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Hidden Order: The Economics of Everyday Life Paperback – July 18, 1997
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book gives you a good foundation in both macro and microeconomics. Very early in the book he introduces and graphs demand and supply curves, marginal costs and revenue curves, utility functions. His coverage of international trade, taxation, subsidies, rent control is excellent. Along the way, you will also learn about investment theory and corporate finance. Friedman explains how the Efficient Market Hypothesis applies not only to stocks but freeway traffic and supermarket lines.
Friedman also gives full credit and fleshes out the ideas from the founders of modern economics, including Adam Smith, David Ricardo, and Alfred Marshall. This is unlike Steve Levitt in "Freakonomics" who truly believed he was the first economist to tackle every day issues forgetting that economics is the science of understanding everyday behavior to begin with.Read more ›
The mainstream media still does not understand international trade in even the most basic way. This is amazing and distressing to me. I was glad to see the author compare this to still accepting the ancient Ptolemiac view of astronomy. Please folks, read ANY economist about foreign trade, what is NOT true is the imports=bad, exports=good notion despite the claims of bumper stickers (Buy American) and politicians (Pat Buchannon). Journalists, please research this issure a bit before you speak!
"Armchair" did a good-to-excellent job of boiling down complex economic questions and answers. "Hidden Order" does so as well, but note that it's not for the light-hearted; plenty of graphs are available, and one not versed in Econ 101 may become temporarily lost. Thankfully, Friedman shores up his chapters by proving the theory with graphs, then stating "Here it is in English..." This allows readers who are not graphically inclined to skip over it without losing much understanding, while readers more interested in finding the proof behind the claim can peruse the mathematics at their leisure.
Still, it's not all perfect. There's some issues that he goes into great length, but others are touched on and left hanging. In part this is to reduce the down time for an already-sluggish topic, but the length for each issue varies quite a bit. And I have no idea why a parking meter is on the cover.
Unfortunately, it is Friedman's penchant for simple explanations that leads to some of his odder conclusions (for instance, check out his explanation on why movie theatres charge so much for popcorn). This is a nagging trend in "Chicago school" economics: reasoning outwards from a textbook principle in order to rationalize the evidence, rather than collecting evidence and reasoning backwards.
Even with that aside, Friedman's _Hidden Order_ is an introductory primer of rare quality.
+ Clear, concise, and clever.
+ Graphs and charts to illustrate the trickier points.
+ Bibliography at the end of each chapter. Further reading for a more detailed look into each topic.
+ Assumes almost no knowledge of economics; starts from the beginning (the motivation for action) and continues from there.
+ Friedman's odder theories about behavior may strike the reader as "quaint."
+ Tends to give examples rather than definitions. For instance, he never comes out and says, "Rent-seeking is any kind of behavior X ...", but he gives very thorough examples of what rent-seeking is.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
explains more about the world than any books outside the bible, the works of Shakespeare or the brothers KaramazovPublished 17 months ago by Critical Reader
Explains a lot of economic principles in a generally easy to read way with real life examples. For those who've never studied economics this is a good introduction which is... Read morePublished 19 months ago by Another avid reader
I'm impressed with the condition of the book. I expected it to be a bit rough looking but it turned out looking almost brand new.Published on February 7, 2014 by Alexia
A really interesting read explaining economic topics with examples without dumbing it down. I appreciated the inclusion of graphs and the accompanying explanationsPublished on January 20, 2014 by deborah mann
Opens your eyes to so many topics and subjects involving, money finance and economics in general that most people would otherwise be clueless about. Read morePublished on October 2, 2013 by Ender
This book would probably teach you as many concepts as your humdrum Intro to Mircoeconomics book could. Read morePublished on July 13, 2012 by Maci
This is a decent book but it's problem is that it is not intended towards a particular audience. Readers familiar with economics will find the theoretical parts of the book to be... Read morePublished on March 6, 2011 by Justin
Economics, actual microeconomics, is so accessible in this text.
Friedman takes special care to keep the book humorous, but it functions as a primer on microeconomics... Read more