The Economic Naturalist: Why Economics explains almost Everything (5D18)

Date: 26/11/2019

Economics Book Sharing                                                                                   Tam Christie Hoi Yan 5D18

Good morning principal, teachers and fellow schoolmates. I am Christie Tam from class 5D. Today I would like to share a book to all of you, which is called “The Economic Naturalist: Why Economics explains almost Everything.” Once you hear the title of the book, you may think: Oh! This book must be very informative and boring. That was what I thought at the beginning. But after reading it, I found that this book is quite unique because it uses a lot of daily life examples to illustrate the familiar economics principles, rather than using those complicated professional terms that no one would understand.


Today, I would like to introduce a common Economics principle to all of you. To start with, let me bring out a question here: Have you ever seen a soft drink that is sold in rectangular carton? I beg you don’t! But why is milk always sold in rectangular containers while soft drinks are usually sold in cylindrical ones? This can be explained on the cost-benefit basis. A smart businessman will only consider whether their actions give them the greatest benefits or not. In other words, you may say they are selfish or greedy. If I were the producer, I will definitely choose the rectangular carton boxes for milk because they occupy less space, lowering my storage cost and transportation cost. On the other hand, as milk needs to be refrigerated, saving space in fridges can reduce my operation cost to a larger extent than saving space on ordinary shelves. And for the soft drink, as it is often consumed directly from the container, the shape of cans and bottles are well designed for holding. Then, you may ask: the same as soft drinks, milk can be consumed directly from the container too, so why is it rectangular? If you want to know the answer, you are welcome to read this book and check out the reason.


​Let me share one more example that I think is quite interesting and worth thinking. The famous multinational technology company—Apple had introduced a laptop computer, MacBook in 2007 with two different versions, one in white color and the other in black. What was more mysterious was that the black version was approximately 700 Hong Kong dollars more expensive than the white one. The two versions of the MacBooks were identical in both software and hardware. Can you guess why Apple charged a higher price for the black MacBooks than for the white MacBooks? Their pricing decision actually was influenced by the previous products that they sold, such as the iphone, ipod etc. Based on past experiences, when the price of the technically identical products was the same, the black model could always be sold out quickly while some white models remained unsold. This reflected that more buyers preferred the black version. As a result, they are willing to pay more for their favourite color and we can say they are less sensitive to the price.


To sum up, although you may not realize, economics knowledge is generally used in our daily life. It is not only relevant for those things that involve money, but also the choices that we make every day. No matter if you are studying economics or not, I think this book is suitable for you as it is more related to our daily life, rather than economics theories. Therefore, if you are curious to check out more interesting examples, I highly recommend this book to all of you as it is worth reading. This is the end of my sharing. Thank you

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