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John Kay Recommends 5 Books on Economics in the Real World

“Most people completing degrees in economics won't have read these books, but they should,” says British economist John Kay in this fivebooks interview.

1. Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics
“What’s good about this book is that he understands that the traditional paradigms of economics are not wrong, just that they are only a part of the story.”

2. Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why It Matters
“This book is really the accumulation of a lifetime’s thinking.” (Pair with a primer on strategy.)

3. The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine
“It tells us the difficulty markets have in correcting group think.”

4. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
“It’s about understanding how the disparities of income and wealth which we have today have built up over millennia.”

5. The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor
“To me, there is a pluralism theme that is common to most of the elements that he describes.”

Compare and contrast that list with Chairman and Professor of Economics at Harvard University Greg Mankiw's list.