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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (644 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tyler Cowen Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2007 ISBN: 9781400175376
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In Discover Your Inner Economist one of America’s most respected economists presents a quirky, incisive romp through everyday life that reveals how you can turn economic reasoning to your advantage—often when you least expect it to be relevant.

Like no other economist, Tyler Cowen shows how economic notions—such as incentives, signals, and markets— apply far more widely than merely to the decisions of social planners, governments, and big business. What does economic theory say about ordering from a menu? Or attracting the right mate? Or controlling people who talk too much in meetings? Or dealing with your dentist? With a wryly amusing voice, Cowen reveals the hidden economic patterns behind everyday situations so you can get more of what you really want.

Readers will also gain less selfish insights into how to be a good partner, neighbor and even citizen of the world. For instance, what is the best way to give to charity? Discover Your Inner Economist is an introduction to the science of economics that shows it to be built on notions that are already within all of us. While the implications of those ideas lead to Cowen’s often counterintuitive advice, their wisdom is presented in ordinary examples taken from home life, work life, and even vacation life… How do you get a good guide in a Moroccan bazaar?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fast, furious, and fun, with great examples of how to apply economic thinking to nontraditional subjects.”

    Stephen J. Dubner, New York Times bestselling author of Freakonomics

  • “Engaging [and] useful.”

    Washington Post

  • “[A] charming guide on how to get more of the good stuff in life…Even if you don’t agree with all of Cowen’s cheerfully offered opinions, it’s a pleasure to accompany him through his various interests and obsessions. At the least, you’ll pick up some useful tips for what to order at upscale restaurants.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[An] economist who’s a wonderfully entertaining writer but also a deeply humane thinker…will…show you how thinking better can actually help you live better.”

    James Surowiecki, author of The Wisdom of Crowds

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 2/17/2014

    " Hmm. Scattered, and I'm unsure what the point of much of the book was. Why do I care about Singapore street food?? Not sure that I have an "inner economist" who does. My son is considering taking an online class from the author but I wonder about his focus. Interesting in spots, but seemed ADD to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lambeam | 2/13/2014

    " Pop economics. Some of the insights are obvious to anyone my age, but there were a few surprises. Especially the chapter on charitable giving It was helpful to know, for example that to help the poor it is more helpful to give to a poor church (not a rich one) and that the worst thing a donor can do is give once, a small sum, to a charity. To find out why (and many more interesting things even if you aren't particularly intested in motivating your dentist) read this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sam | 2/11/2014

    " Tyler Cowen analyzes everyday life using the principles of economics. At times amusing & thought-provoking, but not always convincing. For example, he advises that we should try to learn to enjoy music genres that we don't like so we can take advantage of the variety of culture available to us. But isn't it just as likely that the benefit of music is the enjoyment, so that we're better off listening to music that we don't have to work to enjoy? "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Brent | 2/10/2014

    " Should be called, "Read how much of a snob I am." "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carl | 2/1/2014

    " This is the closest thing to economics-as-organizing-life-philosophy that I've read. It was particularly validating to read a book written by somone who obviously thinks about the seemingly trivial (tipping, gift giving, consumption of culture, what to eat in restaurants vs what to make at home) as analytically as I feel I do. There are some bold ideas to be found in here to be sure and I'm going to keep this book at eye level on my bookshelf because I know I will want to reread a chapter at a time. Cowen is an avowed polymath and thus one of the more interesting chapters was on how to become a 'cultural billionaire', that is, how to get the most out of the abundance of culture to be enjoyed in our society. Out of 10 books he picks up, he finishes 1. He'll play games in art museums imagining that he can take home one piece from each room so that his attention remains heightened. He'll go to the multiplex and see bits and pieces of 4 movies in one afternoon. I wasn't surprised in the least that I liked this book so much because this guy writes one of the more interesting economics blogs out there, MarginalRevolution.com. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Terrie | 1/20/2014

    " What a thorough disappointment. I love books in this genre, so I was really surprised not to enjoy this one. The writing and subject matter was very ADD, jumping all over the place. The only chapter that really tied to economics was the penultimate on charitable giving. No real insights here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 1/6/2014

    " Interesting look at how you can apply simple economic principles to different situations in life--and make out like a bandit in the process! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mike | 1/2/2014

    " Pretty good, a fast read, a little forgettable. Unless you're a major econ freak, just read his blog--it's free. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chung Yen | 12/23/2013

    " The contents are okay, but it's how Tyler really incorporates the way an economist sees thing, anything. It's in him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 12/21/2013

