The User's Guide

Book - 2014
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"Unlike many economists, who present only one view of their discipline, Chang introduces a wide range of economic theories, from classical to Keynesian, revealing how each has its strengths and weaknesses, and why there is no one way to explain economic behavior. Instead, by ignoring the received wisdom and exposing the myriad forces that shape our financial world, Chang gives us the tools we need to understand our increasingly global and interconnected world often driven by economics. From the future of the Euro, inequality in China, or the condition of the American manufacturing industry here in the United States--Economics: The User's Guide is a concise and expertly crafted guide to economic fundamentals that offers a clear and accurate picture of the global economy and how and why it affects our daily lives" --
Publisher: New York, NY :, Bloomsbury Press,, 2014.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9781620408124
Branch Call Number: 330 CH
Characteristics: xii, 365 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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Mar 10, 2019

For the sort of book that it is (its audience, its aims, etc.), I should give it five stars. Its friendly and somewhat informally (or at least not pompously) written. The diverse set of economic ideas and ideals, as well as the pretensions to science and the theatrics of authority are exposed and (self-deprecatingly) explained. Each chapter has a reading list, and the notes are clear, easy to find, and mostly referential (rather than explanatory) in their nature. The terms that are highlighted in the text are not collected up in a glossary. The exquisitely simple and childlike question "why do we need to make the rich richer to make them work harder but make the poor poorer for the same purpose?" (p.91) refutes supply-side economic reforms brought in by the Reagan administration.

Feb 06, 2016

Chang wants to get people interested in economics since it influences our lives whether we are aware of it or not. Not sure if the book reaches that goal but it is an informative and well written introduction to economics.

Mar 07, 2015

I like Prof. Chang, I really do. But some economists simply don't understand economics because they know little of finance, although they may write extensively of it. Prof. Chang writes about credit derivatives and swaps [and pointedly on credit default swap] without even remotely explaining what they are to the reader, only repeating the brochure definition - - doesn't make it! Prof. Chang states that neoliberalism succeeded in Chile [although he does kinda qualify it as at a human cost - - the kidnapping, torture and horrific killing of over 30,000 Chileans, with the end frequently flying them out 50 miles to sea to shark-infested waters and dropping them in the ocean!] - - but I know of many Chileans who would strongly disagree with the professor. Confusing book as compared to what it could have been! [This book reminds me of Bernanke's highschoolish paper on the Great Depression, leaving out the illegal monies washed through the NYSE from Prohibition and the securitization of stocks. Et cetera.]


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