Sudipta Sarangi, department head and a professor of economics, has written a book, his first, that promises to introduce economic theories and principles to everyday readers.

The Economics of Small Things” – availale now – “is about everyday events and the small things in life and the economics behind it,” Sarangi said. At about 300 pages, it’s being published by Penguin India, a subsidiary of British-based Penguin Random House. The book will be available for purchase at Amazon and other major booksellers.

“It is aimed at everyone and anyone -- although Indian audiences will enjoy it more since several chapters refer to Indian pop culture” Sarangi said. “High school students considering Economics as a career will enjoy it as will those who teach Economics and are looking for examples. It is the kind of book you would find in an airport book store and pick up to read.”

Sudipta Sarangi, photographed in his yard earlier this year. Photo by Steven Mackay.

Sudipta Sarangi, photographed in his yard earlier this year. Meeting CDC and state health guidelines, Sarangi is wearing a mask to protect others during the COV ID-19 pandemic.
Sudipta Sarangi, photographed in his yard earlier this year. Photo by Steven Mackay.

The book’s back cover reads, in part, “Through disarmingly simple prose, the book demystifies economic theories, offers delightful insights and provides nuance without jargon. Each chapter of this book will give you the tools to meaningfully engage with a subject that has long been considered alienating but is unavoidable in its relevance.”

Sarangi said the book is in the spirit of 2005 best-seller “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. “It discusses all kinds of things like why no one takes the last piece of cake in an office party? Are more choices always better? Does poverty affect your decision-making ability? Race-caste and prejudice. What did the Pied Piper of Hamelin do that was right or wrong?,” Sarangi added. “There is also a bonus chapter on COVID-19.”

Why this book now? “I have always liked to explain how economic principles underlie every day, as in my Roanoke Times pieces,” Sarangi said. “One of my former professors -- Kaushik Basu at Cornell University -- suggested that I turn my thoughts into a book and so here we are!”

You can buy the book here.