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Book Report: Modern Economic Issues…

by Robert Maples. This is one of the Teaching Company’s audio courses (18CDs). This book has a little Malcolm Gladwell and Steven Levitt rolled together. After a few lectures on basic principles, he sails off into analyses of such eclectic topics as the economics of Walmart (does it help or hurt a community), the post office, urban sprawl, productivity growth, demographics, pollution, gender pay gaps, higher education, marriage, trade barriers, social security, etc. It was OK, entertaining, but falls short of great. In many ways it reminds me of the free lectures at Econtalk by Russ Roberts (Mankiw post, for example). In general, however, these Teaching Company books are great.

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Warning. My wife bought a bunch of the DVDs and found watching them tedious. Can’t say whether it is a failed medium or failure in her choices. Too much professor at a podium (and not enough loud yawns.) Pay attention to whether they are recommended for the CD format.

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