Have all the good economics stories been told?
I've just finished Steven Landsburg's book, More Sex is Safer Sex . I guess I had been led into an expectation of what popular economics books are like, by Freakonomics and by Tim Harford's two recent books, The Undercover Economist and The Logic of Life . And my expectations may not be a good basis on which to judge a book. Still, I suspect many readers may have a similar measuring stick. So I expected a series of unexpected results based on interesting research by contrarian economists. But perhaps the well of real experiments has run dry. Because what we get instead is a lot of thought experiments. The economic theory is mostly conventional but Landsburg takes it to its logical (and unconventional) conclusion by advocating fully free market solutions for many social ills. Amusing and thought-provoking to an extent, but ultimately I'm left with the feeling of having consumed a calorie-free intellectual meal. We know very well that few of these solutions will ever be