Economics The user's guide
Book - 2014
"Unlike many economists, who present only one view of their discipline, Chang introduces a wide range of economic theories--from the Classical economists to the Behavioral economists, from the Marxists to the Austrians--revealing how each has its strengths and weaknesses and why there is no one correct way to explain economic behavior. Instead, by challenging received wisdom and exposing the myriad institutional, political, and technological forces that shape our economic world, Chang expla...ins how our increasingly global and interconnected world works and is evolving. Economics: The User's Guide is a concise and expertly crafted guide to economic theories, and will give all who read it a clear and accurate picture of the global economy and how and why it affects our daily lives."--Dust jacket.
New York, NY :
- First U.S. edition
- Item Description
- "First published in Great Britain in 2014"--Title-page verso.
- Physical Description
- xii, 365 pages : illustration ; 25 cm
- Includes bibliographical references and index.
- Main Author
- Prologue. Why bother? : why do you need to learn economics?
- How to read this book
- Part 1. Getting used to it. Life, the universe, and everything : what is economics?
- From pin to PIN : capitalism 1776 and 2014
- How have we got here? : a brief history of capitalism
- Let a hundred flowers bloom : how to 'do' economics
- Dramatis personae : who are the economic actors?
- Moving on...
- Part 2. Using it. How many do you want it to be? : output, income and happiness
- How does your garden grow? : the world of production
- Trouble at the Fidelity Fiduciary Bank : finance
- Boris's goat should drop dead : inequality and poverty
- I've known a few people who've worked : work and unemployment
- Leviathan or the philosopher king? : the role of the state
- 'All things in prolific abundance' : the international dimension
- Epilogue. What now? : how can we use economics to make our economy better?
Chang, economist and academic, presents his introduction to economics for all responsible citizens claiming they need to learn some economics, and he offers them a world view. He sets out to show readers how to think, rather than what to think, about the economy, using many economic theories, pointing out their strengths and weaknesses. The author presents different types of economic arguments in order to teach us how to develop the critical faculty to judge which argument makes the most sense in a given economic situation and in light of moral values and political goals. The author states, "The subject matter of economics should be the economy—which involves money, work, technology, international trade, taxes and that which relates to ways in which we produce goods and services, distribute the incomes generated in the process and consume the things thus produced . . . ." This excellent economics primer is written "in plain terms" for a college-educated reader; it follows efforts by some academics to seek a readership market beyond the classroom. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.Review by Choice Reviews
This book by economist Chang (Cambridge Univ., UK) should be the poster child for the word "tweener." Not quite an introductory text (although that is the category into which the author places it), the book is "a mile wide and an inch deep" and includes "everything but the kitchen sink" in terms of level of detail and scope of coverage. While the book is certainly not value free, the author is more objective and has less of a political chip on his shoulder than in previous books, 23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism (2011) and Bad Samaritans (CH, Jan'09, 46-2781). In 12 chapters, plus prologue, interlude, and epilogue, and without equations, graphs, or tables, Chang takes his audience on a journey through economic thought and thinkers, contemporary hot-button topics such as GDP and happiness, the world of finance, inequality and poverty, work and unemployment, and the role of the state. He manages this with more international, real-world contexts than the more US-centric emphasis and theoretical analyses one usually sees. In spite of its warts, this is an interesting, entertaining, and worthwhile contribution that offers a picture of the global economy and how and why it affects daily life. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-division undergraduates and above; general readers. --A. R. Sanderson, University of Chicago Allen R. Sanderson University of Chicago http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/CHOICE.186844 Copyright 2014 American Library Association.Review by Library Journal Reviews
Chang (economics, Cambridge Univ.; 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism) presents a real-world view of economics in his latest work. It's lengthy, but a section titled "How To Read This Book" offers suggestions for those who don't want to read straight through. After a long discussion of the history of economics and explanations of all of the schools of thought, the author shows economics at work using current events as his guide and covering topics from unemployment and poverty to finance and production. While billed as a primer on economics, this is not an introductory textbook. Instead, it is a practical guide that shows the importance of the subject as a worldview and how it fits into everyday life. And though readers won't find a pop quiz at the end of the work, Chang does highlight the important terms and ideas that they should walk away with. VERDICT A solid choice for those who want to learn more about economics without feeling like they are back in the classroom.—Elizabeth Nelson, McHenry Cty. Coll. Lib., Crystal Lake, IL [Page 114]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews
Cambridge economist Chang (23 Things They Don't Tell You about Capitalism) wants to popularize his field through accessible writing and explanations of our material world. The result is a synthesis—half textbook, half browser—that the author suggests should be read in snippets. Chang notes depressingly that economic history has, for economists, turned into a "harmless distraction, like trainspotting, and at worst as a refuge for the intellectually challenged who cannot handle ‘hard' stuff like mathematics and statistics." The book's first section tries to reconcile and differentiate lines of thought, examining capitalism as a system through classical, Marxist, Keynesian, Schumpeterian, and other perspectives. In the bracing chapter, "Dramatis Personae," Chang presents a sharp-edged summary of individuals and organizations that comprise the world economy. Despite these highlights, too much of the book dutifully checks off significant-topics-in-economics boxes. Chang stresses the seriousness of global poverty and environmental constraints, for example, but in clichéd language. The book's whole is less than its parts, partly because the large print and minimal graphics make its many moving parts hard to grasp. Still, it works as an accessible introduction to the field. What Change shows is that economics in its many guises is vitally important to our everyday lives, and as such remains fascinating, the opposite of Carlyle's so-called dismal science. (Aug.) [Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC
Offers a new way of understanding the current economy and the principles of economics that guide it, introducing a wide range of economic theories and outlining their strengths and weaknesses.Review by Publisher Summary 2
"Unlike many economists, who present only one view of their discipline, Chang introduces a wide range of economic theories--from the Classical economists to the Behavioral economists, from the Marxists to the Austrians--revealing how each has its strengths and weaknesses and why there is no one correct way to explain economic behavior. Instead, by challenging received wisdom and exposing the myriad institutional, political, and technological forces that shape our economic world, Chang explains how our increasingly global and interconnected world works and is evolving. Economics: The User's Guide is a concise and expertly crafted guide to economic theories, and will give all who read it a clear and accurate picture of the global economy and how and why itaffects our daily lives."--Jacket.Review by Publisher Summary 3
The award-winning author of 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism outlines the real-world processes of the global economy while explaining how to better understand the strengths and weaknesses of key economics theories to better navigate today's interconnected world.Review by Publisher Summary 4
In his bestselling 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism, Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang brilliantly debunked many of the predominant myths of neoclassical economics. Now, in an entertaining and accessible primer, he explains how the global economy actually works-in real-world terms. Writing with irreverent wit, a deep knowledge of history, and a disregard for conventional economic pieties, Chang offers insights that will never be found in the textbooks. Unlike many economists, who present only one view of their discipline, Chang introduces a wide range of economic theories, from classical to Keynesian, revealing how each has its strengths and weaknesses, and why there is no one way to explain economic behavior. Instead, by ignoring the received wisdom and exposing the myriad forces that shape our financial world, Chang gives us the tools we need to understand our increasingly global and interconnected world often driven by economics. From the future of the Euro, inequality in China, or the condition of the American manufacturing industry here in the United States-Economics: The User's Guide is a concise and expertly crafted guide to economic fundamentals that offers a clear and accurate picture of the global economy and how and why it affects our daily lives.Review by Publisher Summary 5
From the internationally bestselling author and prizewinning economist—a highly original guide to the global economy.