Arnold Kling  

Book Update

Caplan-Hanson Debate Redux?... Russ Roberts on Capitol Hill...

1. From Poverty to Prosperity is supposed to ship to distributors next week. I'll believe it when I see it. So far, I have not seen any printed version--only electronic galleys. There will be no review copies available prior to the shipping date, which is going to make it hard to start out with any momentum in terms of sales.

In the absence of any reviews, I will tell you that in my opinion It's a great book, and I promise you that when it ships you will get a lot out of it. I think it's safe to bet that if you pre-order it, you will have a copy by November 10th or so, preferably sooner. Note that Amazon and Barnes and Noble display a discarded version of the cover--the actual cover is shown correctly at the publisher's link above.

2. Unchecked and Unbalanced could have been published as early as August, but for whatever reason the publisher decided to go with November 28. I think that is now a firm date, but I still have yet to receive anything I could hold in my hands. Again, I would like to have review copies available before the publication date, but as each day goes by without my seeing a hard copy, my hopes for that decline.

I think that this book has the potential to be really important. I worry that it also has the potential to be unconvincing. I'm trying to build a fairly intriguing argument on top of a somewhat thin support base.

One suggestion I received was to put some of my thinking in the context of Oliver Williamson's "markets and hierarchies." I rejected that, on the grounds that Williamson's was a forgotten paradigm. Given the Nobel Prize decision earlier this month, I wouldn't say that was my best call.

Comments and Sharing

COMMENTS (5 to date)
blake writes:

do you have a pdf sample chapter for either?

Dan Hill writes:

Doesn't look from the Amazon site like there's a Kindle edition on the way. That's at least one lost sale.

I can't imagine publishing a book now and not releasing an electronic version at the same time - the people who used to buy the hardcover editions are now Kindle owners.

Looks like publishers (and maybe authors? - not sure who is driving the decision) are making the same mistakes the music and movie industries made in fighting rather than embracing digital formats. You can't even argue about copy protection with the Kindle - it's got DRM built in.

Arnold Kling writes:

I have a word file with a chapter I can email you. Send me an email at arnoldsk at

Dan, You would not believe how lame their excuse is for not having a Kindle edition. They say they will eventually, but for now they don't want to undercut hardcover sales. They completely misunderstand Kindle owners. They have Kindle edition confused with paperback, in my opinion.

Eventually, I have to assume all these publishers will die and everybody will self-publish. The only thing the publishers have going for them now is the entrenched signaling equilibrium.

Michael Rulle writes:

I don't get the Kindle-o-phobia either. But I will buy it anyway. Although, it will only persuade me to believe what I already believe! (see my two previous comments this past hour on your next 2 posts). But I still look forward to reading it--but I am truly starting to question why!

I think economics needs to study itself as a profession. What are the intellectual "forces" or the nature of us as humans which makes, for example, Paul Krugman see the world so differently from Russ Roberts. If these were moral choices per se, that would be understandable.

But economics is supposed to be a "social science". I will continue to harp on a statement you made because I think you were correct in making it--"studies in economics don't persuade". This gives economics a similar "feel" in practice as politics or even religion.

You have made the point in the past that economists agree on many things in reality--a good thing for its reputation as a science. But given the amount of support government-centric policies get from a large group of economists, one wonders if their commonality of views are not swamped by their differences.

Michael Rulle writes:

You should check with Amazon. When you type in the title in "search"--or your name for that matter---you get the book with one "re-seller" offering it at $999.00. Amazon does not yet seem to have it posted properly.

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