The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good

3.75 avg rating
( 440 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780691153193: The Darwin Economy: Liberty, Competition, and the Common Good
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 


Who was the greater economist--Adam Smith or Charles Darwin? The question seems absurd. Darwin, after all, was a naturalist, not an economist. But Robert Frank, New York Times economics columnist and best-selling author of The Economic Naturalist, predicts that within the next century Darwin will unseat Smith as the intellectual founder of economics. The reason, Frank argues, is that Darwin's understanding of competition describes economic reality far more accurately than Smith's. And the consequences of this fact are profound. Indeed, the failure to recognize that we live in Darwin's world rather than Smith's is putting us all at risk by preventing us from seeing that competition alone will not solve our problems.


Smith's theory of the invisible hand, which says that competition channels self-interest for the common good, is probably the most widely cited argument today in favor of unbridled competition--and against regulation, taxation, and even government itself. But what if Smith's idea was almost an exception to the general rule of competition? That's what Frank argues, resting his case on Darwin's insight that individual and group interests often diverge sharply. Far from creating a perfect world, economic competition often leads to "arms races," encouraging behaviors that not only cause enormous harm to the group but also provide no lasting advantages for individuals, since any gains tend to be relative and mutually offsetting.


The good news is that we have the ability to tame the Darwin economy. The best solution is not to prohibit harmful behaviors but to tax them. By doing so, we could make the economic pie larger, eliminate government debt, and provide better public services, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. That's a bold claim, Frank concedes, but it follows directly from logic and evidence that most people already accept.


"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Back Cover:


"I've been reading Robert Frank's books for years, and he just gets better and better. I strongly recommend The Darwin Economy: it's clear, persuasive, and cleverly entertaining, and it provides a new and original insight about a central issue in economics. Read and enjoy."--Thomas C. Schelling, Nobel Laureate in Economics


"The Darwin Economy debunks popular nostrums of both left and right, and takes particular aim at the notion that a well-functioning competitive market system will necessarily produce socially optimal results. Frank suggests novel approaches to America's problems that go well beyond the tired ideas of the present debate."--Francis Fukuyama, author of The Origins of Political Order


"Competition often serves the parts better than the whole. This is true for both species evolution and human society. Only a fool would count on the invisible hand. In his usual clearheaded and lively style, Robert Frank explains how Charles Darwin thought more deeply about these issues than most contemporary economists."--Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy and Our Inner Ape


"Pointing to new ways of thinking about collective action and taxation, Robert Frank has given us a book that is as important as it is timely."--Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational


"The Darwin Economy's message is in my view the only hope for a rational economic future."--William J. Baumol, past president, American Economic Association


"This lucid, deeply engaging book provides the perfect antidote to the mindless sloganeering that dominates our current discussions about the role of government in a free society."--Dani Rodrik, author of The Globalization Paradox


"Robert Frank convincingly predicts that Darwin will eventually be recognized as the true intellectual father of economics. After you read The Darwin Economy, you'll want this prediction to come true as soon as possible."--David Sloan Wilson, author of Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin's Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives


"Pondering the implications of Darwinian theory, and rejecting the received wisdom of libertarian and left-wing pundits alike, Robert Frank convincingly lays out economic policies that will benefit the rich, the poor, and the broader society."--Howard Gardner, author of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Reframed


"Human beings cooperate. Markets help. That's Adam Smith. Human beings also compete: not just for resources, but for relative position in the mating game. That's Darwin. Add Darwin to Adam Smith, and you get Robert Frank, and a book full of dazzling insight."--Mark Kleiman, author of When Brute Force Fails


"Robert Frank is a national treasure in our discussions about public policy. He shows here that our understanding of economics needs to be informed more by a sophisticated interpretation of Charles Darwin than by a simplistic view of Adam Smith. Given the state of our politics, this latest dose of Frank advice deserves to be widely read."--Robert D. Putnam, author of Bowling Alone and American Grace


About the Author:

Robert H. Frank is an economics professor at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management and a regular "Economic View" columnist for the "New York Times", and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos. His books, which have been translated into 22 languages, include "The Winner-Take-All Society" (with Philip Cook), "The Economic Naturalist", "Luxury Fever", "What Price the Moral High Ground?", and "Principles of Economics" (with Ben Bernanke).

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Frank, Robert H.
Published by Princeton University Press, Princeton (2011)
ISBN 10: 0691153191 ISBN 13: 9780691153193
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Ad Infinitum Books
(Mount Vernon, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. 256 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. New book. ECONOMICS. Who was the greater economist--Adam Smith or Charles Darwin? The question seems absurd. Darwin, after all, was a naturalist, not an economist. But Robert Frank, New York Times economics columnist and best-selling author of The Economic Naturalist, predicts that within the next century Darwin will unseat Smith as the intellectual founder of economics. The reason, Frank argues, is that Darwin's understanding of competition describes economic reality far more accurately than Smith's. And the consequences of this fact are profound. Indeed, the failure to recognize that we live in Darwin's world rather than Smith's is putting us all at risk by preventing us from seeing that competition alone will not solve our problems. Smith's theory of the invisible hand, which says that competition channels self-interest for the common good, is probably the most widely cited argument today in favor of unbridled competition--and against regulation, taxation, and even government itself. But what if Smith's idea was almost an exception to the general rule of competition? That's what Frank argues, resting his case on Darwin's insight that individual and group interests often diverge sharply. Far from creating a perfect world, economic competition often leads to "arms races," encouraging behaviors that not only cause enormous harm to the group but also provide no lasting advantages for individuals, since any gains tend to be relative and mutually offsetting. The good news is that we have the ability to tame the Darwin economy. The best solution is not to prohibit harmful behaviors but to tax them. By doing so, we could make the economic pie larger, eliminate government debt, and provide better public services, all without requiring painful sacrifices from anyone. That's a bold claim, Frank concedes, but it follows directly from logic and evidence that most people already accept. Robert H. Frank is an economics professor at Cornell's Johnson Graduate School of Management and a regular "Economic View" columnist for the New York Times, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at Demos. His books, which have been translated into 22 languages, include The Winner-Take-All Society (with Philip Cook), The Economic Naturalist, Luxury Fever, What Price the Moral High Ground?, and Principles of Economics (with Ben Bernanke). "The premise of economist Adam Smith's 'invisible hand'--a tenet of market economics--is that competitive self-interest shunts benefits to the community. But that is the exception rather than the rule, argues writer Robert H. Frank. Charles Darwin's idea of natural selection is a more accurate reflection of how economic competition works . . . because individual and species benefits do not always coincide. Highlighting reasons for market failure and the need to cut waste, Frank argues that we can domesticate our wild economy by taxing higher-end spending and harmful industrial emissions." - Nature "[P]rovocative. . . . Frank is an economist for the rest of us. . . . [T]he Darwin Economy . . . focus[es] on one paradox of economic life: behavior which makes sense for a particular individual can harm the community as a whole." - Chrystia Freeland, Reuters "Frank's worthy and unfashionable aim is to argue the economic case for some forms of government regulation, to defend taxation, and even to advocate certain forms of tax increase." - Howard Davies, Times Higher Education (Key Words: Darwinian Economy, Liberty, Adam Smith, Charles Darwin, Competition, Common Good, Robert H. Frank). book. Seller Inventory # 74034X1

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 26.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Frank, Robert H.
Published by Princeton University Press (2011)
ISBN 10: 0691153191 ISBN 13: 9780691153193
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110691153191

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 41.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Robert H. Frank
Published by Princeton University Press (2011)
ISBN 10: 0691153191 ISBN 13: 9780691153193
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0691153191

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 79.42
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds