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Rewarding Work: How to Restore Participation and Self-Support to Free Enterprise, with a New Preface

Edmund Phelps
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Since the 1970s a gulf has opened between the pay of low-paid workers and the pay of the middle class. No longer able to earn a decent wage in respectable work, many have left the labor force, and the job attachment of those remaining has weakened. For Edmund Phelps, this is a failure of political economy whose widespread effects are undermining the free-enterprise system. His solution is a graduated schedule of tax subsidies to enterprises for every low-wage worker they employ. As firms hire more of these workers, the labor market would tighten, driving up their pay levels as well as their employment. An August 2010 interview with the author about Rewarding Workcan be found at the following link. Second Edition, 2007. (Harvard University Press)

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Imperfect Knowledge Economics: Exchange Rates and Risk

Roman Frydman and Michael D. Goldberg
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Posing a major challenge to economic orthodoxy, Imperfect Knowledge Economics asserts that exact models of purposeful human behavior are beyond the reach of economic analysis. Roman Frydman and Michael Goldberg argue that the longstanding empirical failures of conventional economic models stem from their futile efforts to make exact predictions about the consequences of rational, self-interested behavior. Such predictions, based on mechanistic models of human behavior, disregard the importance of individual creativity and unforeseeable sociopolitical change. Scientific though these explanations may appear, they usually fail to predict how markets behave. And, the authors contend, recent behavioral models of the market are no less mechanistic than their conventional counterparts: they aim to generate exact predictions of "irrational" human behavior.

Frydman and Goldberg offer a long-overdue response to the shortcomings of conventional economic models. Drawing attention to the inherent limits of economists' knowledge, they introduce a new approach to economic analysis: Imperfect Knowledge Economics (IKE). IKE rejects exact quantitative predictions of individual decisions and market outcomes in favor of mathematical models that generate only qualitative predictions of economic change. Using the foreign exchange market as a testing ground for IKE, this book sheds new light on exchange-rate and risk-premium movements, which have confounded conventional models for decades.

Offering a fresh way to think about markets and representing a potential turning point in economics, Imperfect Knowledge Economics will be essential reading for economists, policymakers, and professional investors. (Princeton University Press)

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Escaping the Resource Curse

Macartan Humphreys, Jeffrey D. Sachs, and Joseph E. Stiglitz
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The wealth derived from natural resources can have a tremendous impact on the economics and politics of producing countries. In the last quarter century, we have seen the surprising and sobering consequences of this wealth, producing what is now known as the "resource curse." Countries with large endowments of natural resources, such as oil and gas, often do worse than their poorer neighbors. Their resource wealth frequently leads to lower growth rates, greater volatility, more corruption, and, in extreme cases, devastating civil wars.

In this volume, leading economists, lawyers, and political scientists address the fundamental channels generated by this wealth and examine the major decisions a country must make when faced with an abundance of a natural resource. They identify such problems as asymmetric bargaining power, limited access to information, the failure to engage in long-term planning, weak institutional structures, and missing mechanisms of accountability. They also provide a series of solutions, including recommendations for contracting with oil companies and allocating revenue; guidelines for negotiators; models for optimal auctions; and strategies to strengthen state-society linkages and public accountability.

The contributors show that solutions to the resource curse do exist; yet, institutional innovations are necessary to align the incentives of key domestic and international actors, and this requires fundamental political changes and much greater levels of transparency than currently exist. It is becoming increasingly clear that past policies have not provided the benefits they promised. Escaping the Resource Curse lays out a path for radically improving the management of the world's natural resources. (Columbia University Press)

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The Chancellors' Tales: Managing the British Economy

Howard Davies
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The Chancellors' Tales offers a unique insider view of the management of a modern economy, charting the opportunities and constraints that each chancellor faced. The book provides a rare historical record of the difficulties and dilemmas of managing the British economy in an increasingly global age. Written with both deep insight and wit, the chapters follow the period in office of each of the chancellors. Each chapter offers a detailed account of the handling of the economy during that chancellors period of office. Taken together they provide a privileged insight into the way the British economy has been run and why.

