#econtwitter I start a PhD in econ this fall and am looking for book recommendations! What are some books you wish you read BEFORE starting your PhD? (I've mainly read fiction for the past 4-5 years so I'm really out of touch with non-fiction book recs)
Book mentions in this thread
The Book of Why
by Judea PearlHow the study of causality revolutionized science and the world Cause and effect: it's at the center of scientific inquiry, and yet for decades scientists had no way of answering simple questions, such as whether smoking causes cancer. In The Book of Why, Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie show how Pearl's work on causality has broken through this stalemate, unleashing a revolution in our knowledge of the world. Anyone who wants to understand how science, the human mind, or artificial intelligence works needs The Book of Why. "Illuminating. . . a valuable lesson on the history of ideas." --New York Times "This book really gets you thinking about cause and effect as it applies to issues of our time. . . . Extraordinary." --Science Friday
by A. SokalWhen Intellectual Impostures was published in France, it sent shock waves through the Left Bank establishment. When it was published in Britain, it provoked impassioned debate. Sokal and Bricmont examine the canon of French postmodernists - Lacan, Kristeva, Baudrillard, Irigaray, Latour, Virilio, Deleuze and Guattari - and systematically expose their abuse of science. This edition contains a new preface analysing the reactions to the book and answering some of the attacks.
by Dani RodrikThe economics profession has become a favourite punching bag in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. Economists are widely reviled and their influence derided by the general public. Yet their services have never been in greater demand. To unravel the paradox, we need to understand both the strengths and weaknesses of economics. Dani Rodrik argues that the multiplicity of theoretical frameworks - what economists call 'models' that exist side by side is economics' great strength. Economists are trained to hold diverse, possibly contradictory models of the world in their minds. This is what allows them, when they do their job right, to comprehend the world, make useful suggestions for improving it, and to advance their stock of knowledge over time. In short, it is what makes economics a 'science' a different kind of science from physics or some other natural sciences, but a science nonetheless. But syncretism is not a comfortable state of mind, and economists often jettison it for misplaced confidence and arrogance, especially when they confront questions of public policy. Economists are prone to fads and fashions, and behave too often as if their discipline is about the search for the model that works always and everywhere, rather than a portfolio of models. Their training lets them down when it comes to navigating among diverse models and figuring out which one applies where. Ideology and political preferences frequently substitute for analysis in choosing among models. So the book offers both a defence and critique of economics. Economists' way of thinking about social phenomena has great advantages. But the flexible, contextual nature of economics is also its Achilles' heel in the hands of clumsy practitioners.
by Deirdre McCloskeyEconomics is not a field that is known for good writing. Charts, yes. Sparkling prose, no. Except, that is, when it comes to Deirdre Nansen McCloskey. Her conversational and witty yet always clear style is a hallmark of her classic works of economic history, enlivening the dismal science and engaging readers well beyond the discipline. And now she's here to share the secrets of how it's done. Economical Writing is itself economical: a collection of thirty-five pithy rules for making your writing clear, concise, and effective. Proceeding from big-picture ideas to concrete strategies for improvement at the level of the paragraph, sentence, or word, McCloskey shows us that good writing, after all, is not just a matter of taste--it's a product of adept intuition and a rigorous revision process. Debunking stale rules, warning us that "footnotes are nests for pedants," and offering an arsenal of readily applicable tools and methods, she shows writers of all levels of experience how to rethink the way they approach their work, and gives them the knowledge to turn mediocre prose into magic. At once efficient and digestible, hilarious and provocative, Economical Writing lives up to its promise. With McCloskey as our guide, it's impossible not to see how any piece of writing--on economics or otherwise--can, and perhaps should be, a pleasure to read.
The Worldly Philosophers
by Robert L. HeilbronerThe bestselling classic that examines the history of economic thought from Adam Smith to Karl Marx—“all the economic lore most general readers conceivably could want to know, served up with a flourish” (The New York Times). The Worldly Philosophers not only enables us to see more deeply into our history but helps us better understand our own times. In this seventh edition, Robert L. Heilbroner provides a new theme that connects thinkers as diverse as Adam Smith and Karl Marx. The theme is the common focus of their highly varied ideas—namely, the search to understand how a capitalist society works. It is a focus never more needed than in this age of confusing economic headlines. In a bold new concluding chapter entitled “The End of the Worldly Philosophy?” Heilbroner reminds us that the word “end” refers to both the purpose and limits of economics. This chapter conveys a concern that today’s increasingly “scientific” economics may overlook fundamental social and political issues that are central to economics. Thus, unlike its predecessors, this new edition provides not just an indispensable illumination of our past but a call to action for our future.
