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Reinventing the Bazaar: A Natural History of Markets Paperback – November 17, 2003
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Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
In this lively as well as informative book, McMillan offers "a natural history of markets" which helps us to gain a better understanding of how markets work as well as of what they can and can't do. "Markets do what they are supposed to do, however, only if they are we structured. Any successful economy has an array of devices and procedures to enable markets to work smoothly. A workable platform has five elements: information flows smoothly; property rights are protected; people can be trusted to live up to their promises; side effects are curtailed; and competition is fostered.Read more ›
Prof. McMillan devotes the first half of the book to what he identifies as the five basic components of market design: information flow, enforcement of promises, competition, property rights, and externalities. He devotes the second half of the book to implementation of those five basic components.
Overall, Prof. McMillan does a good job explaining economic concepts in plain English. Reinventing the Bazaar gets into a lot of the "guts" of markets that are typically not covered in basic economics classes. In particular, Prof. McMillan recognizes the importance of law and legal institutions to markets, something economists sometimes gloss over.
Unfortunately, Prof. McMillan has a tendency to make some rather questionable statements. For example, there is a rather blatant error (or omission) in his discussion of the preference of book agents' for sealed-bid auctions over open auctions (which net their clients higher advances). Prof. McMillan identifies the agents' position as "mistaken." But this preference is not due to mistake, it is due to agency costs. The agents are acting in their own self-interest in a scenario in which their interests conflict with those of their clients. Agents reap only a fraction of the benefit of the final bid, but perform the bulk of the extra legwork necessary to run a successful open auction (which also takes longer). This creates the divergence in interests.
Other statements look more like sloppiness than error.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fast shipping and the novel was in great condition. Helped me understand Economics a little better.Published 1 month ago by Marieme Diallo
I expected a lot from McMillan's book, given the good professor's credentials and esteem. Specifically, I expected him to do more than trivially survey a bunch of marketplaces,... Read morePublished on January 4, 2014 by Daniel J. Green
Mr. McMillan, the author of this book, bills this book for those uninitiated into the mysteries of economics and attempts to explain the study and science of economics by looking... Read morePublished on April 5, 2013 by C.P.M.
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:
1- "A definition of a market transaction, then, is an exchange that is voluntary: each party... Read more
For a balanced view of markets - how they work, how they can produce good economic outcomes, and why they can fail - you couldn't do better than to read this book. Read morePublished on August 21, 2012 by Avinash K. Dixit
McMillian shows how markets work and what they can and can't do. There are five key points to a market and markets are limited in how well they can and what they can't... Read morePublished on October 3, 2011 by Mel Woods
This is a great all around book that is written in a style that everyone can read and understand. Although I have been looking for a book that truly discusses the history of... Read morePublished on July 26, 2011 by K. Ryan Kane
The book discusses main stream economy in a way accessible for most. This is well written and entertaining. Discusses many interesting examples. Read morePublished on February 6, 2011 by jukka aakula