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Summary

How can a nation create the conditions for economic growth and prosperity? And what, once these conditions are achieved, can it do to sustain this progress? Discover the answers (which may surprise you) in these 24 lectures that guide you through a stimulating and, above all, accessible examination of what economists know and don't know about the elusive search for economic prosperity.

Here, you'll learn how countries as widely different as the United States and Vietnam have grown their economies; how countries like China and India were able to recover from economic reverses; and, most important, why the critical test of any economic policy is its ability to productively alter human behavior for everyone's ultimate benefit. By looking at economic growth as the result of incentivizing such productive behavior - "making productivity more profitable than all the alternatives" - Professor Rodriguez clears up an often-shrouded economic landscape. The result is a lecture series that brings the economic strategies chosen by nations down to street level by adding a newfound clarity to key issues: Why economies succeed or fail; how economic bubbles are created, why they burst, and how nations recover from them; the challenges posed by globalization; and more.

By the end of the last lecture, you'll understand as never before both the benefits granted and the costs extracted by the "instant economy" that technology and globalization have brought us. You'll grasp what China's expected economic dominance may soon mean. And you'll have a new appreciation of the juggling act policymakers perform as they try to heed history's latest lesson in achieving national growth and maximum human happiness.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2010 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2010 The Great Courses

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well presented by a confident expert

An interesting course, with an easy to listen to academic, who is obviously comfortable with the subject matter.
Rodriguez provides clear descriptions of various countries' economic fortunes, concentrating primarily on America, Japan, Europe, China and India, with extensive notes on South America and Africa, as well as Australia.
He ably charts the ascent of different countries' economies, their unique attributes, approaches and political personalites, as well as the factors that have contributed to economic stagnation, crashes and depressions.
Not to be mistaken as a prescriptive guide to good economic planning, however - by the end of the course, the listener should understand that economics is not, as Rodriguez says, a science, but only 'science-ish'; a discipline whose theories cannot be tested prior to their being unleashed on a world that suffers the consequences, both good and bad.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Nick
  • London, UK
  • 22-07-18

Like a riveting novel

(Or as close as evidence-based economic theory ever can be to a riveting novel)

In terms of narrative, this is the best Great Course series I’ve ever listened to, and is certainly the best economics audiobook, or book for that matter, I’ve ever listened. It’s shockingly accessible, very balanced while still have an opinion, and feels like a novel in the way that you think Rodriguez is going one way, and then the next chapter he throws a spanner in the works that forces you to question everything that came before. Wonderful!

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  • B. duPont
  • 19-11-16

Fantastic course.

My son (14) and I (52) listened to it together. The professor is outstanding and explains complex concepts in easy to understand terms.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • techani
  • 04-04-15

Great appetizer for macroeconomics field.

I liked: Clarity, Simplicity, Worldwide coverage.
I hated: "western"-oriented, slow (I used 2x speed, solved).

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Nikolai
  • 07-06-18

Too many words, not so many ideas

Overall the book is interesting but it can easily be cut 50-70% without loosing anything.

Just a few interesting ideas/concepts and examples and covered with obvious and unoriginal thoughts.

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  • Ken DV
  • 14-12-17

Interesting throughout

Fascinating stories about the economies of countries and the world as a whole. Will listen to it again.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Snorklehead
  • 22-11-17

this course really opened my eyes<br />

this course really opened my eyes and inclined me to be less doctrinaire. I would recommend it to anyone for that reason.

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  • Jared T Wilsey
  • 15-11-17

Outstanding

Loved the section on the failure of capitalism in Latin America, something few economics text cover. Very interesting from start to finish.

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  • Mike
  • 20-10-15

Enjoyable and Interesting.

What made the experience of listening to Why Economies Rise or Fall the most enjoyable?

For the most part I listen to audiobooks to obtain information. Some books are easy to listen to while others just have useful information. This audiobook has a bit of both.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-01-14

Great for Investors

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This lecture will help you to understand what to look for when considering local or global investments. You will understand what really drives an economy up or down.

2 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • reckless.symmetry
  • 28-01-18

Double Redundant Extra Verbosity

I need fewer words to explain stuff to my dog.
Somebody here was paid by the word, with a bonus for three consecutive redundant sentences.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful