Tim Harford’s long-running column in the Financial Times, “The Undercover Economist,” reveals the economic ideas behind everyday experiences. His first book, The Undercover Economist, was published in 30 languages and sold…
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It looked like any ordinary roll of cloth, but it brought the dreaded plague to the village of Eyam. First it killed the tailor, then resident after resident succumbed. To stop the spread of the disease to neighboring towns the people of Eyam agreed to isolate themselves and let the plague run its deadly course. This terrible act of sacrifice is still remembered centuries later – but what does it tell us about how far people will go to save the lives of strangers?