*An Economist Gets Lunch* in paperback

by on February 25, 2013 at 1:03 pm in Books, Food and Drink | Permalink


You can order the paperback version — out tomorrow — here.  Barnes and Noble link is here.

1 Hadur February 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Is that intended to be the Yellow Vendor food truck on the cover?

2 mofo February 25, 2013 at 1:56 pm

I think its a DHL delivery truck. In any case, that cover is WTF worthy.

3 Andrew' February 25, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Never buy a book with a self-explanatory cover.

4 Ray Lopez February 25, 2013 at 4:17 pm

If you read Tyler Cowen’s provocative and well-written book ‘Good and Plenty:The Creative Successes of American Arts Funding’ you’ll know that people buy books for their cover sometimes…signaling. Most conspicuously seen in furniture stores.

5 Claudia February 25, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Any book that boils down to “hey you, stupid idiot, you don’t even know how to eat” needs a peppy cover. I am tempted (based on the cover) but I have a few other “hey you, stupid economist” books to finish first.

6 Finn February 25, 2013 at 8:36 pm

It’s 85% a book about eating, 15% a book about socioeconomics.

7 Andrew' February 26, 2013 at 3:01 am

Spoken like a man who went to a quality play-based daycare.

8 Finn February 27, 2013 at 12:42 pm

Spoken like a man who has not read the book.

9 S February 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm

On a kind of related note, I checked out Fuchsia Dunlop’s Revolutionary Chinese Cooking from the library on your recommendation, it’s great! Loved both the history and the recipes.

10 Alan Coffey February 26, 2013 at 7:33 am

Every grain of rice” has so far proved wonderful. A few simple ingredients become wonderful dishes.

11 Chris A February 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I couldn’t help but notice that the paperback price is less than the Kindle price. Printing and shipping costs are ~0 for ebooks, so what is the equilibrium for this?

12 Rich Berger February 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm

There must be some explanation for this phenomenon, even if it makes no sense.

13 dave February 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm

If I understand your question, the answer is monopoly pricing. Lowering the price from P to P’ raises the quantity from Q to Q’. Want P,Q such that PQ >= P’Q’ for all P’,Q’.

14 Barclay February 25, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Was wondering the same thing. Is there perhaps an oversupply of printed copies of the book? Or if this is systemic, then perhaps an oversupply of printing capacity in the country as people substitute toward electronic copies?

15 Mark Thorson February 25, 2013 at 7:32 pm

If you can afford a Kindle, you can afford to pay the “Kindle tax”.

16 Barclay February 25, 2013 at 8:56 pm

So a form of price discrimination. Those who buy ebooks are less price sensitive than traditional paperback buyers.

17 Tyler Cowen February 25, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Aren’t Kindle users on average higher income and education? Recall Glazer’s Law: “It’s either taxes or price discrimination.” This one isn’t taxes.

18 Therapsid February 26, 2013 at 12:04 am

This sort of price discrimination is part of the reason why B&N is already signalling its pullout from the ereader business.

Even high income folks may rather download $0.99 apps for their tablet than purchase a $14.99 ebook for their Kindle or Nook. And so, reading will become even more of a niche form of recreation than it already is. Tyler will blog about all the free economics and politics books he’s read while the rest of the Western world slides into post-literacy.

19 Andrew' February 26, 2013 at 3:28 am

I wish I had an eyedometer to see how many words I read while managing to avoid books like poison. One day at Disney we wore pedometers and tallied 20 miles and it didn’t feel like almost a marathon. Still, I’m buying this one. It’s in my “make it to $25 for the free shipping” section.

20 Ray Lopez February 26, 2013 at 6:19 am

You can always download books for free from the usual pirate sources, piratebay.se (but you must check daily as the links go away) or see below. Some of TC’s books are there, but I notice recent releases are not, nor books from authors with a litigious reputation (Rowling) (“Downloading is not available”), but you can get textbooks (awesome!), even TC’s older books. For example, Google “e-books Romania” “Электронная библиотека romania” in Bing to get the usual suspects. BTW I do buy Kindle books, and regular paper books too, lots of them.

21 Rahul February 26, 2013 at 3:55 am

Aren’t publishers factoring the fact that Kindle users tend to be more tech-savvy (aka piracy, DRM-cracking etc.) too?

Publishers shouldn’t get too greedy……

22 Rahul February 26, 2013 at 3:51 am

For the convenience?

A few ebooks are easier to lug around on a trip than a few paperbacks?

23 Richard Berger February 26, 2013 at 6:33 am

Interesting conjectures, but know one seems to know. Someone is setting these prices and they do seem to vary a bit in their relation to prices for physical copies. One would think that the ebooks would be cheaper to produce, all else being equal. The explanation could be as simple as a desire to prevent Amazon from taking over the publishing business (conjecture on my part).

I prefer the ebook unless the price is above the physical copy’s price (or not very much below). If I do not expect to reread the book and my county’s library system has it available for request, I borrow the physical copy.

24 anon February 26, 2013 at 12:41 pm

You can also borrow some ebooks from pubic libraries using Overdive.


Check with your local library to see if they participate.

25 Rich Berger February 26, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Yes, I have, but selection has been a bit thin. I wonder how much it would cost per year to have a large selection of books on a subscription model like Rhapsody?

26 yenwoda February 25, 2013 at 4:09 pm

I like that the Amazon Book Description opens with “A leading economist, “who may very well turn out to be this decade’s Thomas Friedman”..” The injera is flat?

27 Ray Lopez February 25, 2013 at 4:25 pm

injera, a flatbread, I sea. Warehou is a flat fish, so you could also say “The warehou is flat”

28 GiT February 25, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Isn’t “this decade’s Thomas Friedman” a rather harsh insult?

29 dead serious February 25, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Oh great: more rules. Some libertarian you are.


30 Thor February 25, 2013 at 7:13 pm

Are “Rules of Thumb” actually rules? Not entirely sure they are…

31 Andrew' February 26, 2013 at 3:00 am

Actually, Tyler would blush at my level of love for rules of thumb and it is odd that the other side that is all about norms and making everything at the Federal level is so often against the idea of natural laws.

32 Foo Choo Choon February 26, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Free markets rely on rules, e.g. related to property rights.

33 dead serious February 25, 2013 at 7:43 pm

Agree – just a (bad) joke.

34 E February 25, 2013 at 9:06 pm

I clicked to look inside but can’t.

35 Bradley Gardner February 26, 2013 at 12:36 am

New version of the Hardcover cheaper than pre-order of the soft-cover. I feel I should be smart enough to figure this out.

36 Steve L February 26, 2013 at 11:07 am

The economist gets a food poisoning at a food truck that is overrun by cockroaches and anti-sanitary conditions.

37 Tom Jackson February 26, 2013 at 1:57 pm

I seldom buy a Kindle version of a book unless I think the price is reasonable. I was eager to read “An Economist Gets Lunch,” but I checked it out of the library.

38 mkt February 26, 2013 at 11:05 pm

This photo from an auction of micro-cars (and yellow micro-vans, judging from the photo) reminded me of the book cover.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: