A supply-side prime minister | The Enlightened Economist

It’s outside my usual territory but I enjoyed reading Harold Wilson: The Winner by Nick Thomas-Symonds. It’s an unashamedly positive biography of a Prime Minister of my childhood and teenage years, when my main awareness of him was the rather affectionate mimicry by comedian Mike Yarwood. One of the book’s key arguments is that Wilson … Read more

An economist’s righteous anger | The Enlightened Economist

I really enjoyed reading Angus Deaton’s Economics in America: an immigrant economist explores the land of inequality. It’s a collection of essays regarding different aspects of the economy, centred on issues of inequality, and also concerning the discipline of economics itself. Many of the essays originated in his ‘Letters from America’ for the Royal Economic … Read more

Perspectives on China | The Enlightened Economist

The New China Playbook: Beyond Socialism and Capitalism by Keyu Jin is quite an interesting read. As I’m not at all a China expert it’s hard for me to evaluate its claims, but the framing is persuasive. This is that the combination of political centralization and economic decentralization is not widely understood and makes China … Read more

A taste of economics | The Enlightened Economist

Ha-Joon Chang’s Edible Economics: The World in 17 Dishes is an entertaining read, and a nice introduction to some economic questions. Regular readers of his will not be surprised by the economic analysis – heavy on infant industry protection as the path to development for low income countries. But I did very much enjoy the … Read more

The beauty of infrastructure | The Enlightened Economist

How Infrastructure Works by Deb Chachra is a good complement to Brett Frischmann’s now-classic Infrastructure, which has more of a focus on the economic analysis. Chachra is an engineer, which leads to her focusing more on the physical aspects and affordances of the technologies involved. Having said that, there were two aspects of the book … Read more

Politics and economics | The Enlightened Economist

There’s a sentence I underlined twice in Ben Ansell’s Why Politics Fails: “Politics makes growth.” This is my main takeaway from editing a series of policy essays from my colleagues in the Productivity Institute, which will be out at the end of November for National Productivity Week. If you ask people what are the two … Read more

Festive reading? | The Enlightened Economist

It was a huge pleasure to take the two Enlightened Economist Prize winners, Ed Conway and Paul Johnson, to a celebratory lunch yesterday. The conversation turned to other things we’ve read and – importantly at this season – what we’d like to read. Ed and I have both read the proofs of Brett Christophers’ *excellent* … Read more