Via Brad Delong: No One Makes you Shop at Wal*Mart. From a very good review: “Slee’s book is the best of the anti-market books: it is well written, serious, and knowledgeable about economics. In fact, I regard Slee’s book as an excellent primer on asymmetric information, free riding, externalities, herding, coordination problems and identity – Economics 301 for all those budding young Ezra Klein’s of the world who think that Economics 101 isn’t quite right.”
I am certain that markets are a great way to solve some problems, but not all problems– but I can’t really articulate why, because I am not an economist. For example, Wal*Mart and sprawl worry me, but I can’t be sure that I don’t just find them tacky. This book sounds like it might provide the kind of serious theoretical framework that can demonstrate exactly why those things are true.