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Entrepreneurial Economics: Bright Ideas from the Dismal Science
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
The patent buyouts chapter shows how most patents could be put into the public domain (fixing some problems associated with monopoly) while also increasing the incentives for innovation (at least in areas such as drugs where the patent system works moderately well). Two minor weaknesses in the paper: it ought to explain why this is a better use of money than funding research directly (I expect this could be done by analyzing the incentives and track record of small startup drug companies versus nonprofit/government researchers). The joint randomization for substitutes works well if there's unlimited money to buy patents, but if a patentholder can make joint patents too expensive to buy by falsely claiming that its patent is a substitute, then it's hard to analyze whether problems result (although I'm fairly sure they could be dealt with).

The chapter on decision markets (aka idea futures) provides some hints on how many of the problems with democracy could be fixed. Hopefully this will encourage readers to seek out his more thorough argument (search for Futarchy to find it).

The time-consistent health insurance proposal describes a good free-market alternative solution to many of the problems that government-run insurance proposals claim to address.

The chapter on gene insurance would address additional problems with people born with genes that scare insurers, but only if it were possible to require buying this insurance prior before an infants genes get tested for defects. But it's unclear how such a requirement can be enforced - it seems possible that a mother will often be able to get a fetus tested secretly before the government realizes it's time for the child to get insured.

The section on organ shortages provides some interesting arguments that the medical establishment profits from the shortage of organs created by laws against the sale of organs.

The chapter on securities regulation is too longwinded but contains good evidence that competition between securities regulators will help investors.
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19 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2002
Format: Paperback
Ok, I am the editor. Here, however, are some advance comments on Entrepreneurial Economics from Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman and distinguished economists William Baumol and Armen Alchian.
P.S. Steven Landsburg wrote the foreword, so if you like his books (The Armchair Economist, Fair Play etc.) you will probably like this book also.
"The essays in Entrepreneurial Economics display economic ingenuity at its best, devoted to inventing market solutions for a remarkably wide range of public issues. The analysis is subtle and tends to be comprehensive; though the subjects are challenging, the exposition is lucid."
-MILTON FRIEDMAN
"I thoroughly enjoyed Entrepreneurial Economics. . . . A very stimulating collection of ingenious ideas that can be characterized as market cures for market failure. A substantial number are promising as practical measures that can contribute to economic welfare, and all of them stimulate the imagination, promising to elicit new ideas from the reader."
-WILLIAM J. BAUMOL, Director, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, Department of Economics, New York University
"Entrepreneurial Economics offers you lively, eye-opening, mind stretching applications of economic principles and analysis. Students who read it will confound teachers who haven't."
-ARMEN A. ALCHIAN, Professor of Economics, UCLA
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 19, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is so interesting to the extent I read it all in two days. I was not able to stop reading it. I am planning to re-read it again.
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