New Principles of Economics Textbook

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Professor John Komlos has just released a new textbook on economics which breaks away from the mold of producing clones of Samuelson's genre-defining opus. Its title is "What Every Eco­nom­ics Stu­dent Needs to Know and Doesn’t Get in the Usual Prin­ci­ples Text“. At a price of $26.55 via Ama­zon, it is priced to be an afford­able sup­ple­ment to a stan­dard text­book. Given the fail­ings of the dis­ci­pline that were so vividly high­lighted by the global finan­cial cri­sis, this book is well worth con­sid­er­ing as an alter­na­tive to the Neo­clas­si­cal mono­cul­ture that dom­i­nates eco­nomic tuition today.

The fol­low­ing blurb is lifted from John’s web­site:

About the book

The recent finan­cial cri­sis illus­trated vividly the flaws of weakly reg­u­lated mar­kets, yet text­books remain unchanged, fail­ing to con­vey the sys­tem­atic lim­i­ta­tions of free mar­kets. This book redresses this imbal­ance in the tra­di­tion of G. Akerlof, R. East­er­lin, J.K. Gal­braith, H. Min­sky, D. Kah­ne­man, J.M. Keynes, P. Krug­man, A. Sen, R. Shiller, H. Simon, J. Stiglitz, Th. Veblen, and the Insti­tute of New Eco­nomic Thinking.

It does so by explor­ing impor­tant top­ics that are gen­er­ally over­looked in intro­duc­tory eco­nom­ics courses and by jux­ta­pos­ing black­board mod­els of the econ­omy with real-world empir­i­cal obser­va­tions. Kom­los argues con­vinc­ingly that it is mis­lead­ing to focus on mod­els of per­fect com­pe­ti­tion in a world where such mar­kets have become an insignif­i­cant share of eco­nomic activ­ity. Rather, even begin­ning stu­dents ought to be intro­duced to the work­ings of oli­gop­o­lis­tic mar­ket struc­tures with imper­fect infor­ma­tion and endemic under­em­ploy­ment. In such cases mar­kets are no longer effi­cient and there is plenty of oppor­tu­ni­ties to enhance the qual­ity of life of its par­tic­i­pants. Kom­los pro­poses a human cen­tered eco­nom­ics that attains full employ­ment and an equi­table dis­tri­b­u­tion of income striv­ing above all toward a just economy.

Con­cepts cov­ered in the book include often neglected top­ics such as:

  1. Behav­ioral economics
  2. Cog­ni­tive biases
  3. Reg­u­la­tory capture
  4. Bounded ratio­nal­ity
  5. Dot-Com Bub­ble
  6. Sub-prime mort­gage crisis
  7. the Great Recession
  8. Cor­po­rate compensation
  9. Basic needs
  10. Income inequal­ity
  11. Oppor­tunis­tic behavior
  12. Moral haz­ard
  13. Principal-Agent prob­lem
  14. Asym­met­ric information
  15. Finan­cial melt­down of 2008
  16. Cap­i­tal­ism with a human face
  17. Preda­tory lending
  18. Rel­a­tive income
  19. Sig­nal­ing
  20. Coun­ter­vail­ing power
  21. Hap­pi­ness economics
  22. Bailouts

About Steve Keen

I am Professor of Economics and Head of Economics, History and Politics at Kingston University London, and a long time critic of conventional economic thought. As well as attacking mainstream thought in Debunking Economics, I am also developing an alternative dynamic approach to economic modelling. The key issue I am tackling here is the prospect for a debt-deflation on the back of the enormous private debts accumulated globally, and our very low rate of inflation.
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2 Responses to New Principles of Economics Textbook

  1. Pingback: New Principles of Economics Textbook | The Mone...

  2. Steve Hummel says:

    Those are all good cat­e­gories espe­cially coun­ter­vail­ing power. Let’s make sure it cov­ers the asym­met­ric pow­ers of Banks and the Bank­ing system.

    No more glar­ing pri­vate monop­oly on credit cre­ation or on the restric­tive hold on the rea­sons or pur­poses for which credit may be issued. Demand has his­tor­i­cally been scarce and in a tech­no­log­i­cally advanced profit mak­ing econ­omy this indi­vid­ual mon­e­tary scarcity, by the log­ics of both profit and inno­va­tion, has no ratio­nal option but to increase. Thus it is nec­es­sary to use the won­der­fully accu­rate and facil­i­ta­tive tool of money….as an evo­lu­tion­ary means of mak­ing profit mak­ing eco­nomic systems…more demo­c­ra­tic and functional.

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