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Naked Economics

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 Levity’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. 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 Faded. 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

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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 Naked Economics By circumferential 9: Keeping Score Good Joke on p. 9. Business cycle, growth, GAP. A bit about Keynes. Fiscal and monetary policy. 10: The Federal Reserve Reasonable discussion of the Fed, inflation, and deflation. 1 1: Trade and Globalization Reasonable but shallow discussion of trade, globalization, etc. He repeats conventional wisdom and doesn’t get into any of the hard issues. Very weak discussion of comparative advantage, which is central. 12: Developmental Economics Generally good discussion of what it takes to develop a country. Epilogue: Life in 2050 Some good questions.

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