Understanding the Weird and Wonderful with Pete Leeson


At the end of last month we reviewed some of the best books on economics and politics in 2017. One of the strong nominees was WTF?!: An Economic Tour of the Weird by Pete Leeson of George Mason University.

We originally quoted from Isaac Morehouse’s review of the book, but now we have the video above from our friends at the Mercatus Center. Leeson’s pitch with the book is to “learn how to use economic thinking to reveal the hidden sense behind seemingly senseless human behavior―including your own.” That mix of economics, folklore, sociology, and history reveals some fascinating things about how human beings solve problems in society. Sometimes the weirdest solutions are the smartest ones.

Leeson is also the author or Anarchy Unbound: Why Self-Governance Works Better Than You Think (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and the also wacky-sounding The Invisible Hook: The Hidden Economics of Pirates (Princeton University Press, 2009). You can see his presentation to an audience at Texas Tech University on “Anarchy Unbound” here.