Economics, Law, Reviews

Tutorials with Becker and Posner

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Before Freakonomics there was the Becker-Posner blog.
Started in 2004 by Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary S. Becker and renowned jurist and legal scholar Richard A. Posner, the Becker-Posner Blog was unique in the still-developing blogosphere of the mid-aughts in that it offered 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. Now in their new book Uncommon Sense: Economic Insights, from Marriage to Terrorism Becker and Posner collect some of their best work from their blog, offering uncanny analyses on everything from gay marriage to proposed bans on trans fats.
Recently reviewer John Kay summarized their analysis of New York’s 2006 trans fat ban for a review of the book in the Financial Times, detailing Becker’s insightful economic critique of the issue and Posner’s libertarian counterargument. In the end, as Kay notes, Becker and Posner may not deliver easy answers—especially when these two intellectual powerhouses go head to head on an issue—”but the book is like a series of tutorials from a good teacher, and the object of a good tutorial is not to tell the student the answers.… The objective is to equip the student to think more effectively about the quite different problems that he or she will face in everyday life. Tutorials with Becker and Posner,” Kay writes, “would undoubtedly be very valuable experiences.”
Read Kay’s full review on the Financial Times website, or navigate over to the Becker-Posner Blog and check out some of the authors’ most recent updates.