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About this product
- DescriptionOne of the central tenets of mainstream ecomics is Adam Smith's proposition that, given certain conditions, self-interested behavior by individuals leads them to the social good, almost as if orchestrated by an invisible hand. This deep insight has, over the past two centuries, been taken out of context, contorted, and used as the cornerstone of free-market orthodoxy. In Beyond the Invisible Hand, Kaushik Basu argues that mainstream ecomics and its conservative popularizers have misrepresented Smith's insight and hampered our understanding of how ecomies function, why some ecomies fail and some succeed, and what the nature and role of state intervention might be. Comparing this view of the invisible hand with the vision described by Kafka--in which individuals pursuing their atomistic interests, devoid of moral compunction, end up creating a world that is mean and miserable--Basu argues for collective action and the need to shift our focus from the efficient society to one that is also fair. Using analytic tools from mainstream ecomics, the book challenges some of the precepts and propositions of mainstream ecomics. It maintains that, by igring the role of culture and custom, traditional ecomics promotes the view that the current system is the only viable one, thereby serving the interests of those who do well by this system. Beyond the Invisible Hand challenges readers to fundamentally rethink the assumptions underlying modern ecomic thought and proves that a more equitable society is both possible and sustainable, and hence worth striving for. By scrutinizing Adam Smith's theory, this impassioned critique of contemporary mainstream ecomics debunks traditional beliefs regarding best ecomic practices, self-interest, and the social good.
- Author BiographyKaushik Basu is professor of economics and the C. Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University. He is currently chief economic advisor to the Ministry of Finance of the Government of India. His books include Prelude to Political Economy: A Study of the Political and Social Foundations of Economics and Of People, of Places: Sketches from an Economist's Notebook .
- Author(s)Kaushik Basu
- PublisherPrinceton University Press
- Date of Publication25/10/2010
- SubjectEconomics: Professional & General
- Place of PublicationNew Jersey
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintPrinceton University Press
- Content Note8 tables.
- Weight542 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine28 mm
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