The Rhetoric of Economics (Rhetoric of the Human Sciences)
by Deirdre N. McCloskeyA classic in its field, this pathbreaking book humanized the scientific rhetoric of economics to reveal its literary soul. Economics needs to admit that it, like other sciences, works with metaphors and stories. Its most mathematical and statistical moments are properly dominated by comparison and narration, that is to say, human persuasion. The book was McCloskey's opening move in the development of a "humanomics," and unification of the sciences and the humanities on the field of ordinary business life.
My Life as a Quant
by Emanuel DermanIn My Life as a Quant, Emanuel Derman relives his exciting journey as one of the first high-energy particle physicists to migrate to Wall Street. Page by page, Derman details his adventures in this field—analyzing the incompatible personas of traders and quants, and discussing the dissimilar nature of knowledge in physics and finance. Throughout this tale, he also reflects on the appropriate way to apply the refined methods of physics to the hurly-burly world of markets.
by Jeffrey M. WooldridgeGain an understanding of how econometrics can answer today's questions in business, policy evaluation and forecasting with Wooldridge's INTRODUCTORY ECONOMETRICS: A MODERN APPROACH, 7E. This edition's practical, yet professional, approach demonstrates how econometrics has moved beyond a set of abstract tools to become genuinely useful for answering questions across a variety of disciplines. Information is organized around the type of data being analyzed, using a systematic approach that only introduces assumptions as they are needed. This makes the material easier to understand and, ultimately, leads to better econometric practices. Packed with relevant applications, this edition incorporates more than 100 intriguing data sets in different formats. Updates introduce the latest developments in the field, including recent advances in the so-called “causal effects” or “treatment effects” literature, for an understanding of the impact and importance of econometrics today. Important Notice: Media content referenced within the product description or the product text may not be available in the ebook version.
Economics for the Common Good
by Jean TiroleFrom Nobel Prize–winning economist Jean Tirole, a bold new agenda for the role of economics in society When Jean Tirole won the 2014 Nobel Prize in Economics, he suddenly found himself being stopped in the street by complete strangers and asked to comment on issues of the day, no matter how distant from his own areas of research. His transformation from academic economist to public intellectual prompted him to reflect further on the role economists and their discipline play in society. The result is Economics for the Common Good, a passionate manifesto for a world in which economics, far from being a "dismal science," is a positive force for the common good. Economists are rewarded for writing technical papers in scholarly journals, not joining in public debates. But Tirole says we urgently need economists to engage with the many challenges facing society, helping to identify our key objectives and the tools needed to meet them. To show how economics can help us realize the common good, Tirole shares his insights on a broad array of questions affecting our everyday lives and the future of our society, including global warming, unemployment, the post-2008 global financial order, the euro crisis, the digital revolution, innovation, and the proper balance between the free market and regulation. Providing a rich account of how economics can benefit everyone, Economics for the Common Good sets a new agenda for the role of economics in society.
by Roddy BoydLong-listed for the FT & Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award 2011 The true story of how risk destroys, as told through the ongoing saga of AIG From the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, the subject of the financial crisis has been well covered. However, the story central to the crisis-that of AIG-has until now remained largely untold. Fatal Risk: A Cautionary Tale of AIG's Corporate Suicide tells the inside story of what really went on inside AIG that caused it to choke on risk and nearly brining down the entire economic system. The book Reveals inside information available nowhere else, including the personal notes and records of key players such as the former Chairman of AIG, Hank Greenberg Takes readers behind the scenes at the U.S. Treasury and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York Details how an understanding of risk built AIG, but a disdain for government regulators led to a run-in with New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Fatal Risk is the comprehensive and compelling true story of the company at the center of the financial storm and how it nearly caused the entire economic system to collapse.
