removal, lightly analyzed and intriguingly connected to simple economic theories. The simplistic approach to gas prices and a long analysis of extreme coupon-cutting probably left me with more questions than answers, but my English background and the fact that I’m a mathematician may have something to do with that. I disagreed with a rather illogical approach to the classic Prisoners’ Dilemma, and would personally have found the analysis of Cold War weapons-building easier to follow in terms of minimizing maximum risk rather than of confession and denial.

Theories of Dynamic Inconsistency (and its relevance to fast food), elastic and inelastic commodities (related to milk choices), the endowment effect (and garage sales), and more touch on multiple topics relevant to modern American society with a fairly casual lecturely style which only lacks room for the student or reader to shout “But what about…?”

By the end I’m thinking, “But what about…?” many things, and I’ll probably read Freakonomics, as recommended by the author, one day.

Disclosure: I received a free ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for her visit to my blog.

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