Steven E. Landsburg writes the popular "Everyday Economics" column in "Slate "magazine and has also written for "Forbes," "The Wall Street Journal," and other publications. He teaches in the department of economics at the University of Rochester.
Economics books full of "uncommon sense" are more common after the success of Freakonomics, but this rambling survey of hot-button and quotidian issues viewed from a libertarian economic perspective doesn't measure up. Landsburg (The Armchair Economist) is sometimes pleasantly counterintuitive, but too often simply contentious. In using cost/benefit calculations to argue in favor of racial profiling or why we shouldn't care about the looting of Baghdad's museums, he strains to celebrate "all that is counter, original, spare and strange." While positing multiple solutions to interesting problems, he forces logical readers to confront uncomfortable positions-as in the title essay, urging chaste citizens to sleep around, thereby diluting the pool of potential sex partners with AIDS. But the chapters typically conclude without resolution-at one point, the author shrugs: "It's not easy to sort out causes from effects." One suspects that a rival economist could swiftly debunk many of Landsburg's arguments-for instance, his chapter praising misers (who produce but don't consume) depends on the assumption that all resources are fixed and finite. By the time he makes the head-scratching case that "it's always an occasion for joy when other people have more children," the reader may be in the mood for some plain old common sense. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Steve Landsburg proves once again that he is better than anyone
else at making economics interesting to noneconomists. Landsburg is
provocative and playful in his mission to demonstrate how an
understanding of economics will change the way you live your daily
life. I loved this book." -- Steven D. Levitt, coauthor of
"Long before the 'pop economists' there was Steven Landsburg, writing funny, jargon-free, shocking, and true essays on our material circumstances. But Landsburg knows something that other authors of bestsellers on the subject don't. He knows everything. Economics is not the study of money; it's the study of value. Everything is determined by our values. The science of everything is what economics is. And here, in More Sex, what the reader will find is -- everything." -- P. J. O'Rourke
"Steve Landsburg is one of my favorite economics writers, and his new book is no exception. While I don't always agree with him, he usually gets me thinking, and he always entertains." -- Greg Mankiw, former Chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers and author of Principles of Economics