Recommended Reading for A Level Economists

Geoff Riley

13th August 2018

A number of new books make it into my personal selection of enrichment and extension reading for A Level Economists.

I have added in Dharshini David's new book about the US dollar and the global economy together with Linda Yueh's new assessment of the relevance of the Great Economists to contemporary policy issues. Behavioural economics fans will enjoy Richard Shotton's "Choice Factory" built on twenty-five behavioural biases that shape the decisions we make as consumers.

"Capitalism without capital" by Haskel and Westkale is, according to many seasoned economists, a highly recommended read on the growth to prominence of the intangible economy. David Pilling's "Growth Delusion" is a welcome addition to a cluster of books that seek to measure living standard and well-being in different ways.

Kate Raworth's book "Doughnut Economics" is - in my opinion - pretty much a must-read for Economists who want a critique of so much standard economic thinking. It would be a fantastic book to read for Year 11 students before coming into an A-level course.

Finally I have chosen "A World of Three Zeroes" by Muhhamad Yunus because I want to read more about the ways in which micro-finance can shape social entrepreneurship in tackling poverty and climate change.

This is my selection of books for economics enrichment and extension reading (Summer 2018 edition)

1. 23 Things They Don't Tell You About Capitalism (Ha-Joon Chang) – challenges conventional thinking

2. Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance: (Ian Goldin & Chris Kutarna)

3. Alibaba: The House that Jack Ma Built (Duncan Clark) – The rise of the Chinese corporate giant

4. Almighty Dollar (Dharshini David) – follows the journey of a single $ to show how the global economy works

5. Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy (Haskel and Westlake)

6. Capitalism: 50 Ideas You Really Need to Know (Jonathan Portes) – compact and excellent reference material

7. Choice Factory (Richard Shotton) – a story of 25 behavioural biases that influence what we buy

8. Doughnut Economics (Kate Raworth) – challenges much of orthodox thinking in the subject

9. Drunkard’s Walk (Leonard Mlodinow) – a brilliant history of Maths with lots of relevant applications

10. Economics for the Common Good (Jean Tirole) – applied micro from a recent Nobel prize winner

11. GDP: A Brief but Affectionate History (Professor Diane Coyle) – really good on the GDP / well-being debate

12. Grave New World: (Stephen King) – Former head of Econ at HSBC looks at the fracturing global economy

13. Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today (Linda Yueh) – perspectives on contemporary issues

14. Growth Delusion: The Wealth and Well-Being of Nations (David Pilling) – antidote to gospel of GDP

15. Inequality (Anthony Atkinson) – a superb book on one of the defining economic/political issues of the age

16. Inner Lives of Markets: How People Shape Them—And They Shape Us (Sharman and Fishman)

17. Limits of the Market: The Pendulum Between Government and the Market (Paul De Grauwe)

18. Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioural Economics (Richard Thaler) – a truly superb biography

19. Plundered Planet: How to Reconcile Prosperity with Nature: (Professor Paul Collier) – development classic

20. Poor Economics: Rethinking Ways to Fight Global Poverty (Banerjee & Duflo) – development economics

21. Positive Linking – Networks and Nudges (Paul Ormerod) – good introduction to network economics

22. Rise and Fall of Nations: Ten Rules of Change in the Post-Crisis World (Richir Sharma)

23. Risk Savvy - How to make good decisions (Gerd Gigerenzer) – the world of heuristics and risk management

24. Ten Great Economists (Philip Thornton) – biographical background, well worth a read

25. The Box - How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, (Levinson)

26. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon (Brad Stone) – a great business page turner

27. The Great Divide (Professor Joseph Stiglitz) – one of the classic critiques of globalisation

28. The Great Escape (Professor Angus Deaton) – a broad sweep of economic history and poverty reduction

29. The Undoing Project: (Michael Lewis) – Tracks the birth of behavioural economics, Kahneman and Tversky

30. Thinking Fast and Thinking Slow: (Professor Daniel Kahneman) – the classic Kahneman epic on psychology

31. Upstarts: How Uber and Airbnb are changing the world (Brad Stone) Follow up to his work on Amazon

32. What Money Can't Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets (Michael Sandel) – Pure PPE bliss

33. Who Gets What - And Why: Understand the Choices You Have; Improve the Choices You Make (Al Roth)

34. Why Information Grows: The Evolution of Order, from Atoms to Economies (Cesar Hidalgo) – challenging

35. World of Three Zeroes (Muhammad Yunus) – new book from founder of the Grameen Bank

Geoff Riley

Geoff Riley FRSA has been teaching Economics for over thirty years. He has over twenty years experience as Head of Economics at leading schools. He writes extensively and is a contributor and presenter on CPD conferences in the UK and overseas.

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