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The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics

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  • Posted July 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Thought-provoking economic theory exposition

    In this massive, erudite book, Eric D. Beinhocker offers a history of economics, and an informative discussion of the scientific basis and shortcomings of conventional economic wisdom. He is strongest as he explains the steadily diminishing scientific credibility of "Traditional Economics," and offers "Complexity Economics" as a more useful theory. He says it better accounts for changeable, evolving markets with irrational actors, dynamic networks and mutual influence between micro- and macro levels of economics. If nonexperts find his discussion of evolution, complexity and chaos a bit diffuse, that may be because this conceptual exposition is not intended to be light reading. In fact, Beinhocker's less scholarly policy recommendations are also less persuasive. getAbstract finds that he does an excellent job of introducing a serious problem with traditional economics.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2006

    The Origin of Wealth - This is a superlative book.

    Beinhocker introduces the emerging field of 'complexity economics' in a clear and logical manner. His depth of research and knowledge is astounding. He draws on apposite information from all fields in each he has a firm grounding of knowledge, and from each he illuminates critical aspects to forcefully project his arguments. His endnotes are extensive. This is a truly outstanding work I recommend it highly for anyone in any field.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2006

    An excellent introduction to a changing field

    Complex adaptive systems and emergent behavior are big things in the science world, and this book explains how they can lead to better economic understanding. Economics has resisted science for centuries but the two are finally starting to come together again. Better data and computer processing are making it easier to dismiss the centuries old fundamentals of common economics and instead look at more reasonable explanations. This book gives a superb look into modern economic thoughts and is written for a general audience.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2006

    A phenomenal mind changing book

    First, the other review is simply incorrect - this book has nothing to do with Social Darwinism. In fact if the reviewer had read p. 13, the author describes old views of Social Darwinism as 'repugnant.' Instead, this book is about a modern revolution in economics that will affect us all. Evolutionary theory and complexity theory are fundamentally changing how economists think about the world. The author does a superb job of making this cutting-edge work understandable to non-economists and exciting, and he discusses what it means for business and politics. I also read Freakanomics recently and thought this was far more interesting and profound.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2006

    This sounds like Social Darwinism

    There is nothing new in the ideas of market fundamentalism, and no progressive thinker should expect to be 'entertained' by notions held dear by the robber barons of the past.

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    Posted October 30, 2009

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    Posted December 28, 2009

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    Posted February 2, 2011

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    Posted October 26, 2008

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