Newswise — Cornell College Professor of Economics Todd Knoop examines the world of travel and what makes us all the same, yet different, in his newly published book: “The Traveling Economist.”
Knoop enjoys heading out to new and faraway places. He’s traveled for years, but has taken the past two to put down his thoughts in his new book.
“I have always loved traveling, and in my mind, you can’t be a true economist without asking yourself ‘If this works in practice, does it work in theory?’,” Knoop said. “So, I have spent a lot of time thinking about why things are the way they are on my travels, and eventually collected enough of these thoughts that I thought other enthusiastic wanderers might enjoy reading them.”
The book features economic concepts that all travelers should understand, and he uses real-life examples throughout the pages of the book. He hopes readers learn to think deeply about what they see.
“I think of the words of the 19th century artist John Ruskin who told his students ‘Now, remember, gentlemen, that I have not been trying to teach you to draw, only to see.’ What we as teachers are really teaching our students is not a bunch of facts, but how to carefully observe and think critically about why things are the way they are,” Knoop said. “I think economics is a particularly useful tool in becoming an observant traveler.”
Knoop said the book hinges on the economic perspective that people are all similar and diversity comes from our social environments.
“Economics becomes useful in explaining this contradiction between our similar natures and the differences in our behaviors,” Knoop said. “Understanding how we each respond to incentives, and how our political, social, and cultural structures shape these incentives, gives everyone a very powerful tool for understanding the world we live in at a much deeper, more profound level.”
Knoops is the author of several books, including “Business Cycle Economics: Understanding Recessions and Depressions from Boom to Bust,” Global Finance in Emerging Market Economies, and Recessions and Depressions: Understanding Business Cycles.