The Accidental Theorist: And Other Dispatches from the Dismal Science (Penguin Business Library) Paperback – 24 Jun 1999
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When economics and ideology mix, the results often sound plausible, but in fact can be terribly wrong and lead to ill-conceived and sometimes dangerous economic policy. For several years, Paul Krugman, author of The Accidental Theorist and one of the most celebrated economists of the 1990s, has been punching holes in fashionable ideas such as the logic of supply-side economics and the evils of globalisation. The Accidental Theorist is a collection of Krugman's best published and unpublished essays that cover everything from the Asian financial crisis to inflation in America.
Krugman's cause is neither left or right; rather it's the pursuit of clear thinking about economics that's unfettered by ideology. He writes, "But we should never be surprised when prominent people say foolish things about economics. The history of economic doctrines teaches us that the influence of an idea may have nothing to do with its quality--that an ideology can attract a devoted following, even come to control the corridors of power, without a shred of logic or evidence in its favor".
If you've read and enjoyed Krugman's regular column for Slate, "The Dismal Science", or have admired his work in the New York Times, The Washington Monthly, and Foreign Affairs, you'll find that the The Accidental Theorist is a must-read. The essays in this book reflect a clairvoyant and playful mind that is patient enough to unravel and simplify--not dumb down--the arcane and lofty ideas of economics to something that the rest of us can understand. Highly recommended. --Harry C. Edwards, Amazon.com
About the Author
Paul Krugman has been proclaimed "the most celebrated economist of his generation" (The Economist), a judgement confirmed when he was awarded the John Bates Clark Medal, a prize given to the best American economist under the age of forty. Professorof economics at Massachussetts Institute of Technology, Krugman advised the US government and written widely of the international press.
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Top Customer Reviews
I also understand Brian Dewey when he says he doesn't have "a better understanding of economic fundamentals" after reading Krugman's book. Certainly this book is useful to make people aware of the good (and sometimes bad) things economics theory has to offer (especially to debunk myths), and to motivate further reading on the subject.
Unfortunately, there is no other way to learn economics-indeed, any other analytical subject-than the hard way. And if you are motivated to learn what REAL economics is about, you should get an introductory textbook.
The book is a collection of columns and articles he has written over the years (not in boring economic journals filled with equations). The book is a fast read, and I recommend it to anyone, no matter the depth of their economic knowledge.
-Student in Scotland
The mini essays that form the core of this book range widely in scope. From his much used story of the Congress Hill Baby-Sitting Co-op to a candid assessment of the political realities of controlling car congestion and providing health care, Krugman sets out to de-mystify some of the jargon of economics and lambasts supply-side economists in fine style.
Krugman should be read by all aspiring university economic students and I will be recommending this book to my own students for their A Level courses.
The author bases his ideas around two central themes: firstly that Economics is about modelling society and secondly, that if you want something to happen, provide incentives. These incentives essentially mean getting the price right! Krugman is generally a fan of free markets, but only in so far as provide welfare benefits for all and not just some. He makes the worthwhile distinction between free markets and `free lunches'.
On Economic modelling, it is plain that many politicians and often -time voters fail to realise that the economy is essentially a series of transactions and relationships: consumers and producers, voters and government, Imports and exports, savings and investment to name but a few.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of newspaper essays. They offered an insightful and sometimes original view on Economics. Well recommend!Published 10 months ago by Thomas Cobb
Well argued and clear. Antidote to many an economic dodgy argument. Collection of pieces but well put together.Published 14 months ago by Paul
Krugman manages to make economics enjoyable. He has rekindled my desire to become more knowledgeable about current affairs and economic issues. An easy and pleasurable read. Read morePublished on 14 Oct. 2000
This collection of essays is the perfect introduction to economics for any non-specialist. It explains the subject in a way that keeps it fresh, which is so rare. Read morePublished on 6 Jan. 2000
The book is a brief introduction to economics. We can call it an intro. to economics for layman. Dr. Read morePublished on 2 April 1999