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April 21 , 2009

The Economics of Just About Everything

The hidden reasons for our curious choices and surprising successes


Did you know that another 10 cm of height boosts your income by thousands of dollars per year? Or that a boy born in January is nearly twice as likely to play first grade rugby league as a boy born in December? Or that natural disasters attract more foreign aid if they happen on a slow news day? And that a perfectly clean desk can be as inefficient as a messy one?
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Drawing on examples and data from across Australia, Andrew Leigh shows how economics can be used to illuminate what happens on the sporting field, in the stockmarket, and at work. Economics has things to say about AC/DC and Arthur Boyd, dating and dieting, Grange and Geelong, murder and poverty. Incentives matter, often in surprising ways, and seemingly simple everyday activities can have unexpected outcomes. Insights from behavioural economics can also help us make better decisions.

If you like fresh facts and provocative ideas, this is great train and weekend reading. You'll soon see the world and the people around you in a new light.

'Essential reading for the 21st century' - Karl Kruszelnicki

'Economics isn't the only thing, but Andrew Leigh reminds us that it can explain almost everything.' - George Megalogenis

'What do you get when you cross a politician with an economist? A captivating, charming, and nicely-written book. Who knew?' - Annabel Crabb
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