by Adam ToozeA New York Times Notable Book of 2018. Winner of the 2019 Lionel Gelber Prize 'Majestic, informative and often delightful ... insights on every page' Yanis Varoufakis, Observer The definitive history of the Great Financial Crisis, from the acclaimed author of The Deluge and The Wages of Destruction. In September 2008 the Great Financial Crisis, triggered by the collapse of Lehman brothers, shook the world. A decade later its spectre still haunts us. As the appalling scope and scale of the crash was revealed, the financial institutions that had symbolised the West's triumph since the end of the Cold War, seemed - through greed, malice and incompetence - to be about to bring the entire system to its knees. Crashed is a brilliantly original and assured analysis of what happened and how we were rescued from something even worse - but at a price which continues to undermine democracy across Europe and the United States. Gnawing away at our institutions are the many billions of dollars which were conjured up to prevent complete collapse. Over and over again, the end of the crisis has been announced, but it continues to hound us - whether in Greece or Ukraine, whether through Brexit or Trump. Adam Tooze follows the trail like no previous writer and has written a book compelling as history, as economic analysis and as political horror story.
How Asia Works
by Joe StudwellUntil the catastrophic economic crisis of the late 1990s, East Asia was perceived as a monolithic success story. But heady economic growth rates masked the most divided continent in the world - one half the most extraordinary developmental success story ever seen, the other half a paper tiger. Joe Studwell explores how policies ridiculed by economists created titans in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, and are now behind the rise of China, while the best advice the West could offer sold its allies in South-East Asia down the economic river. The first book to offer an Asia-wide deconstruction of success and failure in economic development, Studwell's latest work is provocative and iconoclastic - and sobering reading for most of the world's developing countries. How Asia Works is a must-read book that packs powerful insights about the world's most misunderstood continent.
by S. Ali AbbasThe last time global sovereign debt reached the level seen today was at the end of the Second World War, and this shaped a generation of economic policymaking. International institutions were transformed, country policies were often draconian and distortive, and many crises ensued. By the early 1970s, when debt fell back to pre-war levels, the world was radically different. It is likely that changes of a similar magnitude -for better and for worse - will play out over coming decades. Sovereign Debt: A Guide for Economists and Practitioners is an attempt to build some structure around the issues of sovereign debt to help guide economists, practitioners and policymakers through this complicated, but not intractable, subject. Sovereign Debt brings together some of the world's leading researchers and specialists in sovereign debt to cover a range of sub-disciplines within this vast topic. It explores debt management with debt sustainability; debt reduction policies with crisis prevention policies; and the history with the conjuncture. It is a foundation text for all those interested in sovereign debt, with a particular focus real world examples and issues.
The Shareholder Value Myth
by Lynn StoutExecutives, investors, and the business press routinely chant the mantra that corporations are required to “maximize shareholder value.” In this pathbreaking book, renowned corporate expert Lynn Stout debunks the myth that corporate law mandates shareholder primacy. Stout shows how shareholder value thinking endangers not only investors but the rest of us as well, leading managers to focus myopically on short-term earnings; discouraging investment and innovation; harming employees, customers, and communities; and causing companies to indulge in reckless, sociopathic, and irresponsible behaviors. And she looks at new models of corporate purpose that better serve the needs of investors, corporations, and society.
How China Escaped the Poverty Trap (Cornell Studies in Political Economy)
by Yuen Yuen AngBefore markets opened in 1978, China was an impoverished planned economy governed by a Maoist bureaucracy. In just three decades it evolved into the world’s second-largest economy and is today guided by highly entrepreneurial bureaucrats. In How China Escaped the Poverty Trap, Yuen Yuen Ang explains this astonishing metamorphosis. Rather than insist that either strong institutions of good governance foster markets or that growth enables good governance, Ang lays out a new, dynamic framework for understanding development broadly. Successful development, she contends, is a coevolutionary process in which markets and governments mutually adapt. By mapping this coevolution, Ang reveals a startling conclusion: poor and weak countries can escape the poverty trap by first harnessing weak institutions—features that defy norms of good governance—to build markets. Further, she stresses that adaptive processes, though essential for development, do not automatically occur. Highlighting three universal roadblocks to adaptation, Ang identifies how Chinese reformers crafted enabling conditions for effective improvisation. How China Escaped the Poverty Trap offers the most complete synthesis to date of the numerous interacting forces that have shaped China’s dramatic makeover and the problems it faces today. Looking beyond China, Ang also traces the coevolutionary sequence of development in late medieval Europe, antebellum United States, and contemporary Nigeria, and finds surprising parallels among these otherwise disparate cases. Indispensable to all who care about development, this groundbreaking book challenges the convention of linear thinking and points to an alternative path out of poverty traps.
