Economics Department Read, Winter 2012

We have been sponsoring a reading group (DS-391) in the economics department over the past four terms, and we will continue that with two books during the winter term. If you have some spare time in the next five weeks, you might try getting a jump on these.

The first is Roger Backhouse and Brad Bateman’s Capitalist Revolutionary: John Maynard Keynes. The authors’ names might sound familiar from a couple of posts ago where I briefly discuss their op-ed in the New York Times about the need for economist as “worldly philosopher” rather than “dentists” (Keynes’ term) honing in on the intricacies of the little picture.  Indeed, the book portrays Keynes both as a deep thinker and an accomplished technical theorist.

The second is Tyler Cowen’s brief yet epic e-book, The Great Stagnation:  How America Ate All The Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better.   This is one of the most thoroughly reviewed pieces I have ever seen, with scholars and bloggers and otherwise lining up to weigh in.  There is plenty to talk about with this one.

Both books should be accessible to economics students at any level.