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The Price of Fish: A New Approach to Wicked Economics and Better Decisions Hardcover – Nov 16 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: Nicholas Brealey Publishing (Nov. 16 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857885716
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857885712
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.2 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 662 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #667,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Thought provoking, informative, and well written Oct. 22 2011
By Matthew Leitch - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is, overall, an excellent book and well worth reading. A lot of ideas and information are included, drawn from good quality sources, as well as the authors' own work. Along the way, there's a lot to take in but the writing is clear.

In places it is witty but this (and the pictures of the authors juggling on the inside flap) shouldn't be taken as an indication that the book is a lightweight, or just an entertaining tour through popular economics or science. The issues are big ones and the authors suggest some solutions, at least in principle, and sometimes at a practical level.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Quality and Enjoyable Seafood Buffet Rather than a Set Menu April 18 2012
By Rob Julian - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is very eclectic and broad in its themes. On the last page they write that "Academics have tended to emphasize specialism: knowing more and more about less and less." Well these guys between them could never be accused of having narrow specialised interests when it comes to economics and decision making. They are clued up on a wide range of big questions and highly versed in many arguments and the thinkers who have previously approached these issues.

This book contrasts with most books which have a linear path where a single one dimensional theme or thesis is being developed. Not being used to such eclecticism can make this book disconcerting to read: as soon as you recognise the subject being discussed, the authors have already moved on to the next! But if you just sit back and enjoy the ride there is some tasty morsel on every other page. (My copy had many corners folded down by the end, just so I would not forget my favourite tit-bits). Two of my favourite sections were the ones on evolution and innovation, and the I-PAT (impact = population, affluence and technology) section.

The regular returns to the subject of fish I found funny (the more laboured they were, the funnier they were !) Overall the themes of the book were very pertinent: like global warming, depletion of resources, and how the interaction between business and regulation effects these subjects. Much of the book is about mankind's relationship with the future and the tragedy of the commons type situations that arise.

The strength of this book is that the authors are not narrow specialist academic economists on the one hand, or your typical idealist (idealist meant in a positive way) environmentalists on the other hand, but guys who also have real commercial even "City" type experience in decision making, who just happen to have very progressive opinions. They may represent the fact that solutions to our problems may evolve out of complex ecosystems of competing commercial ideas and experiments, rather than descending upon us fully formed.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A lively take on economics: The dismal science may not be so dismal anymore Aug. 2 2012
By Rolf Dobelli - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is the book for students who rolled their eyes as the economics professor doggedly scribbled supply-and-demand curves on the board. Scientist Michael Mainelli and accountant Ian Harris didn't buy that dry drivel, either. Economics as a discipline has much to offer, they argue, but it falls far short of explaining why people behave the way they do. The authors use the ingenious example of commercial fishing: If humans were as all-knowing and rational as economists say, why would commercial fisheries continue to harvest fish stocks to depletion? Mainelli and Harris make a good argument - backed by a sometimes-confusing hodgepodge of studies, cases and examples - that the right economic decision for an individual isn't the right decision for everyone. They offer an alternative theory of "real commerce" - a study of human motivations that includes economics but dismisses the idea that anyone makes perfectly informed, perfectly logical decisions. getAbstract recommends their work to readers seeking new financial fish to fry.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Life the Universe and how to price it...a context for the big debates of our times Nov. 29 2011
By Sophisticate - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is not only an answer to my annual dilemma of what to buy my friends in public life and finance for Xmas but a genuinely great read. Those occupying various financial centers would benefit from reading this, as would our financial policy-makers, as the book offers a context for the debates on all things financial that we need to have so badly. The authors offers real insights into the current hot global issues such as fairness between the generations, scarcity of resources etc.

There have recently been rumors that the most exciting place in the Universe is the frontal right lobe of Prof. Mainelli's brain, as his overflowing lectures at Gresham College in London over the past few years can attest. You won't need a bablefish to understand the arguments as the prose is clear and playful.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Eat a small piece at a time! Oct. 26 2011
By CS Professor - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This book is so jam-packed with ideas and concepts that initially it left a dunderhead such as I am impressed but nonplussed. Once I started dipping into The Price of Fish, a few pages at a time selected randomly, the book really came to life. The results are stunning! Each dip is a gold-mine of new, fresh and exciting material. Even the shortest of sections is well written, capable of standing alone by itself and delivers thought-provoking concepts. It is hard to see how even two heads could possibly contain such a huge volume of information and connection to write such a book!