The End of Poverty
by Jeffrey SachsAn international economic advisor shares a wide-spectrum theory about how to enable economic success throughout the world, posing solutions to top political, environmental, and social problems that contribute to poverty.
The Professor Is In
by Karen KelskyThe definitive career guide for grad students, adjuncts, post-docs and anyone else eager to get tenure or turn their Ph.D. into their ideal job Each year tens of thousands of students will, after years of hard work and enormous amounts of money, earn their Ph.D. And each year only a small percentage of them will land a job that justifies and rewards their investment. For every comfortably tenured professor or well-paid former academic, there are countless underpaid and overworked adjuncts, and many more who simply give up in frustration. Those who do make it share an important asset that separates them from the pack: they have a plan. They understand exactly what they need to do to set themselves up for success. They know what really moves the needle in academic job searches, how to avoid the all-too-common mistakes that sink so many of their peers, and how to decide when to point their Ph.D. toward other, non-academic options. Karen Kelsky has made it her mission to help readers join the select few who get the most out of their Ph.D. As a former tenured professor and department head who oversaw numerous academic job searches, she knows from experience exactly what gets an academic applicant a job. And as the creator of the popular and widely respected advice site The Professor is In, she has helped countless Ph.D.’s turn themselves into stronger applicants and land their dream careers. Now, for the first time ever, Karen has poured all her best advice into a single handy guide that addresses the most important issues facing any Ph.D., including: -When, where, and what to publish -Writing a foolproof grant application -Cultivating references and crafting the perfect CV -Acing the job talk and campus interview -Avoiding the adjunct trap -Making the leap to nonacademic work, when the time is right The Professor Is In addresses all of these issues, and many more.
by Scott CunninghamAn accessible, contemporary introduction to the methods for determining cause and effect in the social sciences "Causation versus correlation has been the basis of arguments--economic and otherwise--since the beginning of time. Causal Inference: The Mixtape uses legit real-world examples that I found genuinely thought-provoking. It's rare that a book prompts readers to expand their outlook; this one did for me."--Marvin Young (Young MC) Causal inference encompasses the tools that allow social scientists to determine what causes what. In a messy world, causal inference is what helps establish the causes and effects of the actions being studied--for example, the impact (or lack thereof) of increases in the minimum wage on employment, the effects of early childhood education on incarceration later in life, or the influence on economic growth of introducing malaria nets in developing regions. Scott Cunningham introduces students and practitioners to the methods necessary to arrive at meaningful answers to the questions of causation, using a range of modeling techniques and coding instructions for both the R and the Stata programming languages.
Good Economics for Hard Times
by Abhijit V. BanerjeeTwo prize-winning economists show how economics, when done right, can help us solve the thorniest social and political problems of our day The experience of the last decade has not been kind to the image of economists: asleep at the wheel (perhaps with the foot on the gas pedal) in the run-up to the great recession, squabbling about how to get out of it, tone-deaf in discussions of the plight of Greece or the Euro area; they seem to have lost the ability to provide reliable guidance on the great problems of the day. In this ambitious, provocative book Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo show how traditional western-centric thinking has failed to explain what is happening to people in a newly globalized world: in short Good Economics has been done badly. This precise but accessible book covers many of the most essential issues of our day--including migration, unemployment, growth, free trade, political polarization, and welfare. Banerjee and Duflo will confound and clarify the presumptions of our times, such as: Why migration doesn't follow the law of supply and demand Why trade liberalization can drive unemployment up and wages down Why macroeconomists like to bend the data to fit the model Why nobody can really explain why and when growth happens Why economists' assumption that people don't change their minds has made has made polarization worse Why quite often it doesn't take a village, especially if the villagers aren't that nice In doing so, they seek to reclaim this essential terrain, and to offer readers an economist's view of the great issues of the day--one that is candid about the complexities, the zones of ignorance, and the areas of genuine disagreement.
