- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: Faber and Faber; First Edition edition (7 April 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0571220126
- ISBN-13: 978-0571220120
- Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.4 x 22.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 595,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics Hardcover – 7 Apr 2005
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Punchy and entertaining The real importance of what Ormerod is saying goes far beyond economics... Exhilarating. -- Brian Appleyard, New Statesman
From the author of "The Death of Economics" and "Butterfly Economics", a look at a truth all too seldom acknowledged: most commercial and public policy ventures will not succeed.See all Product description
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By the time you get to the other end you will have a much better idea about how economics can help you understand life, the universe and everything. What you won't get is a "recipe" for the hard of thinking. The author gives a potted history of the newer big ideas that have informed economics and relates them to earlier thinking. He also explains their limitations. He brings in good links to systems theory (engineering and science perspectives). AND, if you get the references, (they're not obscure, but you do need to know them) he is very funny. Always a bonus when you are reading a book about economics. A minor criticism - I am suspicious when log/log graphs are used to prove a relationship, log/log can show a relationship between chalk and cheese.
Nice to read economists acknowledging the limits of the pure 'free-market' approach while stressing the benefits of market capitalism.
Unfortunately this book, 10 years later is a retread of the same ideas, with a chapter at the end about how governments should act to promote economic health ( competition is not the answer ). You'll probably enjoy it if you didn't read 'Death ...'. If you did - well sadly this contains no extra pearls.
I did learn a little more about the history of economics and its limitations. But I found the book unfocused and rambling. The main point about “Why Most Things Fail” is pretty obvious at a general level, the reasoning about that is long winded, but the examples are interesting.
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