Economyths : Ten Ways That Economics Gets it Wrong Paperback
by David Orrell
From the inability of wealth to make us happier, to our catastrophic blindness to the credit crunch, "Economyths" reveals ten ways in which economics has failed us all.
Forecasters predicted a prosperous year in 2008 for financial markets - in one influential survey the average prediction was for an eleven per cent gain.
But by the end of the year, the Standard and Poor's 500 index - a key economic barometer - was down 38 per cent, and major economies were plunging into recession.
Even the Queen asked - Why did no one see it coming?
An even bigger casualty was the credibility of economics, which for decades has claimed that the economy is a rational, stable, efficient machine, governed by well-understood laws.
Mathematician David Orrell traces the history of this idea from its roots in ancient Greece to the financial centres of London and New York, shows how it is mistaken, and proposes new alternatives. "Economyths" explains how the economy is the result of complex and unpredictable processes; how risk models go astray; why the economy is not rational or fair; why no woman (until 2009) had ever won the Nobel Prize for economics; why financial crashes are less Black Swans than part of the landscape; and, finally, how new ideas in mathematics, psychology, and environmentalism are helping to reinvent economics.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 256 pages, ill
- Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 06/05/2010
- Category: Economics
- ISBN: 9781848311480
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Review by sunjata
Very quick but convincing book that argues that all neo-liberal economics is a load of rubbish. I particularly liked the historical perspective on the fundamental tenets of economics - the desperate desire to make the discipline appear like physics is responsible for a lot of the false certainty and hubris of modern economics. The book does lose momentum towards the end, though is more a reflection of tje glorious shoeing the author dishes out to economists in the first few chapters than anything else. The only chapter that didn't work was the one on gender, which was confused and confusing.