29 June 2020

TOP 15 LIST OF SUMMER READS IN POPULAR ECONOMICS

Reading popular books is usually reserved for the summer. And probably, midsummer, or late summer to ensure some distancing from the “excessive” exposure to textbooks during the academic year. It is said that Bill Gates adores deliberate learning and reads 50 books per year. You do not have to be that rich, right?

In case you plan to take an Economics AP / IB, or even better, you already completed an economics course, you may find some of these top 15 summer reads helpful… The list of books is not ranked by order of importance. They were carefully selected by NOVA parents, teachers, and alumni, considering the level of competence of an average high-school learner. Even if you cannot make it this year, keep a place for one or few of them on your bookshelf for the next one. They will contribute to an enjoyable summer!

THE RETURN OF DEPRESSION ECONOMICS

Paul Krugman

“Most economists, to the extent that they think about the subject at all, regard the Great Depression of the 1930 as a gratuitous, unnecessary tragedy. … nothing like the Great Depression can ever happen again. Or can it?”

Recommended by Nikola Stikov, NOVA and Stanford University Alumnus, Professor of Professor at Polytechnique Montréal in Canada

 

MACHINE, PLATFORM, CROWD: HARNESSING OUR DIGITAL FUTURE

Andrew McAfee, Erik Brynjolfsson

We live in strange times. A machine plays the strategy game Go better than any human; upstarts like Apple and Google destroy industry stalwarts such as Nokia; ideas from the crowd are repeatedly more innovative than corporate research labs.

MIT's Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson know what it takes to master this digital-powered shift: we must rethink the integration of minds and machines, of products and platforms, and of the core and the crowd. In all three cases, the balance now favors the second element of the pair, with massive implications for how we run our companies and live our lives.

Recommended by Ivica Bocevski, Macedonian Ambassador in Brazil, and former NOVA teacher

  NUDGE: IMPROVING DECISIONS ABOUT HEALTH, WEALTH, AND HAPPINESS

Richard H. Taller and Cass R. Sunstein

“Sensible people care about the taste of food, not simply about health, and eating is a source of pleasure in and of itself. We do not claim that everyone who is overweight is necessarily failing to act rationally, but we do reject the claim that all or almost all Americans are choosing their diet optimally. What is true for diets is true for other risk-related behavior, including smoking and drinking”.

Recommended by Fatmir Besimi, former Deputy Prime Minister, Professor of Economics and NOVA parent

   

THE ART OF THINKING CLEARLY

Rolf Dobelli

“Would it be an exaggeration to say that if all human beings could think clearly, then there would have been lesser problems in this world and the world would have witnessed a reduction in the number of cataclysms?” – Wallace Jacob.

More about a management and less about economics, but still a must read.

Recommended by Maja Stevkova Sterieva, CEO of Komercijalna banka, Professor of Banking and NOVA parent

   

THE DAO OF CAPITAL

Mark Spitznagel

An excellent historical overview of the principles of economics and investment through the prism of the Austrian school.

The Dao of Capital provides a rare and accessible look through the lens of one of today’s great investors to discover a profound harmony with the market process—a harmony that is so essential today.”

Recommended by Nikola Stikov, NOVA and Stanford University Alumnus, Professor of Professor at Polytechnique Montréal in Canada

   

CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Thomas Piketty

“It seems safe to say that Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the magnum opus of the French economist Thomas Piketty, will be the most important economics book of the year―and maybe of the decade. Piketty, arguably the world’s leading expert on income and wealth inequality, does more than document the growing concentration of income in the hands of a small economic elite. He also makes a powerful case that we’re on the way back to ‘patrimonial capitalism,’ in which the commanding heights of the economy are dominated not just by wealth, but also by inherited wealth, in which birth matters more than effort and talent.”―Paul Krugman, New York Times.

Recommended by Lazar Pop Ivanov, Social Science Professor and Communications and Alumni Coordinator

 

   FREAKONOMICS: A ROGUE ECONOMIST EXPLORES THE HIDDEN SIDE OF EVERYTHING

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

“Which is more dangerous, a gun or a swimming pool? What do schoolteachers and sumo wrestlers have in common? Why do drug dealers still live with their moms? How much do parents really matter? How did the legalization of abortion affect the rate of violent crime? Through forceful storytelling and wry insight, Levitt and Dubner show that economics is, at root, the study of incentives—how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing.” - Book jacket, front flap.

Recommended by Aleksandar Stojkov, NOVA Advisory Board Member and Professor of Economics

   

THE WORLD IS FLAT 3.0: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY

Thomas L. Friedman

Is the famous journalist Thomas L. Friedman a flat earther? Far from it. Only in a metaphorical sense. From a commercial point of view, he argues that globalization pushes the world towards a level playing field. But the narrative goes well beyond commerce.

