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- DescriptionEcomists make confident assertions in op-ed columns and on cable news - so why are their explanations often at odds with equally confident assertions from other ecomists? And why are all ecomic predictions so rarely borne out? Harnessing his frustration with these contradictions, Jonathan Schlefer set out to investigate how ecomists arrive at their opinions. While ecomists cloak their views in the aura of science, what they actually do is make assumptions about the world, use those assumptions to build imaginary ecomies (kwn as models), and from those models generate conclusions. Their models can be useful or dangerous, and it is surprisingly difficult to tell which is which. Schlefer arms us with an understanding of rival assumptions and models reaching back to Adam Smith and forward to cutting-edge theorists today. Although abstract, mathematical thinking characterizes ecomists' work, Schlefer reminds us that ecomists are unavoidably human. They fall prey to fads and enthusiasms and subscribe to ideologies that shape their assumptions, sometimes in problematic ways. Schlefer takes up current controversies such as income inequality and the financial crisis, for which he holds ecomists in large part accountable. Although theorists won international acclaim for creating models that demonstrated the inherent instability of markets, ostensibly practical ecomists igred those accepted theories and instead relied on their blind faith in the invisible hand of unregulated enterprise. Schlefer explains how the politics of ecomics allowed them to do so. The Assumptions Ecomists Make renders the behavior of ecomists much more comprehensible, if t less irrational.
- Author BiographyJonathan Schlefer holds a Ph.D. in political science from MIT and is the author of Palace Politics: How the Ruling Party Brought Crisis to Mexico, as well as articles for The Atlantic and other publications. He is currently a research associate at Harvard Business School.
- Author(s)Jonathan Schlefer
- PublisherHarvard University Press
- Date of Publication13/03/2012
- SubjectEconomics: Textbooks & Study Guides
- Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass.
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintThe Belknap Press
- Weight666 g
- Width140 mm
- Height210 mm
- Spine15 mm
- Format DetailsSewn,Cloth over boards,With printed dust jacket
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