Economics

The global financial crisis has made it painfully clear that powerful psychological forces are imperiling the wealth of nations today. From blind faith in ever-rising housing prices to plummeting confidence in capital markets, "animal spirits" are driving financial events worldwide. In this book, acclaimed economists George Akerlof and Robert Shiller challenge the economic wisdom that got us into this mess, and put forward a bold new vision that will transform economics and restore prosperity.

Akerlof and Shiller reassert the necessity of an active government role in economic policymaking by recovering the idea of animal spirits, a term John Maynard Keynes used to describe the gloom and despondence that led to the Great Depression and the changing psychology that accompanied recovery. Like Keynes, Akerlof and Shiller know that managing these animal spirits requires the steady hand of government--simply allowing markets to work won't do it. In rebuilding the case for a more robust, behaviorally informed Keynesianism, they detail the most pervasive effects of animal spirits in contemporary economic life--such as confidence, fear, bad faith, corruption, a concern for fairness, and the stories we tell ourselves about our economic fortunes--and show how Reaganomics, Thatcherism, and the rational expectations revolution failed to account for them.



Animal Spirits offers a road map for reversing the financial misfortunes besetting us today. Read it and learn how leaders can channel animal spirits--the powerful forces of human psychology that are afoot in the world economy today. In a new preface, they describe why our economic troubles may linger for some time--unless we are prepared to take further, decisive action.

With over one million copies sold, The Undercover Economist has been hailed worldwide as a fantastic guide to the fundamental principles of economics. An economist's version of The Way Things Work, this engaging volume is part Economics 101 and part exposé of the economic principles lurking behind daily events, explaining everything from traffic jams to high coffee prices. New to this edition: This revised edition, newly updated to consider the banking crisis and economic turbulence of the last four years, is essential for anyone who has wondered why the gap between rich and poor nations is so great, or why they can't seem to find a decent second-hand car, or how to outwit Starbucks. Senior columnist for the Financial Times Tim Harford brings his experience and insight as he ranges from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the United States to reveal how supermarkets, airlines, and coffee chains--to name just a few--are vacuuming money from our wallets. Harford punctures the myths surrounding some of today's biggest controversies, including the high cost of health-care; he reveals why certain environmental laws can put a smile on a landlord's face; and he explains why some industries can have high profits for innocent reasons, while in other industries something sinister is going on. Covering an array of economic concepts including scarce resources, market power, efficiency, price gouging, market failure, inside information, and game theory, Harford sheds light on how these forces shape our day-to-day lives, often without our knowing it. Showing us the world through the eyes of an economist, Tim Harford reveals that everyday events are intricate games of negotiations, contests of strength, and battles of wits. Written with a light touch and sly wit, The Undercover Economist turns "the dismal science" into a true delight.
An experience of five years with Mr. Mill's treatise in the class-?room not only convinced me of the great usefulness of what still remains one of the most lucid and systematic books yet published which cover the whole range of the study, but I have also been convinced of the need of such additions as should give the results of later thinking, without militating against the general tenor of Mr. Mill's system; of such illustrations as should fit it better for American students, by turning their attention to the application of principles in the facts around us; of a bibliography which should make it easier to get at the writers of other schools who offer opposing views on controverted questions; and of some attempts to lighten those parts of his work in which Mr. Mill frightened away the reader by an appearance of too great abstractness, and to render them, if possible, more easy of comprehension to the student who first approaches Political Economy through this author. Believing, also, that the omission of much that should properly be classed under the head of Sociology, or Social Philosophy, would narrow the field to Political Economy alone, and aid, perhaps, in clearer ideas, I was led to reduce the two volumes into one, with, of course, the additional hope that the smaller book would tempt some readers who might hesitate to attack his larger work. In consonance with the above plan, I have abridged Mr. Mill's treatise, yet have always retained his own words; although it should be said that they are not always his consecutive words. Everything in the larger type on the page is taken literally from Mr. Mill, and, whenever it has been necessary to use a word to complete the sense, it has been always inserted in square brackets. All additional matter introduced by me has been printed in a smaller but distinctive type. The reader can see at a glance which part of the page is Mr. Mill's and which my own.
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