Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Embedded Economics: v. 0.1

I have just webbed the first draft of the project I have been discussing here, a collection of short works of literature that contain economics with some brief comments by me. Most of the works are available online, so I could do it as a collection of links without first getting copyright permission for the pieces I included. There are, however, a few pieces missing as a result.

The draft is here. Comments and suggestions for additional things to include are welcome. For a more detailed description of what sort of things I want, see my recent posts.

Suggestions for a better title are also welcome.


broncobilly said...

"Promessi sposi", Alessandro Manzoni. Ch XII e XIII. Subject: malfuction of price control during famine.

Anonymous said...

Larry Niven's "A Relic of the Empire" has a character who lost his wealth in a stock market crash, and didn't know how to budget for being poor—which in Niven's world means that first you get food and anti-aging drugs. The character has visible signs of aging, which most people in Niven's future lack.

Austin said...

Daniel Abraham (co-author of "The Expanse" series of novels) had a short story "The Cambist and Lord Iron: A Fairy Tale of Economics" nominated for the Hugo and World Fantasy Awards. It is available online here.

David Friedman said...


I know. It's already included in my current draft.

Eric Burns-White said...

This looks like it's coming together very nicely!

For the record, it's "Eric Burns-White," instead of "Eric Burns." In large part because I changed my name after marriage, with the added bonus of "there's several other Eric Burnses who write things, including one who's quite a lot better known, so best to go with a somewhat more distinct variation."

Thanks for including the story!

David Friedman said...


Thanks for writing the story and correcting the name. Fixed.

Did you look at my comment on it, and if so do you have any comments on them? It seemed to me that you were facing a hard problem and dealing with it successfully.

Your work is very good. Have you considered putting together a book's worth of your best stuff, most obviously Leather and White Plume, and either getting a commercial publisher to take it or self-publishing as POD and Kindle? The latter, as you may know, is now very easy and almost costless. I've done it with one novel, the third edition of my first (non-fiction) book, and two books coauthored by my wife on our SCA interests.

Anonymous said...

You've probably heard my favorite economics joke:

Two economists are out for a walk. One points down at the sidewalk and says, "Look, a fifty dollar bill!" The other one says, "Don't be silly. If there were a fifty dollar bill on the sidewalk someone would have picked it up." The first one says, "Oh, of course, you're absolutely right," and they walk away.

David Friedman said...


I have not only heard it, I have been the subject of it.

Many years ago, Steve Landsburg asked me if I minded if he lied about me in print. On further explanation, he wanted to include that story in something he was writing, probably The Armchair Economist, with him as the first economist and me as the second.

I think he did.