Best Book on the Market: How to Stop Worrying and Love the Free Economy


The best book on the market makes economics so simple that evenpoliticians can understand it.

"It's refreshing to see an economist who understands theimportance of innovation and entrepreneurship in pushing progressforward, and who can explain it in straightforward language." -Trevor Baylis

"Everyone in business would do well to understand the basicprinciples of markets which Dr Butler clarifies so well in thisshot book." - Allister Heath

"I'm ...

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The Best Book on the Market: How to stop worrying and love the free economy

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The best book on the market makes economics so simple that evenpoliticians can understand it.

"It's refreshing to see an economist who understands theimportance of innovation and entrepreneurship in pushing progressforward, and who can explain it in straightforward language." -Trevor Baylis

"Everyone in business would do well to understand the basicprinciples of markets which Dr Butler clarifies so well in thisshot book." - Allister Heath

"I'm glad to see that Dr Butler stresses the role of innovators- and the importance of market structures that encourageinnovation." - Sir Clive Sinclair

"Creating and protecting a free market economy is vital forevery country. it is easier to do this when we have Dr Butler'seasily-understandable book to help us". - Mart Laar

"This book is about the free market and how unfree it can bewhen there is a lack of belief in freedom itself. Eamonn Butlerpresents solid arguments against government attempts to 'perfect'the market by regulation, controls, subsidies or by adoptingmeasures which obstruct competition and private ownership." -Vaclav Klaus

"Vividly and simply explains the ABC of markets." - JohnBlundell

"A great little book that gets to the heart of how and whymarkets work, in a very engaging and easily understood way." - DanLewis

"This book does great justice to the vibrancy of markets andwhat makes them tick." - Ruth Richardson

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"…Chancellor Geoffrey Howe…has endorsed a new tome byAdam Smith Institute boss Eamonn Butler on the power of freemarkets." (The Evening Standard, Monday 31st March2008)

"...well written...full of rather good anecdotes aboutmarkets" (Dr Grumble Blog, September 26, 2008)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781906465056
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/13/2008
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 172
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

If anyone can explain how markets work, it's Dr Eamonn Butler. Asdirector of the Influential UK think-tank, the Adam SmithInstitute, he has spent three decades privatizing state industries,reforming public administrations and instructing government leadersaround the world on market economics. He is the doyen of Britain'sfree-market policy analysts, and led the initiative to build aworld monument to the pioneering Scottish economist, Adam Smith, inEdinburgh.

With degrees in Economics, Psychology and Philosophy from StAndrews University, Dr Butler is superbly qualified on themechanics, mentality and morals of markets. He is a board member ofthe Mont Pelerin Society, the distinguished internationalassociation of free-market economists and activist founded in 1947.He has won the Freedoms Foundation  deal and is advisor to anumber of international economic-policy bodies.

Dr Butler's highly readable introductions to free-marketthinkers including Adam Smith, Ludwig von Mises, and Nobeleconomists F A Hayek and Milton Friedman have won wide acclaim andbeen translated into many languages. He is also the author ofseveral books on IQ testing (with Dr Madsen Pirie) and of FortyCenturies of Wage and Price Controls (with Robert LSchuettinger).

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Table of Contents


1. The amazing world of markets.

A trip to the market.

No words, but mutual benefit.

Markets are everywhere.

Nobody’s perfect.

Time, place and trust.

Who? What? Where? Why?.

Unorganized order.

Markets are a force for good.

Getting resources to their best use.

2. How specialization and exchange make us rich.

Markets weren’t born yesterday.

Money makes the world go round oblong.

Exchange is Natural.

Why we exchange so much.

Collaboration through - disagreement.

Specialization and efficiency.

The huge productive power of specialization.

Specialization makes you slicker.

Capital accumulation.

The spiralling success of specialization.

3. The instant messaging system of price.

Price is an instruction as well as a fact.

Buyers, sellers and market prices.

X marks the (perfect) spot.

Now the bad news.

The impossibility of perfect information.

The market is a discovery process.

Help me, information.

The instant messaging of price.

Our unintended genius.

Price eliminates waste.

Markets are only human.

It’s hard to find good stuff.

The costs of doing a deal.

4. Killing the messenger.

Zen and the art of price maintenance.

Soldering up the price mechanism.

Wage and price controls.

Controls mess up the market.

Distorting price through subsidy.

That ol’ black market.


I get high prices (with a little help from the state).

Patents and copyright.

Occupational licensure: then……and now.

5. The driving force of competition.

Keeping it in the family.

The joy of voluntary exchange.

Competition spreads the benefit.

Competition on quality.

Why prices aren’t uniform.

Imperfect competition and prices.

How speculators benefit society.

Why markets need entrepreneurs.

Creative destruction.

Perfect nonsense.

6. The rules of the market.

Honesty really is the best policy.

Exchange is built on trust.

Brands communicate trust.

Longevity, solidity and endorsement.

In God we trust - others pay cash.

Setting and enforcing the rules.

The unwritten rules.

Property includes human effort.

Property security is vital to markets.

Property rights are determined by law and convention.

The choice of rules determines the outcome.

The design of auctions.

Markets don’t just happen.

7. Market failure (and government failure).

Bubbles, booms, downturns and depressions.

Markets struggle with human psychology.

Time and speed.

Information asymmetry.

Political failure.

The inconvenient reality.

A market in emissions.

A price on congestion.

Water rights.

Tradable fishing rights.


A shooting market saves game.

8. The morality of the market.

Harnessing self-interest.

Self-interest and greed.

Harmony versus politics.

Unfairness and inequality.

Trafficking and exploitation.

The domination of big business.

Limits to market domination.

The moral superiority of markets.

9. How to grow a market.

Economic achievement gets real.

The triumph of the market?

Handbagging the state.

Recipe for a successful market.

Growing markets over the net.

The question of online trust.

The slow growth of the market in China.

The only real way to wealth.


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