Becker won the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1992. He is Professor of Economics and Sociology at the University of Chicago.
It offers a thorough overview of the modern theory of labor market behavior, and reveals how this theory is used to analyze public policy. Designed for students who may not have extensive backgrounds in economics, the text balances theoretical coverage with examples of practical applications that allow students to see concepts in action.
Experienced educators for nearly four decades, co-authors Ehrenberg and Smith believe that showing students the social implications of the concepts discussed in the course will enhance their motivation to learn. As such, this text presents numerous examples of policy decisions that have been affected by the ever-shifting labor market.
This new edition continues to offer:
a balance of relevant, contemporary examples;
coverage of the current economic climate;
introduction to basic methodological techniques and problems;
tools for review and further study.
In addition to providing updated data and examples throughout, the thirteenth edition offers greater coverage of inequality, healthcare policy, and labor-replacing technologies. The text is also supported by a full range of companion online materials.
Microeconomics is the subject matter of this volume, but it is emphatically not confined to microeconomics in the literal sense of micro units like firms or households. Becker's main interest is in market behavior of aggregations of firms and households. Although important inferences are drawn about individual firms and households, the author tries to understand aggregate responses to changes in basic economic parameters like tax rates, tariff schedules, technology, or antitrust provisions. His discussion is related to the market sector in industrialized economies, but the principles developed are applied to other sectors and different kinds of choices.
Becker argues that economic analysis is essential to understand much of the behavior traditionally studied by sociologists, anthropologists, and other social scientists. The broad definition of economics in terms of scarce means and competing ends is taken seriously and should be a source of pride to economists since it provides insights into a wide variety of problems. Practically all statements proved mathematically are also provided geometrically or verbally in the body of the text.
In no time, the blog had established a wide readership and reputation as a reliable source of lively, thought-provoking commentary on current events, its pithy and profound weekly essays highlighting the value of economic reasoning when applied to unexpected topics. Uncommon Sense gathers the most important and innovative entries from the blog, arranged by topic, along with updates and even reconsiderations when subsequent events have shed new light on a question. Whether it’s Posner making the economic case for the legalization of gay marriage, Becker arguing in favor of the sale of human organs for transplant, or even the pair of scholars vigorously disagreeing about the utility of collective punishment, the writing is always clear, the interplay energetic, and the resulting discussion deeply informed and intellectually substantial.
To have a single thinker of the stature of a Becker or Posner addressing questions of this nature would make for fascinating reading; to have both, writing and responding to each other, is an exceptionally rare treat. With Uncommon Sense, they invite the adventurous reader to join them on a whirlwind intellectual journey. All they ask is that you leave your preconceptions behind.