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The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good Hardcover – 4 Sep 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 4 Sep 2011
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (4 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691153191
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691153193
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 703,666 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review


Winner of the 2012 Bronze Medal Book Award in the Economics category, Axiom Business



Finalist for the 2011 Book of the Year Award in Business & Economics, ForeWord Reviews



"[Frank's] arguments are carefully crafted and artfully presented to make the case that since we're in the business of designing society from top down anyway we might as well go whole hog and do it right."--Michael Shermer, Journal of Bioeconomics



"Important."--Nicholas D. Kristof, New York Times



"Robert Frank's The Darwin Economy . . . provide(s) much-needed information and analysis to explain why so much of the nation's money is flowing upward. Frank, an economist at Cornell, draws on social psychology to shatter many myths about competition and compensation."--Andrew Hacker, New York Review of Books



"[An] excellent new book."--Jonathan Rothwell, New Republic's The Avenue blog


"The premise of economist Adam Smith's 'invisible hand'--a tenet of market economics--is that competitive self-interest shunts benefits to the community. But that is the exception rather than the rule, argues writer Robert H. Frank. Charles Darwin's idea of natural selection is a more accurate reflection of how economic competition works . . . because individual and species benefits do not always coincide. Highlighting reasons for market failure and the need to cut waste, Frank argues that we can domesticate our wild economy by taxing higher-end spending and harmful industrial emissions."--Nature



"[P]rovocative. . . . Frank is an economist for the rest of us. . . . [T]he Darwin Economy . . . focus[es] on one paradox of economic life: behavior which makes sense for a particular individual can harm the community as a whole."--Chrystia Freeland, Reuters



"Frank's worthy and unfashionable aim is to argue the economic case for some forms of government regulation, to defend taxation, and even to advocate certain forms of tax increase."--Howard Davies, Times Higher Education



"The Darwin Economy fundamentally challenges this theory of competition which, argues Frank, is a flawed way of understanding competitive forces throughout many aspects of economic life. . . . Frank adds something new to the debate. . . . [H]e offers a powerful theoretical insight into the nature of competitive economic forces and the free market. . . . [I]t is an insight we could all potentially benefit from."--Daniel Sage, LSE Politics & Policy blog


"[V]ery illuminating."--Matthew Shaffer, National Review Online's The Agenda

From the Inside Flap

"I've been reading Robert Frank's books for years, and he just gets better and better. I strongly recommendThe Darwin Economy: it's clear, persuasive, and cleverly entertaining, and it provides a new and original insight about a central issue in economics. Read and enjoy."--Thomas C. Schelling, Nobel Laureate in Economics

"The Darwin Economy debunks popular nostrums of both left and right, and takes particular aim at the notion that a well-functioning competitive market system will necessarily produce socially optimal results. Frank suggests novel approaches to America's problems that go well beyond the tired ideas of the present debate."--Francis Fukuyama, author ofThe Origins of Political Order

"Competition often serves the parts better than the whole. This is true for both species evolution and human society. Only a fool would count on the invisible hand. In his usual clearheaded and lively style, Robert Frank explains how Charles Darwin thought more deeply about these issues than most contemporary economists."--Frans de Waal, author ofThe Age of Empathy and Our Inner Ape

"Pointing to new ways of thinking about collective action and taxation, Robert Frank has given us a book that is as important as it is timely."--Dan Ariely, author ofPredictably Irrational

"The Darwin Economy's message is in my view the only hope for a rational economic future."--William J. Baumol, past president, American Economic Association

"This lucid, deeply engaging book provides the perfect antidote to the mindless sloganeering that dominates our current discussions about the role of government in a free society."--Dani Rodrik, author ofThe Globalization Paradox

"Robert Frank convincingly predicts that Darwin will eventually be recognized as the true intellectual father of economics. After you read The Darwin Economy, you'll want this prediction to come true as soon as possible."--David Sloan Wilson, author ofEvolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives

"Pondering the implications of Darwinian theory, and rejecting the received wisdom of libertarian and left-wing pundits alike, Robert Frank convincingly lays out economic policies that will benefit the rich, the poor, and the broader society."--Howard Gardner, author of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed

"Human beings cooperate. Markets help. That's Adam Smith. Human beings also compete: not just for resources, but for relative position in the mating game. That's Darwin. Add Darwin to Adam Smith, and you get Robert Frank, and a book full of dazzling insight."--Mark Kleiman, author of When Brute Force Fails

"Robert Frank is a national treasure in our discussions about public policy. He shows here that our understanding of economics needs to be informed more by a sophisticated interpretation of Charles Darwin than by a simplistic view of Adam Smith. Given the state of our politics, this latest dose of Frank advice deserves to be widely read."--Robert D. Putnam, author ofBowling Alone and American Grace

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