Ten Ways Economics Gets It Wrong

Book - 2010
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From the inability of wealth to make us happier, to our catastrophic blindness to the credit crunch, Economyths reveals ten ways in which economics has failed us all.

Forecasters predicted a prosperous year in 2008 for financial markets - in one influential survey the average prediction was for an eleven percent gain. But by the end of the year, the Standard and Poor's 500 index - a key economic barometer - was down 38 percent, and major economies were plunging into recession. Even the Queen asked - "Why did no one see it coming?"

An even bigger casualty was the credibility of economics, which for decades has claimed that the economy is a rational, stable, efficient machine, governed by well-understood laws.

Mathematician David Orrell traces the history of this idea from its roots in ancient Greece to the financial centres of London and New York, shows how it is mistaken, and proposes new alternatives. Economyths explains how the economy is the result of complex and unpredictable processes; how risk models go astray; why the economy is not rational or fair; why no woman has ever won the Nobel Prize for economics; why financial crashes are less Black Swans than part of the landscape; and finally, how new ideas in mathematics, psychology, and environmentalism are helping to reinvent economics.

Publisher: Mississauga, Ont. : John Wiley & Sons Canada, c2010.
ISBN: 9780470677933
Characteristics: 280 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Nov 04, 2016

A cogent critique of modern neoclassical economics. ( The author does not look at any problems with other economic models such as command, purely socialistic or communist economies) There is a real problem in economic thinking and rationalizations many of which are clinging to Keynesian thinking however the author rally does not provide any solutions. ( Though not voiced explicitly, essentially some additional force through government intervention.) Worth reading for the mathematics and the problems with existing economic theory.

Aug 14, 2011

A clearly written critique of conventional economic thinking by a mathematician who demonstrates the faulty premises and modeling that underlies the whole edifice. David Orrell is from Edmonton and a UofA alumnus as well as an Oxford PHD. An excellent and important work.

peageeuu Apr 24, 2011

This is worth a look at. It explains that the approach economists have taken to describe our chaotic dynamic economic life using rules similar to those of physics (static and unchanging) means economists always end up surprised.

If you have also read Ismael by Quin you might enjoy p.168

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