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The Price of Everything:
A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity
Russell Roberts

Paperback | 2009 | $19.95 / £13.95 | ISBN: 9780691143354
224 pp. | 5 1/2 x 8 | Shopping Cart

eBook | ISBN: 9781400820283 |
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Reviews | Table of Contents
Chapter 1 [HTML] or [PDF] pdf-icon | Chapter 2 [HTML] or [PDF] pdf-icon | Chapter 2

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Stanford University student and Cuban American tennis prodigy Ramon Fernandez is outraged when a nearby mega-store hikes its prices the night of an earthquake. He crosses paths with provost and economics professor Ruth Lieber when he plans a campus protest against the price-gouging retailer--which is also a major donor to the university. Ruth begins a dialogue with Ramon about prices, prosperity, and innovation and their role in our daily lives. Is Ruth trying to limit the damage from Ramon's protest? Or does she have something altogether different in mind?

As Ramon is thrust into the national spotlight by events beyond the Stanford campus, he learns there's more to price hikes than meets the eye, and he is forced to reconsider everything he thought he knew. What is the source of America's high standard of living? What drives entrepreneurs and innovation? What upholds the hidden order that allows us to choose our careers and pursue our passions with so little conflict? How does economic order emerge without anyone being in charge? Ruth gives Ramon and the reader a new appreciation for how our economy works and the wondrous role that the price of everything plays in everyday life.

The Price of Everything is a captivating story about economic growth and the unseen forces that create and sustain economic harmony all around us.

Review:

"[A]n unusual and wildly enjoyable book."--Stephen J. Dubner, nytimes.com Freakonomics blog

"Take a look at the computer screen your eyes are presently (hopefully) fixated on, not to mention the computer mouse you used in order to click on this posting. Did you ever consider how both were made? Could you make either yourself, and if so, how and where would you acquire the various raw materials and parts in order to create them? If the above questions vex you, the George Mason economics professor Russell Roberts's excellent new novel, The Price of Everything, is for you. Importantly, Roberts does not explain how things are made in this tale as much as he teaches us through a very interesting dialogue between a professor and student that the 'whole system we call a market economy works as well as it does precisely because of how little we have to know.'"--John Tamny, RealClearMarkets.com

"Improbable as it might seem, perhaps the most important fact for a voter or politician to know is: No one can make a pencil. That truth is the essence of a novella that is, remarkably, both didactic and romantic. Even more remarkable, its author is an economist. If you read Russell Roberts's The Price of Everything: A Parable of Possibility and Prosperity you will see the world afresh. . . ."--George Will, Newsweek

"This book is the third foray into the world of economic fiction for Roberts. In terms of prose and content, it is also his best effort. . . . In this new book, set on and around the Stanford University campus, Roberts bundles several clever insights about everyday economics with the overriding theme of prosperity and economic growth, and pulls it all off with warmth and plenty of heart."--A.R. Sanderson, Choice

"[T]he best attempt to teach economics through fiction that the world has seen to date."--Tyler Cowen, Marginal Revolution

More reviews

Table of Contents:

Author's Note xi
Chapter 1: Thinking Outside the Box 1
Chapter 2: Out of Control 7
Chapter 3: Birds of a Feather 17
Chapter 4: Inconceivable 29
Chapter 5: Leaning on the Gardener 52
Chapter 6: Mea Culpa 64
Chapter 7: The Goose That Lays the Golden Eggs 77
Chapter 8: A Night in the Cemetery 104
Chapter 9: The Price of Everything 115
Chapter 10: No Host No Problem 129
Chapter 11: The Weaver of Dreams 150
Chapter 12: A Wild and Precious Life 166
Chapter 13: How's It Going to End? 174
Sources and Further Reading 191
Acknowledgments 201

This book has been translated into:

  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Complex)

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      Paperback: $19.95 ISBN: 9780691143354

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      File created: 3/27/2014

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