The Undercover Economist: Exposing Why the Rich Are Rich, the Poor Are Poor--and Why You Can Never Buy a Decent Used Car! (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, 2006 - Business & Economics - 276 pages
105 Reviews
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.
  

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Very enoyable, easy to read. - LibraryThing
It is an accessible introduction to economics. - LibraryThing
This book is a very good overview of economics. - LibraryThing
great introduction, or interest sparker. - LibraryThing

Review: The Undercover Economist

User Review  - Filip Ligmajer - Goodreads

page 5 | location 68-73 | Added on Monday, 23 June 2014 04:29:59 Your coffee is intriguing to the economist for another reason: he doesn't know how to make a cappuccino, and he knows thatnobody else ... Read full review

Review: The Undercover Economist

User Review  - Pankaj Singh - Goodreads

Being a pop economics book, 'The Undercover Economist' is bound to draw comparisons with Freakonomics. However, they are very different books. Although Freakonomics and the sequels are a lot of fun to ... Read full review

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Contents

Introduction
1
Who Pays for Your Coffee?
5
What Supermarkets Dont Want You to Know
31
Perfect Markets and the World of Truth
61
Crosstown Traffic
79
The Inside Story
109
Rational Insanity
137
The Men Who Knew the Value of Nothing
155
Why Poor Countries Are Poor
177
Beer Fries and Globalization
201
How China Grew Rich
231
Notes
253
Index
263
Copyright

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About the author (2006)


Tim Harford writes the "Dear Economist" column in the Financial Times Magazine, in which he draws upon the latest economic theories to provide tongue-in-cheek answers to readers' personal dilemmas. Formerly an economics editorial writer at the Financial Times, Harford has worked at the International Finance Corporation, for a major oil company, and as an economics tutor at Oxford University. He lives in Washington DC.

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