The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money
by John Maynard KeynesThe General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, written by legendary author John Maynard Keynes is widely considered to be one of the top 100 greatest books of all time. This masterpiece was published right after the Great Depression. It sought to bring about a revolution, commonly referred to as the ‘Keynesian Revolution’, in the way economists thought—especially challenging the proposition that a market economy tends naturally to restore itself to full employment on its own. Regarded widely as the cornerstone of Keynesian thought, this book challenged the established classical economics and introduced new concepts. ‘The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money’ transformed economics and changed the face of modern macroeconomics. Keynes’ argument is based on the idea that the level of employment is not determined by the price of labour, but by the spending of money. It gave way to an entirely new approach where employment, inflation and the market economy are concerned.
by Joshua D. AngristAn accessible and fun guide to the essential tools of econometric research Applied econometrics, known to aficionados as 'metrics, is the original data science. 'Metrics encompasses the statistical methods economists use to untangle cause and effect in human affairs. Through accessible discussion and with a dose of kung fu–themed humor, Mastering 'Metrics presents the essential tools of econometric research and demonstrates why econometrics is exciting and useful. The five most valuable econometric methods, or what the authors call the Furious Five--random assignment, regression, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity designs, and differences in differences--are illustrated through well-crafted real-world examples (vetted for awesomeness by Kung Fu Panda's Jade Palace). Does health insurance make you healthier? Randomized experiments provide answers. Are expensive private colleges and selective public high schools better than more pedestrian institutions? Regression analysis and a regression discontinuity design reveal the surprising truth. When private banks teeter, and depositors take their money and run, should central banks step in to save them? Differences-in-differences analysis of a Depression-era banking crisis offers a response. Could arresting O. J. Simpson have saved his ex-wife's life? Instrumental variables methods instruct law enforcement authorities in how best to respond to domestic abuse. Wielding econometric tools with skill and confidence, Mastering 'Metrics uses data and statistics to illuminate the path from cause to effect. Shows why econometrics is important Explains econometric research through humorous and accessible discussion Outlines empirical methods central to modern econometric practice Works through interesting and relevant real-world examples
Authoring a PhD Thesis
by Patrick DunleavyThis title examines the development of creative ideas, working out how to organize them, writing up from your plans, upgrading your text, and finishing your PhD thesis speedily and to a good standard. It also includes being examined and getting your work published.
by Ariel Rubinstein"I had the good fortune to grow up in a wonderful area of Jerusalem, surrounded by a diverse range of people: Rabbi Meizel, the communist Sala Marcel, my widowed Aunt Hannah, and the intellectual Yaacovson. As far as I'm concerned, the opinion of such people is just as authoritative for making social and economic decisions as the opinion of an expert using a model." Part memoir, part crash-course in economic theory, this deeply engaging book by one of the world's foremost economists looks at economic ideas through a personal lens. Together with an introduction to some of the central concepts in modern economic thought, Ariel Rubinstein offers some powerful and entertaining reflections on his childhood, family and career. In doing so, he challenges many of the central tenets of game theory, and sheds light on the role economics can play in society at large. Economic Fables is as thought-provoking for seasoned economists as it is enlightening for newcomers to the field.
The Conscience of a Liberal
by Paul KrugmanIn The Conscience of a Liberal Paul Krugman, one of the US’s most respected economists and outspoken commentators, lays out his vision of a New Deal for a fairer society. After the Second World War it seemed that, in the West, society was gradually becoming more equal. Welfare States had been established in many countries, there was a general reduction in income inequality and in America Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal seemed to ensure strong democratic values and broadly shared prosperity. So what went wrong? Why, in the past thirty years, has the gap between the poor and the super-rich become such a gulf? Why are we so disillusioned with the political system? And what can be done about this huge economic inequality and bitter polarization? Krugman argues that the time is ripe for another era of great reform. Here he outlines a programme for change, explaining what can be done to narrow the wealth gap. And he shows how a new political coalition can both support and be supported by reform, making our society not just more equal but more democratic. The Conscience of a Liberal promises to reshape public debate and become a touchstone work.
Exit, Voice, and Loyalty
by Albert O. HirschmanAn innovator in contemporary thought on economic and political development looks here at decline rather than growth. Albert O. Hirschman makes a basic distinction between alternative ways of reacting to deterioration in business firms and, in general, to dissatisfaction with organizations: one, “exit,” is for the member to quit the organization or for the customer to switch to the competing product, and the other, “voice,” is for members or customers to agitate and exert influence for change “from within.” The efficiency of the competitive mechanism, with its total reliance on exit, is questioned for certain important situations. As exit often undercuts voice while being unable to counteract decline, loyalty is seen in the function of retarding exit and of permitting voice to play its proper role. The interplay of the three concepts turns out to illuminate a wide range of economic, social, and political phenomena. As the author states in the preface, “having found my own unifying way of looking at issues as diverse as competition and the two-party system, divorce and the American character, black power and the failure of ‘unhappy’ top officials to resign over Vietnam, I decided to let myself go a little.”
