Quarantine Reads Volume 1
As we attempt to survive quarantine without descending into madness, most of us have hidden Volleyballs (lest we become Tom Hanks) and gained serious streaming addictions (I definitely haven’t already re-watched Brooklyn 99 three times). If you’re anything like me you’re also taking the time to pretend to read a serious book that’s been on your shelf for the last 6 months. The UQES has a better idea. Each week, UQES will post recommendations of books you may actually finish once you start reading. Importantly many local and independent bookstores are still open, and we should all try to support them during the crisis [1]. This week we’ll be recommending an economics book but in future we’ll try to cover a range of genres.
Good Economics for Hard Times by Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo 2019
This is the second book from the Nobel prize winning team of development economists and a follow up to their 2011 book, Poor Economics. Poor Economics brought their evidence-based approach to economics and policy into the mainstream. In their latest book they apply their considerable brain power to some of the toughest problems facing Western Democracies. They might not have the novelty of Freakonomics, but they tackle issues like climate change, immigration and economic growth with fresh viewpoints and the latest research. They raise interesting points about declining growth rates in wealthy nations and whether high growth is the key to long term prosperity all in an easy to read style. I would recommend this to anyone who can’t focus on class but still wants to learn something. If you’re interested in hearing more about these ideas but have become temporarily illiterate (it happens to the best of us), there are two very good podcast episodes in the series Conversations with Tyler. The Podcast is run by Tyler Cowen, a professor of economics at George Mason University and former classmate of Banerjee.

  1. https://avidreader.com.au/

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