    " LOVED this book. Tyler Cowen writes about the economics of every day life. PLUS, he states the true answer to the commode seat up or down argument: seat stays down because it makes his wife happy. What's not to love about an economist who thinks like that? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Denali Lumma | 12/16/2013

    " An interesting topic, but the supporting arguments just aren't solid enough... the meat of the book is not convincing and not really that interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Levi | 11/29/2013

    " The chapters on signaling/counter-signaling and restaurants make the book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mike Angelillo | 11/14/2013

    " Ugh....I couldn't get through it. Just a mess of random thoughts - maybe because he is a regular blogger? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rima | 8/21/2013

    " Not as good as "Freakonomics" but more user-friendly. The author has some good tips for getting the most out of certain experiences. My favorite is to order the dish that sounds least appealing at a fancy restaurant because it's probably something that the chef has spent a lot of time perfecting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steve | 6/2/2013

    " Good, but not outstanding. Fairly typical of the genre. If you're really into behavioral economics, then by all means read it, otherwise you can probably sit this one out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn | 5/14/2013

    " I enjoy his blog, marginalRevolution, more than I enjoyed this book. He's also very interesting on any podcast, debate or interview. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 jen8998 | 3/8/2013

    " Worth reading for the very quirky personality of the author. I'm not sure how much I will embrace my inner economist though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 7/20/2012

    " Very good book, although misleading title. To me this seemed more like a book about applied psychology with an underlying influence of economics. Either way, it was highly entertaining and very quick read. The chapter on food and restaurants is especially good. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dave | 5/27/2012

    " Some decent tips but lightweight overall. Read Marginal Revolution instead. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sidney | 10/2/2011

    " The subtitle was a bit misleading - these subjects were not discussed in depth compared to others in the book. However, his section on charitable giving was extremely interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 8/29/2011

    " I've convinced myself that I'm still too cool for Malcolm Gladwell and his ilk but that it's okay to like Tyler Cowen, even though I probably don't know enough about anything to judge. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Warren | 5/1/2011

    " My professor wrote this book and I helped edit an early draft. It is an enjoyable way about how to think economically and the limits to doing so. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 EeeJay | 4/9/2011

    " 2.5

    After having read Freakonomics - this book doesn't have that much of an impact. The writing isn't as simple as I would like. Concepts introduced are done so using wording which doesn't clarify what the author means... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doug | 10/1/2010

    " Packed with examples of how traditional economic theory plays itself out in everyday life. Interesting read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jaimit | 9/12/2010

    " ok ok... not too great but has some learnings for sure. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Howard | 7/24/2010

    " Clever and occasionally cutesy classic from Tyler Cowen. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy | 6/21/2010

    " I've convinced myself that I'm still too cool for Malcolm Gladwell and his ilk but that it's okay to like Tyler Cowen, even though I probably don't know enough about anything to judge. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dave | 5/19/2010

    " Some decent tips but lightweight overall. Read Marginal Revolution instead. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trent | 3/29/2010

    " I was hoping for a little bit more from this book, but still enough interesting parts to make it worth the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Levi | 12/18/2009

    " The chapters on signaling/counter-signaling and restaurants make the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Max | 12/4/2009

    " This was a peach of a book, filled with fun facts and intelligent insights. Highly recommended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 12/2/2009

    " LOVED this book. Tyler Cowen writes about the economics of every day life. PLUS, he states the true answer to the commode seat up or down argument: seat stays down because it makes his wife happy. What's not to love about an economist who thinks like that? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cat | 11/12/2009

    " Some interesting thoughts tucked in a few places, but overall incoherent and rambling. Cowen sounds self-aggrandizing at points, and it's distracting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 11/5/2009

    " Very good book, although misleading title. To me this seemed more like a book about applied psychology with an underlying influence of economics. Either way, it was highly entertaining and very quick read. The chapter on food and restaurants is especially good. "

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About the Author
Author Tyler Cowen

Tyler Cowen is a professor of economics at George Mason University. His blog, Marginal Revolution, is one of the world’s most influential economics blogs. He also writes for the New York Times, Financial Times, and the Economist. He is the cofounder of Marginal Revolution University and the author of several books. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.

About the Narrator

David Drummond has made his living as an actor for over twenty-five years, appearing on stages large and small throughout the country and in Seattle, Washington, his hometown. He has narrated over thirty audiobooks, in genres ranging from current political commentary to historical nonfiction, fantasy, military, thrillers, and humor. He received an AudioFile Earphones Award for his first audiobook, Love ’Em or Lose ’Em: Getting Good People to Stay. When not narrating, he keeps busy writing plays and stories for children.