Business journalist and New York Times editorial writer Porter delivers a popular explication of how supply and demand affect prices. In vignettes about all manner of transactions, from coffee sales to marriage dowries to home values, he disputes notions that prices settle out as rational correlations of supply and demand. All sorts of emotional factors are involved, which enliven Porter’s stories as he explores divergent behaviors of upper-, middle-, and lower-income consumers in what they will pay for something. If a purchase expresses the pursuit of happiness, Porter chases the idea that money yields joy, concluding it can, though temporarily. What about the price of power? Porter adduces the cost of votes in São Tomé v. the United States, as he does the worth of labor, love, and life itself, practically breaking them down into a schedule of prices. As a book in which nothing, not even religion, seems safe from the crass intrusion of pricing, Porter’s work ought to ring up the audience for Steven Levitt’s Freakonomics (2005). --Gilbert Taylor
"At a time of seemingly proliferating risks, though, Porter's searching book is a welcome reminder of the necessity of prudent decision making."
-"The New York Times Book Review"
"Porter offers us a shiny new lens for understanding the relationships around us that we too often fail to see"
-"Harvard Business Review"
"Thoughtful, detailed, and fascinating..."
"While an elegant and enjoyable read, "The Price of Everything" is also timely: Porter makes a strong case in the wake of the recession that it's silly for economists and policy makers to assume people act according to rational assessments or even in their own best interest."
-"The Associated Press"
..".energetic tour of the daily cost-benefit analysis called life."
..".both entertaining and enlightening."
-"The Financial Times"
"a lively guide through the morass of economic theory... Everything has its price, and here we