Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Review of 'Priceless' by William Poundstone

As a twitter buddy of mine pointed out, with a name like Bill Poundstone you'd be destined to write this book. It's an easy read with plenty of interesting anecdotes which serve to highlight Poundstone's exposition of behavioural economics as it relates to pricing. Brief histories of the personalities involved in the subject helped to sustain my interest; experimental design is important, but it can be a little dull reading about it.

I'm a money freak - history, philosophy, sociology of money - so I approached the book from this perspective. However, I think it would be of interest to the business reader, the academic or indeed the general reader. It gives the reader an insight into the techniques that can be used to set - and achieve - a price. Poundstone shows that what we think about price very much depends on context. On its own, the understanding of the power of anchoring - a bid/offer that sets context for and influences how you'll feel about a price- will repay you the cost of the book.

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