Inflation, Tiny Houses, & OnlyFans
June 2022 Q&A
We made a video for this month’s Q&A, because why not? We usually put most of the Q&A post behind a paywall, but since I have no idea how to do that with a video, all subscribers get full access this month. Going forward, most video posts will be for paid subscribers only. If that’s not you, it can be—just click below.
We got one question on our favorite books about economics, and instead of mentioning them in the video, we’re just listing a few of them here:
Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo. This is a great overview of what the evidence says on current policy questions.
Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction by Philip E. Tetlock and Dan Gardner. This is a book about which forecasting methods work, which don’t, and how you can become better at predicting the future. I (Zack) give this book my highest recommendation. If you don’t want to read it, there’s lots of overviews and podcasts out there about the subject.
The Worldly Philosophers: The Lives, Times And Ideas Of The Great Economic Thinkers by Robert L. Heilbroner. Anirban is using this one as the textbook in an upcoming class he’s teaching on the history of economic thought. I (Zack) haven’t read it, but highly recommended by Anirban.
What Would the Great Economists Do?: How Twelve Brilliant Minds Would Solve Today's Biggest Problems by Linda Yueh. Probably similar to the above book, but 20 years newer so it covers historical economists through a more modern lens. Bizarrely, both this and The Wordly Philosophers are exactly 368 pages.
An Economist Walks into a Brothel by Allison Schrager. This is a great, and very basic, introduction to the economics of risk. Will feel a little redundant to anyone who’s studied economics, but entertaining throughout.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty. I know, Piketty isn’t necessarily our cup of tea, but this book is a good history of inequality and, given it’s popularity, is good to read even if you don’t agree with the takeaways.
Very Important People: Status and Beauty in the Global Party Circuit by Ashley Mears. Ashley Mears is a sociologist (and former fashion model), not an economist, but status, and the utility derived from status, is an underrated concept in economics and this book is very good.
Week in Review tomorrow for paid subscribers, then a post on the June jobs report a week from tomorrow for all subscribers. Enjoy the long weekend!