The chapters are written by Lord Healey, Lord Howe, Lord Lawson of Blaby, Lord Lamont and Kenneth Clarke, MP. The book also contains an introduction by Sir Howard Davies, Director of the London School of Economics. He provides a context in which to understand the contributions of each of the chapters which follow. (Polity)

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Making Globalization Work

Joseph E. Sitglitz
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An imaginative and, above all, practical vision for a successful and equitable world, Nobel Prize winner Joseph E. Stiglitz’s Making Globalization Work draws equally from his academic expertise and his time spent on the ground in dozens of countries around the world. In clear language and compelling anecdotes, Stiglitz focuses on policies that truly work, offering fresh new thinking about the questions that shape the globalization debate, including a plan to restructure a global financial system made unstable by America’s debt, ideas for how countries can grow without degrading the environment, a framework for free and fair global trade, and much more. Throughout, Stiglitz reveals that economic globalization continues to outpace both the political structures and the moral sensitivity required to ensure a just and sustainable world. And he makes plain the real work that all nations must undertake to realize that goal. (W.W. Norton & Co.)

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Corporate Governance Lessons for Transition Economy Reforms

Ed. Merritt B. Fox and Michael A. Heller
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Corporate Governance Lessons from Transition Economy Reforms explores a timely topic at the intersection of economics, law, and policy reform. To date, most sophisticated theoretical work on corporate governance has focused on advanced market economies. In post-socialist countries, corporate finance and transition economics scholars have often done little more than convey the received theory to transition policymakers.

This volume focuses, for the first time, on the reverse concern: what, if anything, do the reform experiences of transition countries teach about corporate governance theory more generally? To investigate this question, Merritt Fox and Michael Heller have assembled a stellar group of corporate governance theorists. The answers are startling.

Together, these essays present a comprehensive new view on a provocative theme. Written in an accessible style, they will be of interest to a broad range of scholars, commentators, and policymakers. (Princeton University Press)

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The Hare and the Tortoise

John Kay
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Most business books are bland or dull, or both. This volume is neither: John Kay combines insightful analysis with wit and verve. In this book, we meet heroes as diverse as Sun Tzu, Jacques Derrida, and Jack Welch: we study businesses as diverse as Honda Motors, the grandes marques of Champagne, and Jenners department store in Princes Street, Edinburgh; we learn why size doesn't matter, why brakes are different from signals, how to value businesses, and why the author was wrong to tell students that Boeing's position in the civil aircraft market was unassailable. In less than two hundred pages, John Kay provides a lively introduction to business strategy and a guide to many of the key issues in business today. (Gazelle Book Service)

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The Argumentative Indian: Writings on Indian History, Culture and Identity

Amartya Sen
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In sixteen linked essays, Nobel Prize-winning economist Amartya Sen discusses India's intellectual and political heritage and how its argumentative tradition is vital for the success of its democracy and secular politics.

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Technology, Institutions, and Economic Growth

Richard Nelson
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This volume mounts a full-blown attack on the standard neo-classical theory of economic growth, which Richard Nelson sees as hopelessly inadequate to explain the phenomenon of economic growth. He presents an alternative theory which highlights that economic growth driven by technological advance involves disequilibrium in a fundamental and continuing way. Nelson also argues that a theory of economic growth driven by technological advance must recognize a range of institutions, such as universities, public laboratories, and government agencies, in addition to business firms and markets. He further argues that growth theories that focus on an aggregate measure of growth, such as GNP per capita, are blind to what is going on beneath the aggregate, where differing rates of advance in different sectors, and the birth and death of industries are an essential part of the growth process. The broad theory of economic growth Nelson presents sees the process as involving the co-evolution of technologies, institutions, and industry structure. (Harvard University Press)

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Emerging Capital Markets in Turmoil: Bad Luck or Bad Policy?

Guillermo A. Calvo
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Since the mid-1990s, emerging market economies have been hit by dramatic highs and lows: lifted by large capital inflows, then plunged into chaos by constrained credit and out-of-control exchange rates. The conventional wisdom about such crises is strongly influenced by the experience of advanced economies. In Emerging Capital Markets in Turmoil, Guillermo Calvo examines these issues instead from the perspective of emerging market economies themselves, taking into account the limitations and vulnerabilities these economies confront. (The MIT Press)

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