What’s Wrong with Economics? A Primer for the Perplexed

Yale Univ. Apr. 2020. 248p. ISBN 9780300249873. $25. BUS
Skidelsky (political economy, Warwick Univ.; Money and Government) offers an analysis and a critique of the teaching of mainstream economics as well as the studying of economists while stressing the importance of looking toward this discipline through an interdisciplinary framework that includes philosophy, history, sociology and politics. Skidelsky does not intend this work to be a textbook, although it refers to textbook material and is geared toward economic students, economists, and general readers “who wonder where economics is leading us.” The material is based on lectures that the author delivered for the Institute of Economic Thinking and provides analyses about economics in the context of wants and means, economic growth, models and laws, economic psychology, sociology, the history of economic thought, philosophy, ethics, institutionalism, and the future of economics. Skidelsky provides insights into the works of John Maynard Keynes, Lionel Robbins, Alfred Marshall, Joan Robinson, Thorstein Veblen, Adam Smith, and David Ricardo among others. A bibliography is included.
VERDICT This is an excellent overview of the field and a good starting point for students of economics. Highly recommended reading.

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