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Economics Confronts The Economy

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Economics Confronts The Economy

Philip A. Klein

The late Philip A. Klein, former Professor Emeritus of Economics, Pennsylvania State University and Senior Research Scholar, Economic Cycle Research Institute, US

2006 416 pp Hardback 978 1 84064 650 4
ebook isbn 978 1 78195 876 6

Hardback £102.00 on-line price £91.80

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Description
‘Phil Klein, in a low key but deeply reasoned text, critiques economic theory for its misrepresentations of the economy and other shortcomings. In particular, Klein provides a critique of how mainstream economists – creating a corpus of doctrines that seem “quantitative, precise, logical, elegant, rigorous, and beautiful” – have made more of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” than did Smith himself. Some will agree and others will disagree with various of Klein’s arguments. But all economists, and the discipline itself, will be better off if individual economists will diagnose WHY they agree and disagree, and both the bases and the implications thereof.’
– Warren Samuels, Michigan State University, US

Contents

Further information

Economics Confronts the Economy is a challenging and unorthodox look at contemporary economic analysis. Philip Klein presents a highly reasoned and yet personal view of the state of economics today. While his views may be contentious to some, it is an accessible book that will provoke discussion and debate to a wide readership.

Professor Klein begins with the assumption that the basic function of economic theory is to provide a sound guide for public policy in assisting society in defining what it means by ‘economic progress’. In the words of Thorstein Veblen it involves economic activity as explicit steps to be taken at any given time to enable the economy to play its most effective role in ‘enhancing human life’. The book argues that modern mainstream economics is failing in this task in terms of what it teaches young economists, what it contributes to public policy debates and what it has done to the field of economics.

This book will have a wide audience throughout the many and varied fields of economics including heterodox economics, micro- and macroeconomics, history of economic thought and economic policy.

Full table of contents

Contents: Introduction 1. The Unchanging Focus of Modern Economics 2. Making Progress with Theory: Do We Get What We Want or Want What We Get? 3. Lowering the Learning in Economics, 1950–2000 4. Trivialization and Elegance I: The World of Microeconomics 5. Trivialization and Elegance II: The World of Macroeconomics 6. Theory and the Role of the Public Sector 7. Focus on ‘Mainstream Economics’: Obstacles to the Competition for New Ideas 8. Economics Confronts the Economy: An Alternative View – Don’t Cry for Me, Economics Index



 
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