Cover of Homer Economicus by Edited by Joshua Hall
Homer Economicus
The Simpsons and Economics
Edited by Joshua Hall


May 2014
256 pages.
from $24.95

Cloth ISBN: 9780804790970
Paper ISBN: 9780804791717
Digital ISBN: 9780804791823
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Excerpts and More

Silver Medal (Finance/Investment/Economics Category) in the 2015 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPYs)

In Homer Economicus a cast of lively contributors takes a field trip to Springfield, where the Simpsons reveal that economics is everywhere. By exploring the hometown of television's first family, this book provides readers with the economic tools and insights to guide them at work, at home, and at the ballot box.

Since The Simpsons centers on the daily lives of the Simpson family and its colorful neighbors, three opening chapters focus on individual behavior and decision-making, introducing readers to the economic way of thinking about the world. Part II guides readers through six chapters on money, markets, and government. A third and final section discusses timely topics in applied microeconomics, including immigration, gambling, and health care as seen in The Simpsons. Reinforcing the nuts and bolts laid out in any principles text in an entertaining and culturally relevant way, this book is an excellent teaching resource that will also be at home on the bookshelf of an avid reader of pop economics.

About the author

Joshua C. Hall is Associate Professor of Economics at West Virginia University. Formerly an Economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, he is a co-author of the widely-cited Economic Freedom of the World reports and author of over 50 articles in journals. Hall has taught principles of microeconomics throughout his career.

"This work may be the exception to the general rule that economics books that carry a movie, cartoon, or literary theme are tedious. In a book that will capture the imaginations of avid readers of pop economics, Hall manages to pull together a collection that references all the characters in the popular television show . . . Recommended."

—B. P. Keating, CHOICE

"This 16-chapter volume will prove valuable, not only to instructors seeking to make their economics principles classes livelier, but to general readers. Those who have long avoided the 'Queen of the Social Sciences' will find Homer Economicus a stimulating and pleasurable introduction to the field. They may well lose any natural inhibitions about thinking like an economist—which is not, as popular prejudice would have it, thinking cold-bloodedly or relying excessively on mathematical or graphical tools to model and understand human behavior. In Springfield, these authors show us, profound economic insights can emerge from the most mundane human activities, and we can develop a powerful intuition about economic decision-making by studying even silly or hilarious scenarios . . . So if you want a sneakily entertaining way to start thinking like an economist, grab a donut or a Duff, get comfortable on the living room sofa, and started reading about those two-dimensional but remarkably interesting creations of cartoonist Matt Groening."

—Stephen J.K. Walters, Library of Law and Liberty

"Homer Economicus quenches your thirst for learning like a Duff beer. The reader, through the lens of The Simpsons, will learn more about economics is a few hours than any textbook can possibly teach. My advice is that you kick back, put your feet up at your desk and enjoy a donut or two while you read this fascinating collection. Mmm."

—G. Dirk Mateer, Senior Lecturer, University of Kentucky

"Homer Economicus in action! The Simpsons is an excellent window onto the world of economics, and this book shows you how and why."

—Tyler Cowen, George Mason University, blogger at The Marginal Revolution, and author of Discover Your Inner Economist