(Lovely new cover by Anna Krupitsky)
The book is intended for readers who would like to learn economics for the fun of it, economics understood not as the study of the economy but as a tool for understanding human behavior: crime, marriage, politics, and much else.
“In David Friedman’s hands, economics becomes a sprightly science. Friedman has the rare knack of introducing fundamental principles with humorous examples. . . . a dazzling array that runs the gamut from supermarkets to pirate ships. . . . A clear picture of how simple assumptions about individual preferences and human rationality can increase our understanding of ordinary market behavior and a wide range of social institutions from marriage, to crime, to voting.”Richard A. Epstein, The University of Chicago Law School
"The book of the month is HIDDEN ORDER: The Economics of Everyday Life. One doesn't normally think of an economics book as light and pleasant reading, but David makes it seem so. If you have any interest in economics at all, you'll find this book both readable and fascinating; and I guarantee you'll learn something from it."Jerry Pournelle in Byte
“Hidden Order helps us look at everyday experience from the perspective of basic economics. Readers will be surprised to learn how much economics explains about their own behavior as well as about that of others …”James M. Buchanan, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 1986
"The author is a talented teacher, and he moves effortlessly from the traffic jams and grocery stores to the efficient-market hypothesis, price theory and backward-bending labor curves. He fine-tunes his approach along the way -- starting with what he calls a "static" set of circumstances and tackling the real world, with its change and uncertainty, later in the book. Economics, he acknowledges, involves a "continual balancing act between unrealistic simplification and unworkable complication."Deborah Stead in The New York Times
“David Friedman's gift is making some of the more complicated concepts of economics simple. In _Hidden Order_, he does this with his trademark wit and ingenuity. The most esoteric yet essential aspects of modern economic thought - marginal utility, indifference curves, opportunity costs, Nash equilibria, rent-seeking, etc - all come to life in this modest paperback.”Amazon reviewer
David Friedman apparently has written the book for the purpose of teaching you something, something which many textbook writers apparently don’t feel the need to take into consideration.”Webbed review by Garret Wilson
“A surprisingly lucid and useful book, and about as appealing as economics gets."