I had great expectations from this book. I thought it would be as funny and as interesting as "Freakonomics."
Unfortunately, the author cannot set a uniform tone in this essay.
At times he can be super-partes and show how ignorance (meaning: lack of mutual information) can affect the efficiency of exchanges. Other times, instead, he is clearly taking sides.
He likes Gordon Brown and he will spend pages and pages explaining how his government has been better than New Zealand's, Australia's, and the USA's in setting up an auction for 3G licenses. You would expect that, since he's a British Labourist and there may be some bias involved, this didn't go on for pages, but it does.
Harford likes London's congestion charge and he spends pages saying it. He asks himself the question: "what about the rich being able to allow the congestion charge as they want?" (which is my main concern about these charges) but he replies quickly "It's not true that the rich do not care what they spend." But they could!
On the other hand, the first pages of "Adapt", which are attached to this book as a "teaser", look much more promising. There, it seems the tone is much clearer and quite an original theory is well explained. Will read!...Continua
harford writes about major world problems with irony applying different economics theories in a brilliant way.
If you think economics is just numbers and percentages... Think again!
This book starts brilliantly, and draws your attention to continue reading, with lot of daily examples, such as the "price targetting policies" of organic food, fair trade coffee, packaging (design does not cost much, but poor design can help to deter customers who are willing to pay more), second hand car trade (insider info to distinguish peaches from lemons with subtle accreditation such as beautiful showroom for long term business?)
The chapter on globalization provides food for thought. It introduces the concept of comparative advanatage in global trade. Both parties are better off with nobody worse off. Ban/tariffs on import is in fact a ban/tariffs over its export - who on world wants others currencies if they can't buy anything?
However, my interest is fading fast when the examples become more complicated in the next few chapters. If the write could be more concise I would give a better rating....Continua
This book reads too much like it's cashing in on the pop-economics genre after Freakonomics. Nothing original or even provocative here. The one benefit is introduced Dave Ricardo in laymen terms.
Wow, this is a very carefully planned book. Tim Harford managed to start from your morning coffee, traffic congestion, etc to bring up the economic theories and explanation underneath... and he gradually take us to a full theory on how economy should work.
Harford is not shy in front of political correctness or ethical taboo... this is very impressive....Continua