Upcoming titles in 2012

New Year’s Resolution time, and if yours is to read a lot more economics books, a look-ahead at some forthcoming titles over the next few months in this post and the next might encourage you. I’ll start here with some of the major university presses, general trade publishers will follow later in the week.

My own publisher, Princeton University Press, has a new book out in April by Robert Shiller of Irrational Exuberance fame. It’s called Finance and the Good Society, and argues that we need more financial innovation rather than less in response to the crisis, but it needs to be harnessed to the common good. Paul Seabright, one of the most creative economist working on the borders with other disciplines has a book The War of the Sexes arguing that the conflict between the sexes is, paradoxically, the product of evolutionary co-operation. The new book from economic historian Harold James is Krupp, a history of one of the most important industrial firms in Germany, looking at its changing social and economic role over two centuries.

MIT Press has  forthcoming in March The Clash of Generations, by Laurence Kotlikoff and Scott Burns, looking at the timely question of the US’s unsustainably huge off-balance sheet debts, thanks to the structure of social security and healthcare, which make its fiscal situation in reality much worse than that of Greece or Ireland. A collection of essays by leading economists, edited by Olivier Blanchard, David Romer, Michael Spence and Joseph Stiglitz, looks at the fundamental questions raised about macroeconomics, In the Wake of the Crisis. Adair Turner, in a similar vain, has a book called Economics After the Crisis, out in April.

Over at Yale University Press, Peter Marsh of the FT has The New Industrial Revolution Consumers, Globalization and the End of Mass Production, which does what it says, describing the continuing shift of industry to emerging economies and looking at the implications for the old industrial economies. But to remind us of all the pitfalls on China’s path to prosperity, there is The End of the Chinese Dream: Why Chinese People Fear the Future by Gerard Lemos. I was intrigued by the look of Visual Strategies: A Practical Guide to Graphics for Scientists and Engineers by Felice C. Frankel and Angela H. DePace, which looks like it could be useful for economists.

More on China: Oxford University Press has China’s Remarkable Economic Growth by John Knight and Sai Ding, which looks specifically at the political economy of the country’s development. There is a collection of essays looking at the realpolitik – specifically, in game theoretic terms –  of climate change, Climate Change and Common Sense: Essays in Honour of Tom Schelling, edited by Robert W. Hahn and Alistair Ulph. (I attended the workshop on which these essays were based, and the recommendations that emerged differ in interesting ways from the conventional wisdom.) Topically, OUP has a critical look at credit rating agencies, Credit Rating Agencies on the Watch List: Analysis of European Regulation by Raquel García Alcubilla and Javier Ruiz del Pozo.

Finally for this post, I really like the look of Institutional Revolution: Measurement and the Economic Emergence of the Modern World by Douglas Allen, published in January by the University of Chicago Press. It looks at the institutional revolution that accompanied and made possible the Industrial Revolution.

Institutional Revolution: Measurement and the Economic Emergence of the Modern World (Markets and Governments in Economic History)


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  1. Pingback: New books in 2012 – part 3 | The Enlightened Economist

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