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Fatal Equilibrium Mass Market Paperback – July 12, 1986
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From the Inside Flap
For Dennis Gossen, the economics department whiz kid currently being considered for tenure, it's definitely death. When he's turned down by the high-and-mighty Promotion and Tenure Committee, Gossen commits suicide.
A Question of Cost Accounting...
Or does he? It's hard to imagine why a young man with a brilliant scholarly future -- at Harvard or not -- would come up with an equation in which the opportunity cost of killing himself (a high price, considering his potential earnings) would be outweighed by the emotional cost of failing to receive tenure.
... Or Utility?
Then two members of the P and T Committee are murdered, and it becomes clear to Professor Henry Spearman of the Economics Department that the killer must be on the committee. But which of his illustrious colleagues would have significantly increased his -- or her -- utility (i.e., happiness) by murdering a faculty member or two? Or three?
Top Customer Reviews
Not everyone will consider it light reading, though. If you don't have at least one econ class somewhere in your background, some significant parts of the book (and the plot) will go over your head. There were sections that felt like they were cut-and-pasted right from the author's lecture notes. I kept hoping that the book would be more like Larry Niven's work - grounded in theory, but first and foremost, a gripping story with compelling characters. I'd rather absorb my knowledge along the way than be lectured to.
I enjoyed it and I'll read it again.
Enjoy the mystery and the science.
The story mostly takes place in a university setting and ends aboard a luxury ocean liner. The reader gets a pretty good picture of university politics at work along with instruction in basic economics.
The named Author, "Marshall Jevons" is a pseudonyms used by Briet and Stevens who in real life are professors of economics. The pseudonym is formed out of the surnames of two famous economists out of the past -- Alfred Marshall and W. Stanley Jevons.
Fatal Equilibrium is fun reading. As a mystery it is better than some and inferior to others. Your reviewer liked it. But I must add a caveat: My avocation is economics. That is why I bought the book and another by the same "authors." I think that the economics 'lessons' the book is salted with will not get in the way of a non-economist's enjoyment.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not as good as the first in the series. Solving the crime gets a rushed treatment at the very end, after many chapters that felt unnecessary. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Ethan Roberts
A smart way of introducing economics to those who dislike it! Smart, witty and intellectual! What a combination! Read morePublished on June 18, 2014 by M. Conea Rosenfel
This is the worst book I have ever read, hands down. Its kind of like one of those horrible HBO films with terrible acting that is clearly played out and so terribly obvious. Read morePublished on March 23, 2013 by Josh Gray
It isn't called the "dismal science" for nothing and, while some elementary econ principles are enunciated, they do not rise to the level of behavioral predictions, as the authors... Read morePublished on September 18, 2012 by KM Thiesmeyer