Customer Review

18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction to economics but inconsistent, 24 July 2007
This review is from: The Undercover Economist (Paperback)
Having read all of the other reviews of this book I have come to the conclusion that it is a bit of a curates egg. Tim uses examples such as the price of a capuccino and the price of second-hand cars to demonstrate the basics of economics: supply and demand, customer vs. producer power and the importance of information; I don't think that these examples are meant to be taken literally as some reviewers think: consumers know a cup of coffee does not cost 3 to make and we know a German-made car is likely to be better than an Indian-made car. It is when he elaborates on these ideas that the book hits its stride: why the dot-com bubble occurred (the book "DotCon" is an excellent companion to this chapter) and also why, in the main African dictatorships and command economies remain relatively poor in comparison to market economies. There are some simplifications: he regards sweatshops as a step in the direction of an enterprise driven economy but does not take into account lack of labour mobility, worker coersion and other restrictions, and does not manage to come up with a proposal to the environmental crisis where the use of cars is insensitive to cost changes. In the main though this is a good introduction to the basics of economics; at least next time Geldof and Bono come begging for cash you will keep your wallet firmly closed.
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