In his best-selling 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism, Cambridge economist Ha-Joon Chang brilliantly debunked many of the predominant myths of neoclassical economics. Now, in an entertaining and accessible primer, he explains how the global economy actually works - in real-world terms.
Writing with irreverent wit, a deep knowledge of history, and a disregard for conventional economic pieties, Chang offers insights that will never be found in the textbooks. Unlike many economists, who present only one view of their discipline, Chang introduces a wide range of economic theories, from classical to Keynesian, revealing how each has its strengths and weaknesses, and why there is no one way to explain economic behavior. By ignoring the received wisdom and exposing the myriad forces that shape our financial world, Chang gives us the tools we need to understand our increasingly global and interconnected world often driven by economics.
From the future of the Euro, inequality in China, or the condition of the American manufacturing industry here in the United States - Economics: The User’s Guide is a concise and expertly crafted guide to economic fundamentals that offers a clear and accurate picture of the global economy and how and why it affects our daily lives.
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A breath of fresh air.
Anyone interested in economics should read or listen to this book. The brilliant, well-considered, refutation of rigid economic orthodoxy presents the diversity of the dismal science, making it a little less dismal.
Beyond the hammer and the nail.
- Kristin V. Hansen
Worth it if you keep an open mind
Provocative, informative, valuable
I liked the exposition of various world life examples and their analysis through the lens of different schools of economic thought.
The particular manner of speaking of the narrator and the inherently not very entertaining information made it hard for me to listen to the book for more than 30min. It was especially taxing when the narrator recited large tables with economic numbers. Seeing this on a paper or e-ink would have been immensely more convenient. Thus, consider also the written book or a combination of the two.
As a PhD student in Economics trained in the Neoclassical and New Keynesian traditions I was curious to explore different points of view. I have been fond of prof. Chang's talks on Youtube and his statement that economics cannot be separated from politics, so I decided to give his latest book a try.The book begins with an annoyingly repetitive attack on the economic profession - it can be considered either populist - so that readers hyped by media about the "failure of economics during the Great Recession" can be drawn into it; or it could just be my subjective perception. In either case, I urge you to keep an open mind and bare with the introductions.The book's general message is that one must not be "a man with a hammer" and view everything as a nail. That is to say, it promotes a pluralist view on economic and political issues and gives a broad overview of diverse economic theories and their applicability to real world examples. One could occasionally notice the Marxist training of the author and his fondness of "production" in economic issues, still he deserves credit for presenting a relatively unbiased view on the merits and drawbacks of each theory (with the merits of Neoclassical economics being underrepresented).Overall, the book takes on a broad spectrum of economic issues and sheds insights for both non-economists and professionals. I, personally, benefited from the collection of numerous teachings and facts that otherwise would have taken me too long to uncover.Again, go through the book with an open mind and humbleness, otherwise you risk being drawn to the extremes of trashing it or rejecting economics as a respectable discipline all together.