- Tapa blanda: 384 páginas
- Editor: Penguin; Edición: UK ed. (31 de enero de 2002)
- Idioma: Inglés
- ISBN-10: 0140260420
- ISBN-13: 978-0140260427
- Valoración media de los clientes: 1 opinión de cliente
- Clasificación en los más vendidos de Amazon: nº87.297 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros (Ver el Top 100 en Libros en idiomas extranjeros)
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The Penguin History of Economics (Inglés) Tapa blanda – 31 ene 2002
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Reseña del editor
A very clear, reliable and readable history of economic thought from the ancient world to the present day. From Homer to Marx to John Stuart Mill, Backhouse shows how to keep your Keynsians from your post-Keynsians and New Keynsians. A core book.
Biografía del autor
Professor of the History and Philosophy of Economics at the University of Birmingham, Backhouse is a leading historian of economics.
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A much more detailed book on the rise of mathematical economics is "How Economics Became a Mathematical Science" by E. Roy Weintraub.
"By Aristotle's time it was widely accepted that all things were built up from common units (atomism). Geometry was based on point, arithmetic on the number '1', and so on to the physical world. It was believed that this meant that different phenomena were commensurable in the sense that they could similarly be expressed as ratios of whole numbers. This was why it had been a great blow to the Pythagoreans to discover that there were irrational numbers like 11 or 2 that could not be expressed as ratios."
Now it's possible that the author had written the square root of 2 instead of "11 or 2" but even so a mistake as glaring as this one should never appear. It causes one to have grave doubts about the accuracy of the rest of the book.
Accuracy aside, though, the writing seems to have been thrown together from random thoughts and not had the benefit of carefully editing. It's not that the random thoughts are completely unorganized, just that they don't seem to do much in the way of presenting an organized presentation. The quotation above is typical.
So. Accuracy in doubt and a bit casual in approach. I can not recommend it.
The book makes numerous inaccurate statements. When discussing people complaining about "high and discriminatory" freight rates in the Midwest during the arguments of anti-trust he doesn't spend a second to actually analyze the economics of those claims which turn out to be false. He claims that resources are becoming more scarce when, since I assume the author is educated in economics, means that the price of many resources should be going up over the long run. As Julian Simon shows, the opposite is occurring over the long run - especially when you measure the output of those resources like the price per BTU. The author claims that the socialist calculation debates ignores institutions. Much of that debate focused on the existence and variety of institutions between socialist and capitalist economies. The author ignored the economic success of Hong Kong when discussing the "strong and authoritarian governments" of East Asia like Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore (not authoritarian) that developed as if development requires authoritarianism. The author ignored the pro-free market and non-racist/authoritarian development economist P.T. Bauer who was right in his critiques of mainstream development economics DECADES before anybody else event thought critically of development aid. Gordon Tullock is not "right-wing" as the author claims.
The book is also unfortunately ideological. The author points out whenever an economist is right-wing but rarely when he is left-wing. It's annoying and doesn't expose anything except the author's ideological predilections.
Overall, this book isn't worth reading if you want a good history of economic thought.