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Nattily packaged-the cover sports a Roy Lichtensteinesque image of an economist in Dick Tracy garb-and cleverly written, this book applies basic economic theory to such modern phenomena as Starbucks' pricing system and Microsoft's stock values. While the concepts explored are those encountered in Microeconomics 101, Harford gracefully explains abstruse ideas like pricing along the demand curve and game theory using real world examples without relying on graphs or jargon. The book addresses free market economic theory, but Harford is not a complete apologist for capitalism; he shows how companies from Amazon.com to Whole Foods to Starbucks have gouged consumers through guerrilla pricing techniques and explains the high rents in London (it has more to do with agriculture than one might think). Harford comes down soft on Chinese sweatshops, acknowledging "conditions in factories are terrible," but "sweatshops are better than the horrors that came before them, and a step on the road to something better." Perhaps, but Harford doesn't question whether communism or a capitalist-style industrial revolution are the only two choices available in modern economies. That aside, the book is unequaled in its accessibility and ability to show how free market economic forces affect readers' day-to-day.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Harford exposes the dark underbelly of capitalism in Undercover Economist. Compared with Steven Levitts and Stephen J. Dubners popular Freakonomics (*** July/Aug 2005), the book uses simple, playful examples (written in plain English) to elucidate complex economic theories. Critics agree that the book will grip readers interested in understanding free-market forces but disagree about Harfords approach. Some thought the author mastered the small ideas while keeping in sight the larger context of globalization; others faulted Harford for failing to criticize certain economic theories and to ground his arguments in political, organizational structures. Either way, his case studiessome entertaining, others indicative of times to comewill make you think twice about that cup of coffee.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
A book which makes economics seems intuitive and simple. One of the good books on economist which will definitely change the way you think about the world.Published 16 days ago by Amazon Customer
After seeing a copy of this book's sequel at an airport bookstore, I decided that it would be good to read the first book. I was not disappointed. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Brett J. Millan
I like the book in general, it explained various aspects of economics in a very simple way using a very carefully and basic examples. Read morePublished 5 months ago by TheAAK
Exactly what I wanted and expected, and the product got to my house quickly.Published 8 months ago by Hambz
Fun book. Really enjoyed it. At times a little repetitive.Published 9 months ago by Kristina Astone
Readable, in fact, extremely readable, to a non-economics major like me. His analysis, and/or that of the economists he cited, may not be entirely correct. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Forrest