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Kunskap och nationers välstånd (2006)

av David Warsh

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
297464,876 (3.64)3
A stimulating and inviting tour of modern economics centered on the story of one of its most important breakthroughs. In 1980, the twenty-four-year-old graduate student Paul Romer tackled one of the oldest puzzles in economics. Eight years later he solved it. This book tells the story of what has come to be called the new growth theory: the paradox identified by Adam Smith more than two hundred years earlier, its disappearance and occasional resurfacing in the nineteenth century, the development of new technical tools in the twentieth century, and finally the student who could see further than his teachers. Fascinating in its own right, new growth theory helps to explain dominant first-mover firms like IBM or Microsoft, underscores the value of intellectual property, and provides essential advice to those concerned with the expansion of the economy. Like James Gleick's Chaos or Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe, this revealing book takes us to the frontlines of scientific research; not since Robert Heilbroner's classic work The Worldly Philosophers have we had as attractive a glimpse of the essential science of economics.… (mer)

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This book is about how economics is done using the journey to publication and impact of [a:David Romer|260271|David Romer|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-632230dc9882b4352d753eedf9396530.png]'s 1990 paper 'Endogenous Technological Change' as its vehicle.

The first half of the book is a decent if rambling history of economic thought on the question of why economies grow over time, especially considering that so much economics is based on the notion of diminishing returns. The second half of the book looks at how Romer sought to escape from diminishing returns. This half is equally rambling, with lots of detours and diversions which, ironically, given the subject of the book, run into diminishing returns themselves; one into the history of internet browser wars is particularly tedious.

When the book is on subject, however, it is a full and revealing look at the mechanics of professional economics. ( )
  JohnPhelan | Oct 4, 2016 |
David Warsh is an economics reporter and observer and in this book describes the progress in economic theory made by professionals, using the importance of knowledge and technical change as an example.
The book gives a potted history of economics from Adam Smith (reflected in the title) through to the activities of key players in the early 2000s.
I got a bit lost in the middle - too much info and terminology that was unfamiliar - but the book was worth finishing.
I found it quite stunning how primitive and stunted economic theory was in the very recent past (say the 1960s) and how limited economic explanations remain to date. Theory has improved significantly, but much that needs explaining remains beyond the capacity of current models. In particular, the grasp of why some countries got to be rich while others remain poor, is not well understood. The human impact of this failure must be enormous.
Read January 2015 ( )
  mbmackay | Jan 5, 2015 |
경제
  leese | Nov 23, 2009 |
It is no secret: ideas motivate the world. They propel markets. As obvious as it seems today, it has not always been so.

It was not until 1980 when a 24 year-old graduate student, Paul Romer tackled the role of knowledge that the concept assumed it rightful role. It took him eight years to solve the puzzle. While the problem was clear, the tools to solve it were not.

David Warsh, an economic journalist, narrates this tale of economic discovery. Drawing vivid portraits of those pioneering economists who work advanced this idea, Warsh explores Adam Smith’s paradox of falling costs. He explains the contributions of Smith, Alfred Marshall, John Maynard Keynes, Joseph Schumpeter, Paul Krugman, Robert Solow, Kenneth Arrow, Robert Lucas and, of course, Romer.

His portraits draw a rich picture of how theoretical economics evolves. The personal struggle to clarify disparate vapors of ideas, luncheon meetings with colleagues for inspiration, the circulation of notes, preparation of papers, the struggle publish them in respected journals and attendance at conferences.

A skillful writer blessed with the ability to translate complex ideas into clear and concise prose, Warsh brings new insights and understanding to problems posed more than 200 years ago by Adam Smith.

Penned by the Pointed Pundit
August 22, 2007
8:06:11 PM ( )
  PointedPundit | Mar 23, 2008 |
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The construction of a model, or of any theory for that matter (or the writing of a novel, a short story or a play) consists of snatching from the enormous and complex mass of facts called reality a few simple, easily-managed key points which, when put together in some cunning way, become for certain purposes a substitute for reality itself. -- Evsey Domar, Essays in the Theory of Economic Growth
Truth emerges more readily from error than from confusion. -- Francis Bacon, Novum Organum
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To the memory of E. Lawrence (Laury) Minard III, 1950-2001
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A stimulating and inviting tour of modern economics centered on the story of one of its most important breakthroughs. In 1980, the twenty-four-year-old graduate student Paul Romer tackled one of the oldest puzzles in economics. Eight years later he solved it. This book tells the story of what has come to be called the new growth theory: the paradox identified by Adam Smith more than two hundred years earlier, its disappearance and occasional resurfacing in the nineteenth century, the development of new technical tools in the twentieth century, and finally the student who could see further than his teachers. Fascinating in its own right, new growth theory helps to explain dominant first-mover firms like IBM or Microsoft, underscores the value of intellectual property, and provides essential advice to those concerned with the expansion of the economy. Like James Gleick's Chaos or Brian Greene's The Elegant Universe, this revealing book takes us to the frontlines of scientific research; not since Robert Heilbroner's classic work The Worldly Philosophers have we had as attractive a glimpse of the essential science of economics.

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