The Gridlock Economy
Hardcover · 304 Pages
$26.00 U.S. · $27.95 CAN · £17.99 U.K. · €18.99 E.U.
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Every so often an idea comes along that transforms our understanding of how the world works. Michael Heller has discovered a market dynamic that no one knew existed. Usually, private ownership creates wealth, but too much ownership has the opposite effect—it creates gridlock. When too many people own pieces of one thing, whether a physical or intellectual resource, cooperation breaks down, wealth disappears, and everybody loses. Heller’s paradox is at the center of The Gridlock Economy. Today’s leading edge of innovation—in high tech, biomedicine, music, film, real estate—requires the assembly of separately owned resources. But gridlock is blocking economic growth all along the wealth creation frontier.
A thousand scholars have applied and verified Heller’s paradox. Now he takes readers on a lively tour of gridlock battlegrounds. Heller zips from medieval robber barons to modern-day broadcast spectrum squatters; from Mississippi courts selling African-American family farms to troubling New York City land confiscations; and from Chesapeake Bay oyster pirates to today’s gene patent and music mash-up outlaws. Each tale offers insights into how to spot gridlock in operation and how we can overcome it.
The Gridlock Economy is a startling, accessible biography of an idea. Nothing is inevitable about gridlock. It results from choices we make about how to control the resources we value most. We can unlock the grid; this book shows us where to start.
About the Author
"The last decade has produced enough books challenging received wisdom to fill a small—and stupendously popular—library called the Compendium of Counter-intuition, [including Malcolm Gladwell's Blink, James Surowiecki's Wisdom of Crowds, Chris Anderson's Long Tail]. The newest addition to the collection is The Gridlock Economy… . The difference is that Heller, unlike most of the authors of counterintuitive books, is actually a leader in the academic field he is scrutinizing… . Heller has managed to pull off one of the most perceptive popular books on property since Das Kapital."
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