Economics in Two Lessons Chapter 16: Environmental policy

Nearly seven years after I started work, here’s the final draft chapter from my book-in-progress, Economics in Two Lessons. Thanks to everyone who commented on the first 15 chapters and encouraged me in the project as a whole.

I’ve had quite a few amusing snarks on Twitter to the effect that 16 chapters and 90 000 words is an awful lot for just two lessons.  That’s true and yet there are even more topics I wanted to cover. In particular, I wrote quite a bit on health and education but have had to omit most of it for space reasons. Still, if anyone wants to point out critical omissions, now’s the time.

Comments, criticism and praise are welcome. I’m also on the lookout for telling graphs, insightful illustrations and apt quotations.

Read More »

Economics in Two Lessons, Chapter 13

Thanks to everyone who commented on the first twelve chapters of my book-in-progress, <em>Economics in Two Lessons</em>.

Here’s a draft of Chapter 13 on Redistribution

Comments, criticism and praise are welcome.


Earlier draft chapters are available. These aren’t final versions, as I am now editing the entire manuscript, but you can read them to see where the book is coming from.

<a href=”″>Table of Contents</a>
<a href=”″>Introduction</a&gt;.
<a href=”″>Chapter 1: What is opportunity cost?</a>
<a href=”″>Chapter 2: Markets, opportunity cost and equilibrium</a>
<a href=”″>Chapter 3:Time, information and uncertainty
</a><a href=”″>Chapter 4:Lesson 1: Applications</a>.
<a href=”″>Chapter 5: Lesson 1 and economic policy</a>.
<a href=”″>Chapter 6: The opportunity cost of destruction</a>
<a href=”″>Chapter 7: Property rights, and income distribution</a>
<a href=”″>Chapter 8:Unemployment</a>
<a href=”″>Chapter 9: Market Failure</a>
<a href=”″>Chapter 10: Market failure -Externalities and pollution.</a>

<a href=”″>Chapter 11: Market failure: Information, uncertainty and financial markets</a>

<a href=”″>Chapter 12 on Predistribution</a>

Feel free to make further comments on these chapters if you wish.


At a certain point in an academic career, you start getting lots of invitations to write book chapters, which is a lot easier than going through the mill of submitting articles to journals, dealing with referee reports and so on. I’ve had three emails in the last few days, telling me that books to which I’ve contributed chapters have come out.

The one of most interest to readers here will be The Coal Truth: The fight to stop Adani, defeat the big polluters and reclaim our democracy by David Ritter, with contributors including Adrian Burragubba, Tara Moss and Berndt Sellheim, Lesley Hughes,Hilary Bambrick, Ruchira Talukdar, Geoffrey Cousins and me. The title is self-explanatory. Although Adani seems to have gone quiet for the moment, this will be an important resource if the Galilee Basin project is revived, or for future struggles.

In addition, there’s the Sage Handbook of Neoliberalism, where I have a chapter on Rise, Decline and Future Prospects, and Human Forces and Engineering, which came out of a final year course for Honours Engineering students, to which I contributed a chapter oh climate change,