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Puzzles and Paradoxes in Economics

Puzzles and Paradoxes in Economics

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Economics is full of puzzles and paradoxes that often frustrate and challenge everyone, including economists. This engaging book includes fifty puzzles and focuses on three types of paradox. First, everyday observations that appear to belie common sense (such as, why do some supermarket items sell for more per ounce in larger sizes?). Secondly, those paradoxes which have perplexed economists in the past but have since been fairly resolved (such as, the diamond-water paradox). Finally, empirical or conceptual anomalies that remain unresolved and present a challenge to today's economists (such as the voting paradox).

Fifty puzzles and paradoxes are analysed in a clear framework. Examples include: the fairness of market wages, the alleged gold absurdity, Giffin goods and the Irish potato famine, the paradox of thrift, the supposed perversity of Wall Street, the leisure paradox, why the best Washington apples are shipped out of state (the Alchian-Allen theorem), the question of whether teachers are underpaid, whether studying economics makes people immoral and whether war is good for the economy.

This original and unusual book will have a wide appeal, ranging from the lay person with an interest in everyday economic puzzles, to the student and teacher wishing to develop their understanding of some of the paradoxes that have existed and continue to exist in economics. It will serve as an ideal source for teachers who want to challenge their students with unusual economic problems.