In this clear and engaging book, economist Louis Putterman places the economy and the study of economics in a broad historical and social perspective. He explores the history of the discipline, the history of the modern economy, different perspectives on the market economy, and the relations between economic matters and questions of human nature, social aspiration, and justice. Putterman connects the field of economics with other important spheres of life, building bridges of understanding that are too often absent in the study of economics.
This book explains economic ideas in nontechnical language and is accessible to readers with little background in economics. Recognizing that abstract models and theories can leave readers puzzling over the meaning and significance of economics, Putterman addresses such questions as: Why is the economy organized the way it is? Can economic efficiency and economic justice coexist? Will those who live in the world’s poor countries be able to join the well-off? Is the economy optimally arranged for maintaining the life-sustaining capacity of our planet? The author encourages readers to think more deeply and widely about economic issues and offers notes and recommendations for further reading at the end of each chapter.