Marginalia

What’s new in the second edition of The Undercover Economist?

When I was first writing “The Undercover Economist” – mostly in 2002, although the first edition emerged in the US in 2005 – I would never have dreamed that almost a decade later I would be able to publish a new edition. I have a great deal of good luck and about a million readers to thank for that, and I am counting my blessings.

Since I wrote the book, the world has changed and so have I. But has the new edition?

I have tried to preserve as much as possible of the original book rather than surrendering to hindsight bias, but I have tried to update as many of the statistics and examples as possible as seamlessly as I can. (Occasionally I have used footnotes to highlight changes between the first edition and the second – especially if the changes have either proved me right, or made me look silly.)

A more substantial change has been to replace chapter six – which was originally about the dot-com bubble – with a new chapter about the banking crisis that began in 2007. The dot-com bubble, alas, now seems fairly benign in comparison with the banking crisis, and it felt impossible to publish a second edition without trying to make sense of it all.

The second edition will be published in the UK in April. Little Brown are the publishers, and it should be available around the world except North America. I’m currently discussing a second edition for the US and Canada.