Economics for the Common Good

Economics for the Common Good Book Cover Economics for the Common Good
Jean Tirole
Economics
2017
584

The author is a Nobel prize-winner in economics and has developed what is described as a ‘bold new agenda for the role of economics in society’. It may appear to many to be a dry, focussed read but it is capable of being transformative and valuable, propelling the science of economics to a visible, proactive force for good.
The author seeks to engage with the challenges that society is facing, utilising the power of economics to identify and action challenges. The objective is a ‘call-to-arms’, a manifesto for future change – as delivered through the book. It made for an interesting read, considering broader issues such as digital change, innovation, economic systems and financial order. It is a book for thinking about, rather than a guide to economics per se, yet it is very giving and accessible.
Nothing is unchallenged. Do we really have the best economic system and the best implementation for its operation? Could more be done? Is political control and will sufficient? Do we place our trust in an economic system that perhaps cannot be wholly trusted? All this and more come out in this massive book. It is something you really need to read in a quiet place, taking time to enjoy a sequential read and consider the messages being proffered. Of course, you can short-circuit the book, but do that at your own risk and fear of losing out!
Naturally, the author’s own personal views are featured heavily and no apology is made for this. The author is clear that there are no pre-determined answers and desires that the reader uses the book as a tool for questioning and thought generation. It is not a given that you will agree with everything and that can be good too. Diversity in opinion and thought is to be encouraged as that can make for stronger decision-making and adherence on a meta-level.
This can be a utopia for economics and politics nerds. Curious generalists can enjoy it too. It is deceptively clear and engaging for what you are getting and manages to service both audiences well. The chapters are quite short and broken down into sections and this aids the digestive process. The price may place it out of reach of some casual readers, but it is not an unreasonable price when its contents are considered.