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The Undercover Economist
The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford 0345494016 9780345494016
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The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford

The economy [isnt] a bunch of rather dull statistics with names like GDP (gross domestic product), notes Tim Harford, columnist and regular guest on NPRs Marketplace, economics is about who gets what and why. In this acclaimed and riveting book-part expose, part users manual-the astute and entertaining columnist from the Financial Times demystifies the ways in which money works in the world. From why the coffee in your cup costs so much to why efficiency is not necessarily the answer to ensuring a fair society, from improving health care to curing crosstown traffic-all the dirty little secrets of dollars and cents are delightfully revealed by The Undercover Economist, A rare specimen: a book on economics that will enthrall its readers . . . It brings the power of economics to life. -Steven D. Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics A playful guide to the economics of everyday life, and as such is something of an elder sibling to Steven Levitts wild child, the hugely successful Freakonomics. -The Economist A tour de force . . . If you need to be convinced of the everrelevant and fascinating nature of economics, read this insightful and witty book. -Jagdish Bhagwati, author of In Defense of Globalization This is a book to savor. -The New YorkTimes Harford writes like a dream. From his book I found out why theres a Starbucks on every corner [and] how not to get duped in an auction. Reading The Undercover Economist is like spending an ordinary day wearing X-ray goggles. -David Bodanis, author of Electric Universe Much wit and wisdom. -The Houston Chronicle From Publishers Weekly Nattily packaged-the coversports a Roy Lichtensteinesque image of an economist in Dick Tracy garb-and cleverly written, this book applies basic economic theory to such modern phenomena as Starbucks pricing system and Microsofts stock values. While the concepts explored are those encountered in Microeconomics 101, Harford gracefully explains abstruse ideas like pricing along the demand curve and game theory using real world examples without relying on graphs or jargon. The book addresses free market economic theory, but Harford is not a complete apologist for capitalism; he shows how companies from Amazon.com to Whole Foods to Starbucks have gouged consumers through guerrilla pricing techniques and explains the high rents in London (it has more to do with agriculture than one might think). Harford comes down soft on Chinese sweatshops, acknowledging conditions in factories are terrible, but sweatshops are better than the horrors that came before them, and a step on the road to something better. Perhaps, but Harford doesnt question whether communism or a capitalist-style industrial revolution arethe only two choices available in modern economies. That aside, the book is unequaled in its accessibility and ability to show how free market economic forces affect readers day-to-day. Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Bookmarks Magazine Harford exposes the dark underbelly of capitalism in Undercover Economist, Compared with Steven Levitts and Stephen J. Dubners popular Freakonomics (*** July/Aug 2005), the book uses simple, playful examples (written in plain English) to elucidate complex economic theories. Critics agree that thebook will grip readers interested in understanding free-market forces but disagree about Harfords approach. Some thought the author mastered the small ideas while keeping in sight the larger context of globalization; others faulted Harford for failing to criticize certain economic theories and to ground his arguments in political, organizational structures. Either way, his case studies--some entertaining, others indicative of times to come--will make you think twice about that cup of coffee. Copyright (c) 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.

Author: Tim Harford

Language: English

Binding: Paperback

Pages: 265

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks

Publication Date: 2007-01-30

Our Price: $3.85

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ISBN: 0345494016


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