Topic: Book Reviews

Putting the history back into economics: good new book from the FT’s Alan Beattie

‘False Economy: A Surprising Economic History of the World’, by Alan Beattie, the world trade editor at the Financial Times is published tomorrow in the UK and is already doing well in the US. It explores the historical backstory to current economic debates on trade, corruption, the ‘curse of wealth’ in oil and mineral producing nations, […]

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Dambisa Moyo goes stellar – why? Some reviews by fellow Africans and others, including me

The Dambisa Moyo phenomenon shows no signs of abating, with a front page story in the FT and an elevation this month to Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. The publicity is also selling a lot of books – she’s currently 3rd in Amazon US sales rankings for books on ‘policy and current […]

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Why equity matters more than growth: The Spirit Level

‘Growth with Equity’ is motherhood and apple pie in economic policy-making these days. But in a great new book, Spirit Level, authors Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett argue that ‘economic growth, for so long the great engine of progress, has, in the rich countries, largely finished its work.’ Above a certain average income (the authors […]

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Taxation and development: a great new book

Finally finished an illuminating book on the link between taxation and development: (Taxation and state-building in Developing Countries), edited by Deborah Brautigam, Odd-Helge Fjeldstad and Mick Moore). Here are a few highlights – a bit long, but I’m trying to summarize a densely argued 260 page book, so bear with me. Taxation is the new […]

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'Moving Out of Poverty': Outstanding new mega-study from the World Bank

One of the best books I have ever read on development was ‘Crying out for Change’, a summary of a massive late 1990s study by the World Bank called ‘Voices of the Poor’. So it was a delight to pick up the summary of its new and epic successor ‘The Moving Out of Poverty Study’ […]

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Final thought on Complexity Economics

This week, I’ve been mulling over Eric Beinhocker’s book, ‘The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Remaking of Economics’ (see previous posts – an overview and a discussion of the implications for our models of change). One question that remains is ‘why aren’t there more books like this?’ The initial idea of  ‘Complexity Economics’ […]

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Complexity Economics, Evolution and How Change Happens

Eric Beinhocker’s book, ‘The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Remaking of Economics’ (for review see previous post) challenges our understanding of how change happens and the role of would-be ‘change agents’ like Oxfam.

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Complexity Economics and Evolution – a Truly Big Idea

I spent much of the Christmas break sneaking off to read chapters of Eric Beinhocker’s path-breaking 2006 book ‘The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Remaking of Economics’. There’s probably too much to cover in one post, so I’ll follow up this overview with some more specific reflections in the days to come.

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