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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Which economic theories can be trusted, if any?
This book differs from probably all other books about economics .It is based on the head of a government that wants to apply the best lessons from three types of economists, macro economists, micro economists and behavioral economists. It is an exciting and frustrating experience. Every insight upon closer analysis has serious limitations that can be overcome in part by...
Publié il y a 2 mois par laurens van den muyzenberg

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3.0 étoiles sur 5 Nice intro, nice storytelling, lacks depth
This book is very well written and educational, as Tim Harford has led his readers to expect. At times, it is a bit heavy on the storytelling style. Overall, it does a nice job explaining a lay reader how economists think about the big macro issues such as growth, recessions and unemployment. I list what I view as some pluses and minuses of the book below...
Publié il y a 7 mois par Gu Si Fang


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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Which economic theories can be trusted, if any?, 28 juin 2014
Par 
laurens van den muyzenberg "laurens" (Villa Lama, Super Cannes, 06220 Vallauris Golfe-Juan.) - Voir tous mes commentaires
Achat vérifié(De quoi s'agit-il ?)
Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Undercover Economist Strikes Back: How to Run or Ruin an Economy (Broché)
This book differs from probably all other books about economics .It is based on the head of a government that wants to apply the best lessons from three types of economists, macro economists, micro economists and behavioral economists. It is an exciting and frustrating experience. Every insight upon closer analysis has serious limitations that can be overcome in part by another discipline. Unfortunately the three disciplines have only recently taken an interest in each other. However we are still far removed from a coherent picture.
The author confirms that economic theory is a dismal science from the point of view of predicting what will happen in the future as the result of decisions. The author singles out parts in all three disciplines that are useful considering specific conditions . However there are parts that are useful depending on specific conditions. I was aware of some of these useful parts, but they were not completely clear to me. The authors gives excellent explanations, better than in the many books I I have read about economics.
It is also one of the few books about economics that are fun to read.
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 Nice intro, nice storytelling, lacks depth, 25 janvier 2014
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Ce commentaire fait référence à cette édition : The Undercover Economist Strikes Back: How to Run or Ruin an Economy (English Edition) (Format Kindle)
This book is very well written and educational, as Tim Harford has led his readers to expect. At times, it is a bit heavy on the storytelling style. Overall, it does a nice job explaining a lay reader how economists think about the big macro issues such as growth, recessions and unemployment. I list what I view as some pluses and minuses of the book below.

Pluses:

- Great quotes from Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

- A nice debunking of Krugman's babysitting coop rant.

- A great discussion of Radford's POW camp article.

- A very pedagogical comparison of the classical and Keynesian views of recessions, concluding on an ironic note (but see below for a minus): « Sometimes an economy’s output is constrained by the demand for goods and services (Keynes’s Law) and sometimes it is constrained by their potential supply (Say’s Law). It sounds like neither of them are really laws at all. Yup. This is social science—what did you expect? » ... « But there is also a really simple way to combine the two views. We need to introduce a concept you’ll hear discussed often in economics—the “short run” and the “long run.” Most economists would agree that in the short run, it is Keynes’s Law that is relevant. And most economists would also agree that in the long run, it is Say’s Law that counts. »

- A thought provoking discussion of the question Can Growth Continue Forever?: « Energy growth is not the same as economic growth [...] It’s easy to grasp why exponential economic growth is not the same as exponential energy growth. If I’m worried about money, I may turn off my heating and wear a coat and hat indoors; a bit of extra money will mean I take off the hat and coat and use more energy. But that doesn’t mean that if I win the lottery I will celebrate by boiling myself alive. »

Minuses:

- A presumptuous claim: « Clearly, economists don’t understand everything about how to prevent an economy’s growth from slowing or going into reverse. If we did, it wouldn’t happen. »

- No mention anywhere of the monetary theories of business cycles (e. g. Austrian), besides the Keynesian and classical described above. As a result, another "oil shock" explanation of the crisis of the 70's...

- An unfortunate presentation of the efficiency wage theory of unemployment, as if a "good" labor market had to function like the buying and selling of T-shirts: « Ford’s five-dollar day meant that suddenly his workers had a lot to lose. The job they had at Ford paid twice what they could earn elsewhere. Workforce turnover plummeted, as you’d expect, but the real measure of success was dramatically increased labor productivity. As soon as Ford instituted the five-dollar day, his workers no longer lived in the perfectly functioning labor market of the classical textbooks, in which they could walk out of one job and into another at a moment’s notice. They operated instead on the fortunate side of a highly imperfect labor market. »
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