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The undercover economist : Exposing why the rich are rich, the poor are… (2005)
by Tim Harford
Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0195189779, Hardcover)An economist's version of The Way Things Work, this engaging volume is part field guide to economics and part expose of the economic principles lurking behind daily events, explaining everything from traffic jams to high coffee prices. The Undercover Economist is for anyone who's wondered why the gap between rich and poor nations is so great, or why they can't seem to find a decent second-hand car, or how to outwit Starbucks. This book offers the hidden story behind these and other questions, as economist Tim Harford ranges from Africa, Asia, Europe, and of course the United States to reveal how supermarkets, airlines, and coffee chains--to name just a few--are vacuuming money from our wallets. Harford punctures the myths surrounding some of today's biggest controversies, including the high cost of health-care; he reveals why certain environmental laws can put a smile on a landlord's face; and he explains why some industries can have high profits for innocent reasons, while in other industries something sinister is going on. Covering an array of economic concepts including scarce resources, market power, efficiency, price gouging, market failure, inside information, and game theory, Harford sheds light on how these forces shape our day-to-day lives, often without our knowing it. Showing us the world through the eyes of an economist, Tim Harford reveals that everyday events are intricate games of negotiations, contests of strength, and battles of wits. Written with a light touch and sly wit, The Undercover Economist turns "the dismal science" into a true delight.
(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 19 Jan 2011 23:40:00 -0500)
An entertaining and pain-free introduction to the key concepts of economics, by a Financial Times writer, this book is part field guide to economics and part exposé of the economic principles lurking behind daily events. Reporting back from Africa, Asia, Europe, and your local Starbucks, author Harford shows us the world through the eyes of an economist, and reveals that everyday events are in fact intricate games of negotiations, contests of strength, and battles of wits. He explains: why picking stocks is like picking a line in the supermarket; the connection between a drunken frat party and getting stuck in traffic; how coffee companies use fair trade products to skim money from customers--From publisher description.
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