FREAKONOMICS 2.0: Fighting knowledge monopolies, or how to avoid being ripped off

`Information imbalances’ cost North Americans billions of dollars a year. One intrepid economist wants to change that.

Henry Schneider, an economist at Cornell University, believes that auto mechanics are no more dishonest than the rest of us. His opinion is something of a surprise in light of his research.

In a new paper, Schneider describes data from undercover visits to Canadian garages, which show that 61 per cent of the total sum spent on car repairs was completely unnecessary. Repeating the undercover experiment in the United States, he found the same thing: an industry characterized by systemic rip-offs where concern for reputation had little effect on service.

Read more in the Toronto Star

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