Why Superman Doesn't Take Over the World: What Superheroes Can Tell Us about Economics (Hardcover)

Why Superman Doesn't Take Over the World: What Superheroes Can Tell Us about Economics By J. Brian O'Roark Cover Image
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Why do heroes fight each other?

Why do villains keep trying even though they almost never win?

Why don't heroes simply take over the world?

Economics and comics may seem to be a world apart. But in the hands of economics professor and comic book hero aficionado Brian O'Roark, the two form a powerful alliance. With brilliant deadpan enthusiasm he shows how the travails of superheroes can explain the building blocks of economics, and how economics explains the mysteries of superhero behavior.

Spider-Man's existential doubts revolve around opportunity costs; Wonder Woman doesnt have a sidekick because she has a comparative advantage; game theory sheds light on the battle between Captain America and Iron Man; the Joker keeps committing crimes because of the Peltzman effect; and utility curves help us decide who is the greatest superhero of all.

Why Superman Doesn't Take Over the World probes the motivations of our favorite heroes, and reveals that the characters in the comics may have powers we dont, but they are still beholden to the laws of economics.

About the Author

Brian O'Roark is a University Professor of Economics at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, and is a co-author of Essentials of Economics (with Lee Coppock and Dirk Mateer, W.W. Norton, 2016) and editor of Superheroes and Economics (Routledge, forthcoming). He is on the board of directors for the Journal of Economics Teaching and serves in the role of associate editor. In 2014, Brian was given the Undergraduate Teaching Innovation Award by the Middle Atlantic Association of Colleges of Business Administration and in 2016 he received the President's Award for Outstanding Teaching at RMU.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780198829478
ISBN-10: 0198829477
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Publication Date: May 21st, 2019
Pages: 224
Language: English