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Basic Instincts: Human Nature and the New Economics Paperback – 19 Nov 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Marshall Cavendish (19 Nov. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0462099636
  • ISBN-13: 978-0462099637
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 12.7 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 612,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

An economist and former BBC journalist, Pete Lunn now works for the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin. Pete has an unusual background for an economist, having originally trained a neuroscientist. He received a PhD in human perception from the University of London at just 24 years of age. He then spent over a decade in journalism, mostly with BBC Newsnight in London, but also in Ireland, where he was founding editor of the country s first specialist talk radio station, NewsTalk. A former English Speaking Union scholar, Pete specialises in bringing original or complex ideas to wider audiences. His work in television and radio has won several national awards. After re-qualifying as an economist, he now devotes his energies to policy research and to spreading new economic thinking.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Roger on 22 Aug. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a teacher of A-level economics (and university level, though I am not an ivory tower academic the author denigrates - I have been in business most of my life) I have for many years been drawn to the idea that it is people's behaviour which is at the root of many economic problems and sadly behavioural economics was not around when I studied. I was seeking a good introduction to the subject both to advance my own knowledge and to recommend to my students. Sadly, this book is not it.

The author will undoubtedly win many converts with this book, simply because it is brilliantly written. The odd split infinitive aside (for those who worry about such things) the author is particularly good at conveying many of the `tools' of behavioural economics in a way which can be understood by anyone, devoid of technical jargon. His descriptions of the mythical Marketopia and Muddleton are splendidly crafted and the book is liberally sprinkled with amusing anecdotes, fascinating stories and little-known facts from history.

But as I read on, waiting for how human behaviour relates to spending booms and recessions, for example, the book simply became an attack, sometimes almost bitter, on what the author terms `conventional economics'. And I found this less than convincing. The author is guilty of taking isolated examples and using them to conclude that everything is wrong with market theory. Only once do I recall him begrudgingly admit that many markets do work well most of the time, and then most of the attack is on the model of `perfect competition'. Worse, the author may be implying that people behave irrationally by, eg buying designer labels, which is not at odds with economic theory.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Josep-Bernat on 13 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book, it is very easy to read and very well written. I never read about economics and I enjoyed this book.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By "I can read you know" on 27 Jan. 2011
Format: Paperback
Lunn's book was a real eye opener. Reveals why we buy what we buy and sell what we sell. Very well explained, very clever and quite fun book about economic behaviour. Well worth the price or is that just the title making me say that!?!?!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
Read this book! 20 Feb. 2013
By Kenneth Davidson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent explanation of behavioral economics. IT explains why neoclassical economics fails to describe how our economy works and why transactions do or do not occur based on reviewing what people do when faced with actual choices.
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