Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fun Economics Reading List

Fun makes everything more fun, even economics and books, particularly these fun books about economics:

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner 2006

Discover Your Inner Economist: Use Incentives to Fall in Love, Survive Your Next Meeting, and Motivate Your Dentist
Tyler Cowen 2007

Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science
Charles Wheelan 2003

The Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the Poor Are Poor -- and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car!
Tim Harford 2007

Eat the Rich: A Treatise on Economics
P.J. O'Rourke 1999

On the Wealth of Nations
P.J. O'Rourke 2006

Monosyllabic Reading List

This reading list is also a matching game: titles to subtitles. For extra credit, find the authors and publication dates listed below.

(1) Click .......... (A) Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness
(2) Think ........ (B) The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
(3) Sway ......... (C) The Power of Not Actually Thinking at All
(4) Blank ........ (D) Why Crucial Decisions Can't Be Made in the Blink of an Eye
(5) Nudge ....... (E) The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
(6) Blink ......... (F) What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why it Matters
(7) Stiff ............ (G) The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior

Bill Tancer 2008, Michael LeGault 2006, Ori Brafman 2008, Noah Tall 2006, Richard Thaler 2008, Malcolm Gladwell 2007, Mary Roach 2004.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Development Economics Reading List

An introduction to poverty, economics, and what we can do (plus what we've done wrong).

Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, 2006
Understanding Poverty
28 essays by leading development economists dealing with poverty issues of measurement, causes, policies, microcredit, vaccines, child labor, welfare, and puzzles.*

Paul Collier, 2008
The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries are Failing and What Can Be Done About It
"50 failing states ... whose problems defy traditional approaches to alleviating poverty."

William Easterly, 2002
The Elusive Quest for Growth: Economists' Adventures and Misadventures in the Tropics
An explanation of economic growth failures since WWII, including "providing foreign aid, investing in machines, fostering education, controlling population growth, and making aid loans as well as forgiving those loans on condition of reforms." It's all about incentives.

Jeffrey Sachs, 2006
The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time
"A strong moral, economic, and political case for why countries and individuals should battle poverty with the same commitment and focus normally reserved for waging war."

Amartya Sen, 2000
Development as Freedom
1998 Nobel Prize for Economics recipient argues that "open dialogue, civil freedoms, and political liberties are prerequisites for sustainable development."

Philip Smith and Eric Thurman, 2007
A Billion Bootstraps: Microcredit, Barefoot Banking, and the Business Solution for Ending Poverty
"A bold manifesto by two business leaders [who show] why microcredit is the world's most powerful poverty-fighting movement and an unbeatable investment for your charitable donations."

Hernando de Soto, 2003
The Mystery of Capital: Why Capitalism Triumphs in the West and Fails Everywhere Else
"A fascinating and solidly supported look at the one component that's holding much of the world back from developing healthy free markets."

Muhammad Yunus, 2008
(1) Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty
(2) Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism
2006 Nobel Peace Prize recipient (1) "[gives] an inspiring memoir of the birth of microcredit ... which has helped 100 million of the poorest people in the world escape poverty" and (2) "argues ... that social business is an achievable way of exploiting capitalism to help the poor."

* All book descriptions are from Amazon.com.