'Extreme Economies is a revelation - and a must-read.' Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of EnglandIn search of a fresh perspective on the modern economy, Extreme Economies takes the reader off the beaten path, introducing people living at the world's margins.
Longlisted for the Financial Times & McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award 2019
'A highly original approach to understanding what really makes economies tick.' Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England
In search of a fresh perspective on the modern economy, Extreme Economies takes the reader off the beaten path, introducing people living at the world's margins. From disaster zones and displaced societies to failed states and hidden rainforest communities, the lives of people who inhabit these little-known places tend to be ignored by economists and policy makers. Leading economist Richard Davies argues that this is a mistake, and explains why the world's overlooked extremes offer a glimpse of the forces that underlie human resilience, help markets to function and cause them to fail, and will come to shape our collective future.
Whether trekking with Punjabi migrants through the lawless Panamanian jungle or revealing the clever trick Syrians use to underpin trade in the world's most entrepreneurial refugee camp, Richard Davies brings a storyteller's eye to places where the economy has been destroyed, distorted, and even turbocharged. In adapting to circumstances that would be unimaginable to most of us, the people he encounters have become economic pioneers whose lives help us reflect on our own.
At once intimate and analytical, Extreme Economies draws the lines between personal narratives and global trends, shedding light on today's biggest economic questions and providing vital lessons for our turbulent future.
RICHARD DAVIES is an economist based in London. He is a fellow at the London School of Economics, and has held senior posts in economic policymaking and journalism. He has been Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers at HM Treasury, an economist and speechwriter at the Bank of England, and economics editor of The Economist.
Richard has published widely on economics. He was the editor of The Economist's recent guide to economics (Profile, 2015; CITIC 2018) and his articles have featured in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, The Times and 1843 Magazine. He is the author of numerous research papers and is a founding trustee of CORE, a charity which provides open-access resources for economics teachers and students in universities across the world.
We learn most about ourselves at times of extreme stress and challenge. Using nine compelling country case studies, Richard Davies brilliantly demonstrates that the same is true of our economic systems. In its approach and insights, Extreme Economies is a revelation - and a must-read. Andy Haldane, Chief Economist at the Bank of England Financial Times Best Books of 2019: Extreme Economies is a reflection on human resilience. The author takes you from a prison to a refugee camp to Kinshasa and Santiago to explain how economies work in extreme circumstances and why markets succeed or fail. Weaving economic theory and individual life stories, this is an important and enjoyable read. An exploration of the lessons to be drawn from disaster-stricken economies and imperilled (but innovative) people, which ranges from the jungles of Panama to post-tsunami Indonesia to the prison system of Louisiana and Syrian refugee camps. The Economist - Books of the Year 2019 Davies visits economies pushed to the limit and examines what their response teaches us about resilience in the face of climate change, demographic shifts and state failure. Financial Times A highly original approach to understanding what really makes economies tick. Both insightful and accessible to non-economists. Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England
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