Why did VHS, an inferior video recording technology, succeed in the marketplace, driving the superior Betamax out of business? Why do big-budget, acclaimed movies sometimes flop at the box office, while low-budget, idiosyncratic films become huge hits? The answers to these questions, says Paul Omerod, remind us that economics is a science based on the workings of human society, as unpredictable an entity as there is. "Conventional economics is mistaken," claimes Omerod, "when it views the economy as a machine, whose behavior, no matter how complicated, is ultimately predictable and controllable."
In this cogently and elegantly argued analysis of why human beings persist in engaging in behavior that defies time-honored economic theory, Omerod also explains why governments and industries throughout the world must completely reconfigure their traditional methods of economic forecasting if they are to succeed and prosper in an increasingly global marketplace.
Paul Ormerod was the head of the Economic Assessment Unit at The Economist and the director of economics at the Henley Centre for Forecasting in England. He has taught economics at the universities of London and Manchester, and was a… More about Paul Ormerod
"If you’re looking for a fascinating, entertaining introduction to twenty-first century economics, here’s an excellent starting place. You’ll learn more here about the way real economies work than by reading a bookshelf of academic tomes. And you’ll have fun along the way." — The New Scientist