John McMillan's Reinventing the Bazaar is an extremely accessible description of markets large and small, as well as an explanation of their underlying mechanisms. An "absolutely free market," he says, is a "free-for-all brawl," while a "real market" is an "ordered brawl." Sprinkling his analysis with hundreds of anecdotes and examples--prison camps, eBay, the American experiment with alcohol prohibition, the Tokyo fish market, and traditional Ghanaian bazaars--and pertinent quotes from the likes of Chekhov, Twain, and Steinbeck, McMillan animates his subject. Why do banks build showcase headquarters? Which "frictions" brake, and which spur, various markets? Is the "invisible hand" attached to a clothed arm? Why are both pro- and antimarket absolutists, in McMillan's view, the economics equivalent of "flat-earthers"? Is there such an animal as a "perfect" market? Reinventing the Bazaar answers these questions, and many more, in an eminently wise, entertaining, and instructive way. --H. O'Billovich --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An economics professor at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, McMillan views this historical moment as a unique living laboratory for observing how technology, globalization and changing expectations of buyers and sellers have brought changes to everything from the international flower market based in the Netherlands to national economies. The sheer number of ingenious schemes that have surfaced over the last decade has had an intoxicating effect on McMillan; he skips from the 1994 FCC auction of the electromagnetic spectrum for pagers to the hugely popular Internet auction sites and the effects of intellectual property rights on innovation in this anecdotally rich survey of world markets and new trading opportunities. McMillan looks at a wide variety of industries including interstate trucking and fishery management and lays out the elements he regards as necessary for a smoothly operating market. An illuminating chapter comparing the deregulation and privatization experiences of New Zealand, Russia and China will leave readers wishing that McMillan had concentrated on just a few examples to establish in-depth his primary points: that good design of a market is crucial to its success, that a market develops over time by trial and error, and that government plays an indispensable role in providing public goods and acting as rule setter and referee in the best of all market-based worlds. As it is, the book feels scattered, and McMillan's tone is by turns condescending and frustratingly abstruse. Many readers will be disappointed.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 20 months ago 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
Reinventing the Bazaar was written by the late John McMillan, a professor of economics at Stanford and an expert on government procurement. Read morePublished on September 27, 2011 by H. P.
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