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Download The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Logic of Life: The Rational Economics of an Irrational World Audiobook, by Tim Harford Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,684 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tim Harford Narrator: John Lee Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2008 ISBN: 9781415947890
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Life sometimes seems illogical. Individuals do strange things: take drugs, have unprotected sex, mug each other. Love seems irrational, and so does divorce. On a larger scale, life seems no fairer or easier to fathom: Why do some neighborhoods thrive and others become ghettos? Why is racism so persistent? Why is your idiot boss paid a fortune for sitting behind a mahogany altar? Thorny questions–and you might be surprised to learn the answers from an economist. 

But Tim Harford, award-winning journalist and author, likes to spring surprises. In this deftly reasoned audiobook, Harford argues that life is logical after all. Under the surface of everyday insanity, hidden incentives are at work, and Harford shows these incentives emerging in the most unlikely places. THE LOGIC OF LIFE is the first book to map out the astonishing insights and frustrating blind spots of a new economics in a way that anyone can enjoy. 

THE LOGIC OF LIFE presents an X-ray image of human life, stripping away the surface to show us a picture that is revealing, enthralling, and sometimes disturbing. The stories that emerge are not about data or equations but about people. Once you’ve listened to this addictive audiobook, life will never look the same again.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • [Tim] Harford sets off on an enormously entertaining yarn backed by the findings of expert economists. He spins playfully, but smartly, across matters of sex, crime, gambling, addiction, marriage, racism, ghettos and politics, and he makes it all, well, titillating at times. Really. USA Today
  • Harford has a knack for explaining economic principles and problems in plain language and, even better, for making them fun. The New York Times
  • [Harford] is an amiable guide for the non-specialist reader . . . but his command of the subject is such that even a well-schooled economist will discover much that is new. The Economist
  • Highly engaging . . . entertaining and provocative. Publishers Weekly
  • A fascinating work with many ‘aha’ moments. Booklist
  • Smart, charming, penetrating, and wise. Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics
  • Highly readable, funny and daringly contentious . . . a whopping good time. San Francisco Chronicle
  • “Chock-full of numbers and money talk, but oddly entertaining. Kirkus Reviews
  • Charming and informative. Newsday
  • Like Harford’s earlier book, The Undercover Economist–if you haven’t got it, get it–this book uses the basic theory of rational choice to make transparent the logic behind common but important puzzling phenomena. Even a trained economist can enjoy discovering what he didn’t realize he already knew. I did. Thomas C. Schelling, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Economics

    “This witty, intelligent book will help you see the entire world in a new light.

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David E | 2/14/2014

    " Not as assured as the Underground Economist, but good nonetheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terrie | 12/29/2013

    " The first chapter certainly grabs your attention, however the last two drag, though I did like the explanation of how government incentives/subsidies work. Overall I thought The Undercover Economist was better, but am still a Tim Harford fan. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 adhy ramawan putra | 12/4/2013

    " *chapter 2, the las vegas not only for the gambler, but also economist..LOL "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ingrid | 12/4/2013

    " not as entertaining or as well-structured as 'the undercover economist'. does, however, deal with the often perverse economic rationality of the more significant issues of our time - globalisation, race, voter apathy, interest groups etc. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Matt | 12/4/2013

    " It's a good book. If you read this and freakonomics, though, it is hard to remember which is which. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian Widmer | 11/25/2013

    " If you like Freakonomics, pick this one up! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 fred | 11/20/2013

    " I have loved this author's other book, undercover economist which is kind of like a freakenomics on steriods. He uses the same kind of economics tools to explain different aspects of life. I keep looking at things as Tim Harford does now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 9/26/2013

    " I'm a big fan of Harford's, and he does a nice job of synthesizing the current trends in microeconomics and policy for a lay audience. He's got a dry British wit that keeps the entertainment level high while still remaining true to what the research does and doesn't show. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rex | 7/15/2013

    " From why it's economically feasible for prostitutes to have unprotected sex to why racial bias is still rampant in job hiring, economist Tim Harford provides an interesting read from beginning to end. If you liked Freakanomics, I think you'll enjoy this as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Egge | 4/17/2013

    " Not the best in the genre, but if you like books thy distill current trends in economics in lay language, you'll like The Logic of Life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin | 11/19/2012

    " Actually refreshing read, a surprise. Probably worth a few hours of your time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sergei | 5/23/2012

    " Liked it less than "Undercover Economist", but still enjoyed it. Unfortunately, read it in many small pieces before sleep, so my impression is a bit "fragmented". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Essam Alzamel | 5/9/2012

    " A must read if you like behavioral economics. A very interesting book for everybody else. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 3/31/2012

    " Excellent discussion of how people make rational decisions, including tradeoffs in things as varied as education and where to live, presented in a series of anecdotes that are both interesting and easy to understand. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Burton Li | 9/8/2011

    " Brought it when Tim Harford came to Warwick to give a talk in TEDxWarwick. Have him signed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dwight | 6/15/2011

    " I got this because it seemed to be in the same vein as Freakonomics or some of Malcolm Gladwell's stuff. Not really. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert | 3/8/2011

    " Excellent. Everyone should read. Puts economics to work in understanding everyday problems, like why rich people get richer and why your vote doesn't count. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eric | 2/24/2011

    " Excellent discussion of how people make rational decisions, including tradeoffs in things as varied as education and where to live, presented in a series of anecdotes that are both interesting and easy to understand. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 1/30/2011

    " It was alright. Nothing too exciting or lifeshattering. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Javi | 1/25/2011

    " Easy reading for a rough overview of some social science issues. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Neil | 1/20/2011

    " This is a great look at economics really accessible and entertaining. Some details were a bit simplified but I'm not sure how else this could have been done. I'd recommend to anyone without an econ background that would like to dip their toes in the subject. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David E | 12/27/2010

    " Not as assured as the Underground Economist, but good nonetheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 12/11/2010

    " Good read I like the Game Theory sections a lot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sheldon | 9/18/2010

    " Had a few very good parts. A pretty good book about how we make decisions. Best part is when he writes that we make both emotional decisions based on a dopamine rush, and more rational decisions. Great. What I want to know is this: when to rely on which???
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 7/12/2010

    " Not the best in the genre, but if you like books thy distill current trends in economics in lay language, you'll like The Logic of Life. "

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About the Author
Author Tim Harford

Tim Harford is the author of The Undercover EconomistThe Logic of Life, and Adapt. He writes two columns for the Financial Times, and his work has appeared in the New York TimesForbesEsquireParadeNew York, and Wired. He lives with his family in Oxford.

About the Narrator

John Lee has read more than 100 audiobooks. His work has garnered multiple Earphones Awards and won AudioFile‘s Best Voice in Fiction & Classics in both 2008 and 2009. He also narrates video games, does voice-over work, and writes plays. He is an accomplished stage actor and has written and co-produced the feature films Breathing Hard and Forfeit. He played Alydon in the 1963–64 Doctor Who serial The Daleks.