James Kwak: Further Reading: Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality https://economism.net/further-reading-6be8c611cd46: 'One of the central themes of Economism is the idea that the competitive market model taught early in Economics 101 (the one that says markets produce optimal outcomes) has become disproportionately influential in our contemporary political and intellectual culture. That raises the question of what would constitute a richer and more realistic understanding of economics and the economy. I wrote a short article for Signature discussing five easily accessible books that provide a more accurate portrait of what economics can say about the world. They are probably all well-known to online economics junkies, but perhaps less so to a general audience: Partha Dasgupta, Economics: A Very Short Introduction...

...Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, Why Nations Fail: The Origins of Power, Prosperity, and Poverty; Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow; Dani Rodrik, Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science; Michael Lewis: The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine. The idea is that each of these books provides a very different perspective on the economy from a typical introductory course—such as the importance of political institutions, the way people make choices, or how the financial world actually operates.

For the more ambitious, or people who have already read all of those books, here are some other titles to consider for your reading list. On the power of ideology: John Maynard Keynes, The End of Laissez-Faire.... On the history of American conservatism (and the spread of economism), there are zillions of books, but I particularly like: Kim Phillips-Fein, Invisible Hands: The Businessmen’s Crusade Against the New Deal; Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson, American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper; Angus Burgin, The Great Persuasion: Reinventing Free Markets Since the Depression. On practical economic policymaking, not infected by economism: Dean Baker, Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer (free download); Jared Bernstein, The Reconnection Agenda: Reuniting Growth and Prosperity (free download) (my earlier discussion); Stephen Cohen and Brad DeLong, Concrete Economics: The Hamilton Approach to Economic Growth and Policy (my earlier discussion)

I could go on and on with suggestions relating to the various case studies in the book (labor markets, taxes, etc.), but most of those would be academic papers. If you’re interested you can look at the footnotes, of course...


#noted #2019-12-09

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