Economic Fables - cover image


Ariel Rubinstein

Published On





  • English

Print Length

264 pages (vi + 258)


Paperback129 x 14 x 198 mm(5.06" x 0.55" x 7.81")


Paperback579g (20.42oz)



OCLC Number





  • KCA


  • BIO021000
  • BUS044000


  • HB71


  • Microeconomics
  • economic models
  • economic theory
  • game theory
  • John Nash
  • Hotelling's Game
  • Beautiful Mind

Economic Fables

I had the good fortune to grow up in a wonderful area of Jerusalem, surrounded by a diverse range of people: Rabbi Meizel, the communist Sala Marcel, my widowed Aunt Hannah, and the intellectual Yaacovson. As far as I'm concerned, the opinion of such people is just as authoritative for making social and economic decisions as the opinion of an expert using a model. Part memoir, part crash-course in economic theory, this deeply engaging book by one of the world's foremost economists looks at economic ideas through a personal lens. Together with an introduction to some of the central concepts in modern economic thought, Ariel Rubinstein offers some powerful and entertaining reflections on his childhood, family and career. In doing so, he challenges many of the central tenets of game theory, and sheds light on the role economics can play in society at large. The book is as thought-provoking for seasoned economists as it is enlightening for newcomers to the field. Sylvia Nasar, author of A Beautiful Mind, describes Economics Fables as a "wonderfully inviting introduction to game theory, rich in personalities, history and sense of place. Ariel Rubinstein is not only a brilliant theorist with a knack for lucid exposition, but a gifted storyteller. Students will find the ideas surprisingly accessible. Aspiring scholars, wondering whether a life of the mind is worth pursuing, will find his personal journey of intellectual discovery thrilling."


In his new book Ariel Rubinstein reflects on microeconomic topics and personal vita with ‘‘no claim to objectivity’’ in a‘‘completely subjective, controversial’’ manner (p. 14). It is a sheer intellectual delight to read the book. Rubinstein has mastered the art of conveying even the most abstract problems in contemporary economic theory to the general public. The book is engaging to the point that I finished reading it in one setting overnight (though, as a decision theorist, I do have a comparative advantage of being previously exposed to most of the book’s topics).The book is extremely thought-provocative. It takes a critical look at academic economics from the vantage point of a decades-long successful academic career. In fact, had I read and understood this book in my early undergraduate years, I might have never engaged in a professional economic career at all.

Pavlo R. Blavatskyy

"Economic Fables, Ariel Rubinstein". Journal of Economic Psychology (0167-4870), vol. 34, 2013. doi:10.1016/j.joep.2012.10.012

Full Review

Additional Resources

[website]Economic Fables Website

The author has created a website containing video clips, interactive questions and games relating to each chapter of the book.