The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity

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Princeton University Press, Jul 28, 2008 - Fiction - 224 pages

Stanford University student and Cuban American tennis prodigy Ramon Fernandez is outraged when a nearby mega-store hikes its prices the night of an earthquake. He crosses paths with provost and economics professor Ruth Lieber when he plans a campus protest against the price-gouging retailer--which is also a major donor to the university. Ruth begins a dialogue with Ramon about prices, prosperity, and innovation and their role in our daily lives. Is Ruth trying to limit the damage from Ramon's protest? Or does she have something altogether different in mind?

As Ramon is thrust into the national spotlight by events beyond the Stanford campus, he learns there's more to price hikes than meets the eye, and he is forced to reconsider everything he thought he knew. What is the source of America's high standard of living? What drives entrepreneurs and innovation? What upholds the hidden order that allows us to choose our careers and pursue our passions with so little conflict? How does economic order emerge without anyone being in charge? Ruth gives Ramon and the reader a new appreciation for how our economy works and the wondrous role that the price of everything plays in everyday life.

The Price of Everything is a captivating story about economic growth and the unseen forces that create and sustain economic harmony all around us.


What people are saying - Write a review

Great lesson in economics

User Review  - gator80 -

The book is pedantic but I recommend it strongly for people who are interested in understanding economic concepts without grinding through text books or academic journals. I think it would be ... Read full review

A very readable introduction to some weighty ideas

User Review  - Joe M - Borders

Professor Roberts is the host of the excellent podcast EconTalk, which is where I first heard of his new book. The book is a novel in which the story serves to illustrate economics ideas such as how ... Read full review


1 Thinking Outside the Box
2 Out of Control
3 Birds of a Feather
4 Inconceivable
5 Leaning on the Gardener
6 Mea Culpa
7 The Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs
8 A Night in the Cemetery
9 The Price of Everything
10 No Host No Problem
11 The Weaver of Dreams
12 A Wild and Precious Life
13 Hows It Going to End?
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About the author (2008)

Russell Roberts is professor of economics at George Mason University, the J. Fish and Lillian F. Smith Distinguished Scholar at George Mason's Mercatus Center, and a research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution. He is the author of The Choice: A Fable of Free Trade and Protectionism and The Invisible Heart: An Economic Romance.

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