Economies are deeply complex systems. The marketplace involves many economic actors behaving in rational and irrational ways, sustaining a dizzying array of interconnected activity. Because of the number of participants involved, the unpredictability of their actions, and the sheer variety of possible actions, some degree of economic uncertainty is inevitable.
How did we evolve from ancient hunter-gatherers to modern consumer-traders? Why are people so emotional and irrational when it comes to money and business decisions?
A fully revised (4th) edition of the classic introduction to economics from Thomas Sowell, one of America's leading economists.
Many of the most dynamic public companies, from Alibaba to Facebook to Visa, and the most valuable start-ups, such as Airbnb and Uber, are matchmakers that connect one group of customers with another group of customers. Economists call matchmakers multisided platforms because they provide physical or virtual platforms for multiple groups to get together.
Ever since Adam Smith, the central teaching of economics has been that free markets provide us with material well-being, as if by an invisible hand. In Phishing for Phools, Nobel Prize-winning economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller deliver a fundamental challenge to this insight, arguing that markets harm as well as help us. As long as there is profit to be made, sellers will systematically exploit our psychological weaknesses and our ignorance through manipulation and deception. Rather than being essentially benign and always creating the greater good, markets are inherently filled with tricks and traps and will "phish" us as "phools."
Economic issues are active in our lives every day. However, when the subject of economics comes up in conversation or on the news, we can find ourselves longing for a more sophisticated understanding of the fundamentals of economics.
English for academic study: Listening is based around transcripts from authentic lectures recorded in a genuine academic environment and, hence, is ideal for students preparing for English-medium study. The lectures are recorded on DVD to provide the student with an authentic learning experience. The lecture extracts are taken from a range of academic fields, including banking, development economics, marketing, psychology and linguistics. The extracts have been chosen to be accessible to a general audience, while at the same time appealing to students studying these subjects.