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Economics in Two Lessons: Why Markets Work So Well, and Why They Can Fail So Badly

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A masterful introduction to the key ideas behind the successes--and failures--of free-market economics

Since 1946, Henry Hazlitt's bestselling Economics in One Lesson has popularized the belief that economics can be boiled down to one simple lesson: market prices represent the true cost of everything. But one-lesson economics tells only half the story. It can explain why
Hardcover, 408 pages
Published April 23rd 2019 by Princeton University Press
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Arjun Pathy
Feb 08, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
In short, this is a deeply inadequate economics primer that the "uninitiated" should probably not read, least those who already sympathise with Quiggin's policy prescriptions. If you want a "balanced" economics primer, you'd be better off starting any of the many better options (suggestions down the bottom).

In discussions I have with well-meaning friends who have not formally studied economics, I often find myself coming to a point where I'll say something like "But obviously a firm will not
Kingsborough Library
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A real corker of an economics book! I especially liked the further reading suggested at the end of each chapter.
Brendan Shea
Jun 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: economics
I listened to this on Audible, and really enjoyed it (though I think I would have liked to see some of the charts in the physical volume). A few thoughts:

1. The book presents many of the same issues that are covered in standard "principles of economics" courses (or intro macro/micro courses), but it links these together by use of the concept of *opportunity cost* (and in particular, of the total *social opportunity cost* of various interventions). While this concept is usually presented in intro
John Igo
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hazlitt taught Economics in one lesson.
1. Leave markets alone and things will work out.

If you have a friend who claims to be an economist or understand economics who doesn't have an economics degree, they are likely a libertarian. And they stopped their economics education after Lesson 1. When you point out Lesson 1 failures they wave their hands and blame the government. I this book is a pretty good refutation of that belief.
True, under fairly strict conditions, Lesson 1 works, however
Jul 28, 2019 rated it liked it
John Quiggin, a progressive Australian economist ("the Krugman of the antipodes") writes a response to Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest & Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics, a classic of the laissez faire crowd.

This isn't an anti-market screed. I'd say it's in opposition to unfettered markets, but his main theme is that there is no such thing. He's very good at dissecting a lot of the human inventions (such as what gets defined as "property") that will determine economic
Eric Dowdle
Feb 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well-written and lucid approach to economics and many of the pitfalls of basic micro 101 knowledge most people/media/politicians rely on. Would recommend to anyone as a fantastic casual econ 102 book. Found myself surprised at how well complex ideas were explained on several occasions. I also really liked the endnotes that gave lots of material for further reading.
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
easy read economics, great summary of hips of original economic books and papers, plus fantastic add-in to all the earlier literature - the world is not as simple as theory suggests, and the free markets cannot be tottally free as the theoretics would love to see it.
Adrian Hindes
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lucid and contemporary overview of economics, its pitfalls, and straightforward ways of reconceptualizing phenomena which is absurd to the layman but commonplace to the traditional economist.
Dec 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent, clear explanation of macro economics, and it affects our lives.
Timothy Dymond
Jun 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
How many lessons do you need in economics? Listening to the impenetrable jargon of commentators in the media, you might think you need a lifetimes worth of them.

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John Quiggin (born 29 March 1956) is an Australian economist, a Professor and an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at the University of Queensland, and a member of the Board of the Climate Change Authority of the Australian Government.

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