: The Power of Markets
Meandering introduction to markets, utility, market price, etc. Lots of bald statements and glib stories with no evidence or references.
2: Incentive Matter
More stories, this time about incentives. Why they matter and why it is hard to fix markets that have bad outcomes because of bad incentive structures. He repeats Steven Levitt's story about real estate brokers. On p. 33 (bottom) "Economics teaches us how to get incentive right." but the whole chapter is stories about how attempts to change incentives have failed.
3: Government and the Economy
Discussion of externalities and how governments can compensate for them. Also the role of government in ensuring fair markets, enforcing property rights, enforcing contracts, regulation, etc. Governments provide "public goods".
4: Government and the Economy II
The bad side of government. Some good points but mostly stories that don't prove anything. Lots of glib platitudes, like the USPS is way more inefficient than UPS or FedEx. Some interesting points about regulation and taxes.
5: Economics of Information
Some good points about adverse selection and issues with incentives. Discussion of the economic problems with health care. Good discussions of brands and profiling.
6: Productivity and Human Capital
Good discussions of the importance of education and why talented people are paid more. Discussion of productivity, some confused parts. Discussion of income/wealth inequality.
7: Financial Markets
Good but shallow discussion of financial markets.
8: The Power of Organized Interests
Stories about subsidies gone wrong. Okay but, again, shallow.
9: Keeping Score
Good joke on p. 149. Business cycle, growth, GDP. A bit about Keynes. Fiscal and monetary policy.
10: The Federal Reserve
Reasonable discussion of the Fed, inflation, and deflation.
11: Trade and Globalization
Reasonable but shallow discussion of trade, globalization, etc. He...
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