Good economics for hard times is a book by Abhijit V. Banerjee, professor of economics at MIT and Esther Duflo, assistant professor of applied research at Harvard University. It was published by PublicAffairs, LLC, in October, 2021. The book is an attempt to apply economic theory to the current economic situation in the United States. I believe that it is important for everyone as we move into these difficult times to understand both good economics and the art of budgeting.
At the outset, we should acknowledge that the current economic problem in the United States is going through is primarily the result of two factors. One is the world economy which has been in a recession for the last almost seven years. Since the United States has been so heavily involved in the world market, this has had a dramatic effect on our economy. The other factor is our own country, which has been experiencing a prolonged economic depression and is now beginning to show the effects of that as well. These two forces are having a negative impact on the American economy.
Now, that we have these two factors discussed, we can begin to analyze the nature of good economics for hard times. First of all, it is important to recognize that any economy, regardless of its size, is subject to fundamental economic laws. It is the overall condition of the economy that will determine the strength of it. The problem comes in when there is an unusually severe economic downturn.
What comes as a result is that people who have traditionally held the reins of power are being displaced and, consequently, the institutions that they represent are also being displaced. This is very bad news. If we want to have good economics, it is important for us to be vigilant about this kind of thing. When we see a significant disruption in the overall economy, we should take note and see if the economic theories that hold true for the majority of nations around the world can be used here as well. This would mean using fiscal policy, interest rates, trade, budgeting etc. In fact, this is precisely what many of the leading economic writers have been doing as of late.
We must not wait for such an enormous event to occur before we realize how important it is to study the work of economists. If we wait until something is seriously damaged, it may be too late. If you are thinking along the lines of the work of the Chicago school economists, I would say that you are being overly optimistic. However, you may be able to make use of the Chicago School literature and learn some good ideas about how to handle such events, and good ideas about the role of fiscal policy in maintaining a healthy economy.
There are a number of such books available, and this is something that you really do not want to miss out on. A number of these books are available on-line and the good thing about them is that you can read them from the comfort of your own home. The internet is a wonderful tool which makes it easy for us to research various books and read reviews. While reading good economics books will always be a good idea, taking the time to review some of the more recent works is even more important when trying to make sense of this current economic predicament.
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