At least that's how the story of the modern economy is usually told. But in this lucid, wry book, Ray Fisman and Tim Sullivan show that the revolution is bigger than tech: it is really a story about the transformation of markets. From the auction theories that power Google's ad sales algorithms to the models that online retailers use to prevent internet fraud, even the most high-tech modern businesses are empowered by theory first envisioned by economists.
And we're all participants in this revolution. Every time you book a room on Airbnb, hire a car on Lyft, or click on an ad, you too are reshaping our social institutions and our lives. The Inner Lives of Markets is necessary reading for the modern world: it reveals the blueprint for how we work, live, and shop, and offers wisdom for how to do it better.
- ISBN-13: 9781610394925
- ISBN-10: 1610394925
- Publisher: PublicAffairs
- Publish Date: June 2016
- Page Count: 224
- Dimensions: 9.56 x 6.5 x 0.81 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.95 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-04-11
- Reviewer: Staff
Fisman, a behavioral economics professor, and Sullivan, editorial director of Harvard Business Review Press, have created an entertaining overview of economic thought from WWII to the 2000s. Declaring the modern world to be “in the midst of a grand social experiment that has elevated efficiency above all other virtues,” the authors set out to investigate how the market has affected people’s lives and ways of thinking. To back up this premise, they delve into topics as varied as WWII-era POW camp economics, Major League Baseball, 13th-century Italian merchants, and the arrangement of prom dates. The authors claim that markets have played an increasingly intrusive role in recent years, closely tied to the growth of electronic communications as a disruptive economic force. This leads them to a question of regulation: how can we work to fix these intrusive markets? The treatment of the topic is witty and energetic. However, to benefit from it, readers will have to accept the premise that markets are having an outsized, personal effect on their lives—a case that is not compellingly made. Agent: Jay Mandel, William Morris Endeavor. (June)