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The Great Economists

The Great Economists

Ten Economists whose thinking changed the way we live

Phil Thornton

May 2014, Paperback, 264 pages
ISBN13: 9781292009414
ISBN10: 1292009411
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The Great Economists succinctly and accurately describes the thinking of the world’s leading economic thinkers. It captures their key beliefs, explores their backgrounds, assesses their thinking and evaluates their legacy. It explains the schools of thought named after them and clearly shows how they influence our everyday lives.

There is a resurgence of interest in economics. Terminology that was once meaningless, such as quantitative easing, austerity, money supply, monetarism and prospect theory, are now central to how we plan our lives, when we take holidays, how we spend money and what jobs we do. But who coined these phrases, what was their thinking, how are our political leaders influenced by them, how will their policies affect us? The Great Economists: Ten People Whose Thinking Changed the Ways We Live explains their importance.

Economists such as Marx, Keynes, Ricardo, Friedman and Hayek are known throughout the world. Their thinking has started wars, divided continents, spawned political parties, influenced iconic political leaders, made some people very rich and had striking impacts on how we live our lives. Who are these people and what have they done to make such a mark on society? What can we learn from them?

The Great Economists is a book that succinctly and accurately describes the thinking of some of the worlds leading economists from the last two centuries. It captures the key philosophy of each and explores their origins, assessment and legacy. It shows what they have left behind: the –isms named after them; their accolades and awards; the resulting schools of thought; political leaders who have embraced their thinking.

The Great Economists is a guide to the perplexing world of economics and economists. It explains why, now more than ever, we all need to know about economic thought and shows how these gurus are used in our everyday lives whether in the way that we talk about thing, how our work operates or how we make financial decisions.

Each chapter follows the same format: it begins with a commonly used phrase or understanding of each thinker and shows how they lead back to each economist. This is followed by a short biographical overview, the events that affected their thinking, key theories, and their legacy and who they have influenced. The chapter then ends with a verdict on their theoretical position.

The Great Economists will help readers:

· Learn about interest rates, exchange rates, economic indicators and equity markets

· It will help them make better decisions about investing and obtaining mortgages

· By working out how to understand and spot secondary effects and possible unintended consequences

· It will help them make more informed decisions as both a consumer by having a better view of the macro and the micro economic decisions that shape all our lives

· It will explain why it’s important to know about economics

· It will educate by showing readers which political leader has been influenced by which theorist

Keywords: Economics; finance; macroeconomics; global trade; unemployment; banking; politics; economic theory; Keynes; Friedman; monetarism

About the Author

Acknowledgements

Introduction

Chapter 1 – Adam Smith – the ‘founding father’ of economics

Chapter 2 – David Ricardo – from immigrant to gentleman

Chapter 3 – Karl Marx – the fallen hero?

Chapter 4 – Alfred Marshall – microeconomics arrives

Chapter 5 – John Maynard Keynes – the rise, fall, rise … and fall

Chapter 6 – Friedrich Hayek – the archetypal libertarian

Chapter 7 – Milton Friedman – father of monetarism

Chapter 8 – Paul Samuelson – the neoclassical economist synthesist

Chapter 9 – Gary Becker – economics in the real world

Chapter 10 - Daniel Kahneman – economic psychologist

Phil Thornton is lead consultant at Clarity Economics, a consultancy and freelance writing service he set up after a 15-year career as a newspaper journalist. Before founding Clarity Economics he was Economics Correspondent at the Independent newspaper, a post he held for eight years. Phil is an award winning journalist, with a strong platform. His awards include Feature Journalist of the Year award in the Work World Media Awards, 2010 and Print Journalist of the Year Work World Media Awards, 2007