Seven Bad Ideas

Hardcover $26.95

Knopf | Sep 30, 2014 | 272 Pages | 5-5/8 x 8-1/4 | ISBN 9780307961181

  • Paperback$15.95

    Vintage | Aug 18, 2015 | 272 Pages | 5-3/16 x 8 | ISBN 9780307950727

  • Hardcover$26.95

    Knopf | Sep 30, 2014 | 272 Pages | 5-5/8 x 8-1/4 | ISBN 9780307961181

  • Ebook$13.99

    Knopf | Sep 30, 2014 | 272 Pages | 5-5/8 x 8-3/8 | ISBN 9780307961198


“Jeff Madrick argues that the professional failures since 2008 didn’t come out of the blue but were rooted in decades of intellectual malfeasance…As Madrick makes clear, many economists have, consciously or unconsciously, engaged in a game of bait and switch….Seven Bad Ideas tells an important and broadly accurate story about what went wrong.”
—Paul Krugman, The New York Times

“Must-read….In this brisk and accessible volume, which should be on Econ 101 syllabi, Madrick outlines the wrong-headed propositions, fictitious models, shoddy research, and partisan agendas that have made a reexamination of the entire field long overdue, especially in the wake of the financial crisis of 2008.”

“An important and eloquent voice…Madrick’s wonderful chapter on efficient markets should be required reading for everyone in the financial world.”
The New York Review of Books

“Fascinating and provocative….Madrick makes a strong, persuasively argued case, offering a refreshing take on the political and fiscal policies that have defined our era, and the questionable foundations on which they uncomfortably rest.”

“Bankers and economists who failed to avert the [2008] crisis aren’t evil, according to Madrick, just misguided, particularly in oversimplifying major economic shifts. This book is an attempt to inject the complexity back in…well worth the effort.”
Publishers Weekly

“If there were an eighth bad idea, it would be ignoring this book.”
Shelf Awareness

“A readable, useful economic text. Somewhere, John Maynard Keynes is smiling.”
“‘Zombie ideas,’ it’s been said, are those that should have been killed by evidence, but refuse to die. Even more obdurate are the axioms of orthodox economics, upon which pernicious policies are erected. Mythbuster Madrick, in clear and compelling prose, demolishes seven of the biggest of these. May they (hopefully) rest in peace.”
—Mike Wallace, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and coauthor of Gotham 

“In his incisive new book Jeff Madrick shows in rigorous and compelling detail how mainstream economic theory not only failed to anticipate the financial crisis of 2008 and the recession that followed, but actively contributed to the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. If you suspect there is something radically wrong with mainstream economic theory, you must read Seven Bad Ideas.”
—John Gray, emeritus professor, London School of Economics

“In the venerable Mark Twain tradition, Jeff Madrick explains that what makes some economists so dangerous isn’t what they don’t know, it’s what they know that just ain’t so.”
—Robert H. Frank, author of The Economic Naturalist

“Thanks to Jeff Madrick, the Seven Deadly Sins now have serious competitors from seven ideas economists have spread to our detriment. Jeff is an economist, too, but he is an icon buster who writes with verve, clarity and a fierce sense of justice. May he encourage his colleagues to second thoughts—and may some even consider repentance.”
—E.J. Dionne, Jr., author of Our Divided Political Heart

“The economics of ‘free market’ doctrines is not underpinned with valid knowledge. Its bogus scientific authority provides a cover for finance and big business to squeeze the rest of society. Jeff Madrick is an excellent guide to the whole range of finance-friendly policies in recent decades, in the U.S. and globally, and is especially good on ‘efficient markets theory,’ whose assumption that money can do no wrong is the bitter root of the current economic crisis.”
—Avner Offer, professor emeritus, University of Oxford
“Influenced on the one side by broad, somewhat ideological belief in the efficacy of markets, and on the other side by strong belief in the value of what can be learned by building and analyzing simple formal models, in recent years the economics discipline has lost much of its ability and interest in studying pragmatically and empirically how the economy actually operates. Madrick’s Seven Bad Ideas is one of the best discussions of this problem that I have seen.”   
—Richard Nelson, professor emeritus, Columbia University
“Invigorating…Jeff Madrick is so inventive a writer that, for each of the bad ideas he analyzes, Madrick also makes you think about a good idea. This is a real contribution to making economics a more responsible discipline.”
—Richard Sennett, author of The Fall of Public Man


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