Desai underscores the contribution of hubris to economists’ calamitous lack of foresight, and he makes a persuasive case for the profession to re-engage with the history of economic thought. He dismisses the notion that one over-arching paradigm can resolve all economic eventualities while urging that an array of already-available theories and approaches be considered anew for the insights they may provide toward preventing future economic catastrophes. With an accessible style and keen common sense, Desai offers a fresh perspective on some of the most important economic issues of our time.
The recent financial crisis laid bare many of the assumptions behind market liberalism--the theory that market-based solutions are always best, regardless of the problem. For decades, their advocates dominated mainstream economics, and their influence created a system where an unthinking faith in markets led many to view speculative investments as fundamentally safe. The crisis seemed to have killed off these ideas, but they still live on in the minds of many--members of the public, commentators, politicians, economists, and even those charged with cleaning up the mess. In Zombie Economics, John Quiggin explains how these dead ideas still walk among us--and why we must find a way to kill them once and for all if we are to avoid an even bigger financial crisis in the future.
Zombie Economics takes the reader through the origins, consequences, and implosion of a system of ideas whose time has come and gone. These beliefs--that deregulation had conquered the financial cycle, that markets were always the best judge of value, that policies designed to benefit the rich made everyone better off--brought us to the brink of disaster once before, and their persistent hold on many threatens to do so again. Because these ideas will never die unless there is an alternative, Zombie Economics also looks ahead at what could replace market liberalism, arguing that a simple return to traditional Keynesian economics and the politics of the welfare state will not be enough--either to kill dead ideas, or prevent future crises.
In a new chapter, Quiggin brings the book up to date with a discussion of the re-emergence of pre-Keynesian ideas about austerity and balanced budgets as a response to recession.
As before, the second edition offers clear explanations of classical and Keynesian economic theory and how each has moved in and out of favor from the early 20th century to the present. It then provides detailed studies of major business-cycle downturns in the United States, from the Great Depression and postwar recessions to the "new" economy of the 1990s, the 2001 recession, and in an all-new chapter, the 2008 global financial crisis. The book also features an exhaustive update of statistical data, plus coverage of recent international crises in Argentina and Japan, and a new chapter on what we do and don't know about business cycles.
The text guides the reader through various approaches to the analysis of the macro economy of the U.S., before presenting the data for several critical economic episodes, in order to discover which analytical method provides the best explanation for each event. It covers key background information on topics such as the basics of supply and demand, macroeconomic data, international trade and the balance of payments, and the creation of the money supply.
Offering the context that is missing from existing introductory macroeconomics texts, John F. McDonald encourages students to think critically about received economic wisdom. This text is the ideal complement to any introductory macroeconomics textbook and is best suited for undergraduate students who have had an introductory course in economics.
For the past forty years western economies have splurged on debt. Now, as the reality dawns that many debts cannot be repaid, we find ourselves again in crisis. But the oncoming defaults have a time-worn place in our economic history. As with the crises in the 1930s and 1970s, governments will fall, currencies will lose their value, and new systems will emerge. Just as Britain set the terms of the international system in the nineteenth century, and America in the twentieth century, a new system will be set by today's creditors in China and the Middle East. In the process, rich will be pitted against poor, young against old, public sector workers against taxpayers and one country against another.
In Paper Promises, Economist columnist Philip Coggan helps us to understand the origins of this mess and how it will affect the new global economy by explaining how our attitudes towards debt have changed throughout history, and how they may be about to change again.