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The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford, 10-digit ISBN 0345494016, 13-digit ISBN 978-0345494016 (paperback)

This book has the following chapters:

  1. Who pays for your coffee? : A general discussion of some of the issues that economists think about.
  2. What supermarkets don't want you to know : A discussion of price discrimination and other price-targeting strategies.
  3. Perfect markets and the 'world of truth' : A discussion of how the price mechanism generally leads to efficient outcomes, because the reservation price is a good proxy for cost and value.
  4. Crosstown traffic : A discussion of externalities: external costs and external benefits, and how they lead to market failure. Health care is discussed in particular, with reference to the United States and the United Kingdom.
  5. The inside story : A discussion of information asymmetry leading to market failure; in particular, adverse selection and moral hazard.
  6. Rational insanity : A discussion of the stock market, P/E ratios, and random walks.
  7. The men who knew the value of nothing : The application of ideas from game theory and auction theory; the extremely successful sale of spectrum licenses to telecommunication companies by the United Kingdom.
  8. Why poor countries are poor : A discussion of how the incentives of people and political leaders in a country affects its economic fate. Specific countries discussed include Cameroon and Nepal.
  9. Beer, chips and globalisation : A discussion of globalisation, its effect on the economies of individual countries, the welfare of individuals, and the environment.
  10. How China grew rich : A discussion of economic reforms and development in China.