Good Luck Life
by Rosemary GongGood Luck Life is the first book to explain the meanings of Chinese rituals and to offer advice on when and how to plan for Chinese holidays and special occasions such as Chinese weddings, the Red Egg and Ginger party to welcome a new baby, significant birthdays, and the inevitable funeral. Packed with practical information, Good Luck Life contains an abundance of facts, legends, foods, old-village recipes, and quick planning guides for Chinese New Year, Clear Brightness, Dragon Boat, Mid-Autumn, and many other festivals. Written with warmth and wit, Good Luck Life is beautifully designed as an easily accessible cultural guide that includes an explanation of the Lunar Calendar, tips on Chinese table etiquette for dining with confidence, and dos and don'ts from wise Auntie Lao, who recounts ancient Chinese beliefs and superstitions. This is your map for celebrating a good luck life.
by Karl MarxÒMoney is the alienated essence of man's labor and life; and this alien essence dominates him as he worships it.Ó -Capital, Vol 1: A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production This version of Capital Volume 1, Marx's highest achievement in economics, is based on the English edition of 1887. It is presented here in a large, easy to read format, with large margins perfect for note-taking. Karl Marx: Born May 5, 1818, in Trier Germany. Died March 14, 1883 in London, England, a ""stateless"" person.
Freakonomics Revised and Expanded Edition
by Steven D. LevittAssume nothing, question everything. This is the message at the heart of Freakonomics, Levitt and Dubner's rule-breaking, iconoclastic book about crack dealers, cheating teachers and bizarre baby names that turned everyone's view of the world upside-down and became an international multi-million-copy-selling phenomenon. 'Prepare to be dazzled' Malcolm Gladwell 'A sensation ... you'll be stimulated, provoked and entertained. Of how many books can that be said?' Sunday Telegraph 'Has you chuckling one minute and gasping in amazement the next' Wall Street Journal 'Dazzling ... a delight' Economist 'Made me laugh out loud' Scotland on Sunday
Adults in the Room
by Yanis Varoufakis** The Sunday Times #1 Bestseller** 'One of the greatest political memoirs of all time' Guardian What happens when you take on the European establishment? Read as world-famous, provocative economist, and former Greece finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, blows the lid on his battle with EU officials over the Greek debt crisis. Varoufakis sparked one of the most spectacular and controversial battles in recent political history with his attempt to renegotiate Greece’s relationship with the European Union. Yet despite the mass support of the Greek people, and simple logic of his arguments, he succeeded only in provoking the fury of Europe’s political, financial and media elite. Exposing the real business taking place behind the EU’s closed doors, Varoufakis reveals all in this fearless, personal account. Adults In The Room is an extraordinary tale of brinkmanship, hypocrisy, collusion and betrayal that will shake the European and economic establishment to its foundations. Varoufakis is sending out an urgent wake-up call to renew European democracy before it is too late. **ONE OF THE GUARDIAN'S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE 21st CENTURY**
Fischer Black and the Revolutionary Idea of Finance
by Perry Mehrlingpraise for FISCHER BLACK AND THE REVOLUTIONARY IDEA OF FINANCE "The story of Fischer Black. . . . is remarkable both because of the creativity of the man and because of the revolution he brought to Wall Street. . . . Mehrling's book is fascinating." —FINANCIAL TIMES "A fascinating history of things we take for granted in our everyday financial lives." —THE NEW YORK TIMES "Mehrling's book is essential reading for anyone interested in the development of modern finance or the life of an idiosyncratic creative genius." —PUBLISHERS WEEKLY "Fischer Black was more than a vital force in the development of finance theory. He was also a character. Perry Mehrling has captured both sides of the picture: the evolution of thinking about the pricing of risk and time, as well as the thinkers, especially this fascinating eccentric, who worked it out." —ROBERT M. SOWLO, Nobel laureate and Institute Professor of Economics, Emeritus, Massachusetts Institute of Technology "Although I worked closely with Fischer for nine years at Goldman Sachs and clearly recognized both his genius and the breadth and originality of his ideas, until I read this book, I had only the vaguest grasp of the source of his inspiration and no understanding at all of the source of his many idiosyncrasies." —BOB LITTERMAN, Partner, Kepos Capital "Perry Mehrling has done a remarkable job of tracing the intellectual and personal development of one of the most original and complex thinkers of our generation. Fischer Black deserved it: a charming and brilliant book about a charming and brilliant man." —ROBERT E. LUCAS JR., Nobel laureate and Professor of Economics, The University of Chicago
Africa's World War