“One mark of a great book is that it makes you see things in a new way, and Mr. Friedman certainly succeeds in that goal," the Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz wrote in The New York Times reviewing The World Is Flat in 2005. In this new edition, Thomas L. Friedman includes fresh stories and insights to help us understand the flattening of the world.”

Recommended by Aleksandar Stojkov, NOVA Advisory Board Member and Professor of Economics

 

 

NARRATIVE ECONOMICS

Robert J. Schiller

“A recession, for example, is a time when many people have decided to spend less, to make do for now with that old furniture instead of buying new, or to postpone starting a new

business, to postpone hiring new help in an existing business, or to express support for fiscally conservative government. They might make any of these decisions in reaction to the recession itself (that’s feedback), but to understand why a recession even started, we need more than a theory of feedback.” A fascinating best-seller written by a Nobel Prize Economist.

Recommended by Aleksandar Stojkov, NOVA Advisory Board Member and Professor of Economics

   

THE GREAT DIVIDE: UNEQUAL SOCIETIES AND WHAT WE CAN DO ABOUT THEM

Joseph E. Stiglitz

“Stiglitz exposes in full America’s inequality: its dimensions, its causes, and its consequences for the nation and for the world. From Reagan-era to the Great Recession and its long aftermath, Stiglitz delves into the irresponsible policies―deregulation, tax cuts, and tax breaks for the 1 percent―that are leaving many Americans farther and farther beyond and turning the American dream into an ever more unachievable myth.” – W. W. Norton and Company Ltd.

Recommended by Aleksandar Stojkov, NOVA Advisory Board Member and Professor of Economics

   

PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL: THE HIDDEN FORCES THAT SHAPE OUR DECISIONS

Dan Ariely

Challenging readers' assumptions about making decisions based on rational thought. Ariely explains, "My goal, by the end of this book, is to help you fundamentally rethink what makes you and the people around you tick. I hope to lead you there by presenting a wide range of scientific experiments, findings, and anecdotes that are in many cases quite amusing. Once you see how systematic certain mistakes are—how we repeat them again and again—I think you will begin to learn how to avoid some of them".

In a New York Times review, David Berreby said "Predictably Irrational is a far more revolutionary book than its unthreatening manner lets on. It's a concise summary of why today's social science increasingly treats the markets-know-best model as a fairy tale."

Recommended by Ms. Marina Perunovska, Professor of Economics AP/IB in the NOVA High School

   

AN INQUIRY INTO THE NATURE AND CAUSES OF THE WEALTH OF NATIONS

Adam Smith

First published in 1776, the year in which the American Revolution officially began, Smith's Wealth of Nations sparked a revolution of its own. In it Smith analyzes the major elements of political economy, from market pricing and the division of labor to monetary, tax, trade, and other government policies that affect economic behavior. Throughout he offers seminal arguments for free trade, free markets, and limited government.

Recommended by Ms. Marina Perunovska, Professor of Economics AP/IB in the NOVA High School

   

POST-CAPITALIST SOCIETY

Peter F. Drucker 

Business guru Peter Drucker provides an incisive analysis of the major world transformation taking place, from the Age of Capitalism to the Knowledge Society, and examines the radical affects it will have on society, politics, and business now and in the coming years. This searching and incisive analysis of the major world transformation now taking place shows how it will affect society, economics, business, and politics and explains how we are moving from a society based on capital, land, and labor to a society whose primary source is knowledge and whose key structure is the organization.

Recommended by Ms. Marina Perunovska, Professor of Economics AP/IB in the NOVA High School

 

INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Peter F. Drucker 

Peter Drucker's classic book on innovation and entrepreneurship

This is the first book to present innovation and entrepreneurship as a purposeful and systematic discipline that explains and analyzes the challenges and opportunities of America's new entrepreneurial economy. Superbly practical, Innovation and Entrepreneurship explains what established businesses, public service institutions, and new ventures need to know and do to succeed in today's economy.

Recommended by Ms. Marina Perunovska, Professor of Economics AP/IB in the NOVA High School

   
 

ANIMAL SPIRITS: HOW HUMAN PSYCHOLOGY DRIVES THE ECONOMY, AND WHY IT MATTERS FOR GLOBAL CAPITALISM

George Akerlof and Robert Shiller

A book written to promote the understanding of the role played by emotions in influencing economic decision making. The book discusses the role played by emotions in economic decision making, which is really interesting, and at the same time gives an excellent overview of basic Keynesian ideas, which is extremely useful if you’re either going into an economics degree course, or currently studying one.

Also, this book is loved by lecturers, so you’ll get major brownie points by saying you’ve read it.

Recommended by Ms. Marina Perunovska, Professor of Economics AP/IB in the NOVA High School

Compiled by Aleksandar Stojkov (NOVA Advisory Board Member and Professor of Economics at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University) and Marina Perunovska (Professor of Economics AP/IB at the NOVA High School).