The Undercover Economist is not an economy text book. It won’t teach you how to economize, nor how to balance double ledgers nor about how the fluctuations of oil interact with rice market in Kuala Lumpur. It’s a book about open markets and how they can make mostly everything better. Marxists, don’t stop reading.
The Undercover Economist tells how “free market” or “open market” are not the same as capitalism. It guides through how the USA managed to create an absolutely non market on some fields and how european socialism can create much more efective markets for the same services. It also recounts the last century of China’s history from an undercover economist point of view and discusses globalization, from sweatshop workers in Indonesia to coffe farmer in Vietnam, using the tools at hand.
In short, The Undercover Economist is a book about understanding market forces intuitively and in human terms instead of with formulas. That’s the hardest path for the professor and the easiest for the student, in this case Tim Harford comes through with straight AA.
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