by Gerard PrunierThe Rwandan genocide sparked a horrific bloodbath that swept across sub-Saharan Africa, ultimately leading to the deaths of some four million people. In this extraordinary history of the recent wars in Central Africa, Gerard Prunier offers a gripping account of how one grisly episode laid the groundwork for a sweeping and disastrous upheaval.Prunier vividly describes the grisly aftermath of the Rwandan genocide, when some two million refugees--a third of Rwanda's population--fled to exile in Zaire in 1996. The new Rwandan regime then crossed into Zaire and attacked the refugees, slaughtering upwards of 400,000 people. The Rwandan forces then turned on Zaire's despotic President Mobutu and, with the help of a number of allied African countries, overthrew him. But as Prunier shows, the collapse of the Mobutu regime and the ascension of the corrupt and erratic Laurent-Desire Kabila created a power vacuum that drew Rwanda, Uganda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and other African nations into an extended and chaotic war. The heart of the book documents how the whole core of the African continent became engulfed in an intractible and bloody conflict after 1998, a devastating war that only wound down following the assassination of Kabila in 2001. Prunier not only captures all this in his riveting narrative, but he also indicts the international community for its utter lack of interest in what was then the largest conflict in the world.Praise for the hardcover:"The most ambitious of several remarkable new books that reexamine the extraordinary tragedy of Congo and Central Africa since the Rwandan genocide of 1994."--New York Review of Books"One of the first books to lay bare the complex dynamic between Rwanda and Congo that has been driving this disaster."--Jeffrey Gettleman, New York Times Book Review"Lucid, meticulously researched and incisive, Prunier's will likely become the standard account of this under-reported tragedy."--Publishers Weekly
The Narrow Corridor
by Daron Acemoglu'As enjoyable as it is thought-provoking' Jared Diamond By the authors of the international bestseller Why Nations Fail, based on decades of research, this powerful new big-picture framework explains how some countries develop towards and provide liberty while others fall to despotism, anarchy or asphyxiating norms - and explains how liberty can thrive despite new threats. Liberty is hardly the 'natural' order of things; usually states have been either too weak to protect individuals or too strong for people to protect themselves from despotism. There is also a happy Western myth that where liberty exists, it's a steady state, arrived at by 'enlightenment'. But liberty emerges only when a delicate and incessant balance is struck between state and society - between elites and citizens. This struggle becomes self-reinforcing, inducing both state and society to develop a richer array of capacities, thus affecting the peacefulness of societies, the success of economies and how people experience their daily lives. Explaining this new framework through compelling stories from around the world, in history and from today - and through a single diagram on which the development of any state can be plotted - this masterpiece helps us understand the past and present, and analyse the future. 'In this highly original and gratifying fresco, Daron Acemoglu and Jim Robinson take us on a journey through civilizations, time and locations. Their narrow corridor depicts the constant and often unstable struggle of society to keep the Leviathan in check and of the Leviathan to weaken the cage of norms. A remarkable achievement that only they could pull off and that seems destined to repeat the stellar performance of Why Nations Fail' Jean Tirole, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2014 'Another outstanding, insightful book by Acemoglu and Robinson on the importance and difficulty of getting and maintaining a successful democratic state. Packed with examples and analysis, it is a pleasure to read' Peter Diamond, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2010 'The Narrow Corridor takes us on a fascinating journey, across continents and through human history, to discover the critical ingredient of liberty. It finds that it's up to each of us: that ingredient is our own commitments, as citizens, to support democratic values. In these times, there can be no more important message - nor any more important book' George Akerlof, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2001 'How should we view the current challenges facing our democracies? This brilliant, timely book offers a simple, powerful framework for assessing alternative forms of social governance. The analysis is a reminder that it takes vigilance to maintain a proper balance between the state and society - to stay in the 'narrow corridor' - and avoid falling either into statelessness or dictatorship' Bengt Holmstrom, Nobel Laureate in Economics, 2016
Free to Lose
by John E. RoemerJohn Roemer challenges the morality of an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production. Unless you start with a certain amount of wealth in such a society, you are only "free to lose." This book addresses crucial questions of political philosophy and normative economics in terms understandable by readers with a minimal knowledge of economics.