What We Are Reading Today: Gender and Our Brains by Gina Rippon

Updated 27 September 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Gender and Our Brains by Gina Rippon

Neuroscientist Gina Rippon painstakingly refutes in this exhaustive study long-held beliefs about gender’s role in the development and functioning of the brain. 

The book is, at the core, concerned with the question of whether male and female brains are different. 

Rippon, a British professor of cognitive neuroimaging, reviews the history of studies of the gendered brain.

“We have to pay more attention to how our experiences drive our brain architecture. It’s a bit like trees that grow on windy plains. Their biological drivers make them grow upward, but the winds make them twist or grow branches on only one side,” she said in recent comments published in time.com.

Much of Gender and Our Brains is written for the scientifically savvy reader. 

“It’s a reminder that gender messaging is never a nonissue. It helps sell products, supports power structures and, for better and worse, tells boys and girls what the human tribe expects of them,” said Karen Sandstrom in a review published in WashingtonPost.com.


What We Are Reading Today: A Course in Microeconomic Theory

Updated 27 May 2020

What We Are Reading Today: A Course in Microeconomic Theory

Author: David M. Kreps 

 

David M. Kreps has developed a text in microeconomics that is both challenging and “user-friendly.” The work is designed for the first-year graduate microeconomic theory course and is accessible to advanced undergraduates as well. 

Placing unusual emphasis on modern noncooperative game theory, it provides the student and instructor with a unified treatment of modern microeconomic theory — one that stresses the behavior of the individual actor (consumer or firm) in various institutional settings. The author has taken special pains to explore the fundamental assumptions of the theories and techniques studied, pointing out both strengths and weaknesses.

The book begins with an exposition of the standard models of choice and the market, with extra attention paid to choice under uncertainty and dynamic choice. 

General and partial equilibrium approaches are blended, so that the student sees these approaches as points along a continuum. 

The work then turns to more modern developments. Readers are introduced to noncooperative game theory and shown how to model games and determine solution concepts. Models with incomplete information, the folk theorem and reputation, and bilateral bargaining are covered in depth. Information economics is explored next. A closing discussion concerns firms as organizations and gives readers a taste of transaction-cost economics.