Apr 5, 2008

Economic Gangsters

Now here's a book I am so looking forward to read:

Economic Gangsters
Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations
by Raymond Fisman and Edward Miguel

From the intro on the book's website I'm sure I'll just love it:
"Meet the economic gangster. He’s the United Nations diplomat who double-parks his Mercedes on New York streets at rush hour because the cops can’t touch him—he has diplomatic immunity. He’s the Chinese smuggler who dodges tariffs by magically transforming frozen chickens into frozen turkeys. The dictator, the warlord, the crooked bureaucrat who bilks the developing world of billions in aid. The calculating crook who views stealing and murder as just another part of his business strategy. And, in the wrong set of circumstances, he just might be you."

Here's what Levitt, coauthor of Freakonomics, thinks of it:

“Economic Gangsters is a fascinating exploration into the dark side of economic development. Two of the world's most creative young economists use their remarkable talents for economic sleuthing to study violence, corruption, and poverty in the most unexpected ways. Subjected to their genius, seemingly inconsequential events (like New York City parking tickets and Suharto catching a cold) become potent tools in understanding how the world really works. Rarely has a book on economics been this fun and this important. ”

I'm adding it to my list after "The logic of life" by Tim Harford. By the way, here's another super interesting paper by Miguel on National Cultures and Soccer Violence (here's an Economics Focus style summary). And one by Fisman, Gender Differences in Mate Selection: Evidence from a Speed Dating Experiment.

Am I the only one here interested in that kind of stuff? I mean, behavioral economics and development?

1 comment:

Dany said...

1. I repeat my statement about Freakonomics: In one hand, is refreshing and interesting. In the other hand, I think that is a manifestation on how many important problems can not be resolved with the current economical techniques, so we force the paradigm to the limit.

2. I'm with you, the understanding of the particularities of human behaviour beyond the Hommo economicus is fundamental to development or any other economic field.

3. The book looks just facinating!!! I want to read it!! Who said that Economics Sci Fi is not possible?