Here you will find a list of our most recent book reviews:
Spiderweb Capitalism describes and draws conclusions from the Kimberly Kay Huang’s research into business in Myanmar and Vietnam. It has serious failings, not least the fact that Huang over generalises and draws unsupported conclusions. Nonetheless, it should be read by anyone who wishes to be aware of the problems associated with business in emerging markets.
In Defence of Public Debt presents a thorough history of public debt from its origins in Greek city-states, weaving in a history of taxation and monetary systems. The book promises a “balanced account” but in fact it fails adequately to analyse the evidence of a negative link between public debt above a tipping point threshold and economic growth or the moral issues associated with such debt. Nonetheless, it contains much of value to those interested in economic history.
The Economics of Belonging (published 2020) appears to be aimed at the kind of person who reads the Financial Times. Sandbu argues that Western liberal democracy is under threat from within owing to the erosion of a sense of economic belonging. He presents a radical programme for dealing with this threat and, although much of what he says is contentious and unconvincing, the problem is real and those concerned about the current situation will benefit from reading what he has to say.”
Faith, Finance, and Economy (published 2020) is a fascinating miscellany of essays exploring the relationship between fair and financial or economic matters. Its focus is on Christian perspectives but it also contains interesting essays relating to consumerism in China, Islamic finance and faith in the work place. Although not all the essays will interest all readers, it is a good introduction to various important issues.
Ethical Machines (published 2022) considers the moral questions associated with the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. It is aimed at the business community and seeks to dispel myths and scepticism relating to ethics in the context of AI, encouraging businesses integrate ethical questions into their consideration of AI issues and suggesting how they might do so. It offers plenty of food for thought.”
The Biblical Entrepreneur’s Experience by S Leigh Davis (published 2021) has a number of defects. Its use of scripture in support of the North American free market system is simplistic and selective and it almost espouses a prosperity gospel, implying that correctly following biblical methods will necessarily bring success. However, it contains some informative material and thought provoking comments and the discussion of the distinctiveness of Christian-led and Christian-inspired businesses is inspiring.
The Power of Creative Destruction by P. Aghion et al.
The target audience of The Power of Creative Destruction (published 2021) is less clear but anyone who is interested in the economics of innovation and is not put off by innumerable graphs will find it valuable. The authors draw attention to a number of studies that should challenge those from all parts of the political spectrum and challenge policy makes to accompany the process of creative destruction without obstructing it.
Winners and Losers: The psychology of foreign trade (published 2021) seeks to understand what determines public attitudes to free trade (which tend to be far more negative than those of economists). Mutz summarises her own research and considers the evidence gathered by others, draws conclusions and reflects on their implications. The result is fascinating and should be considered by all those who wish to see democratic countries pursue free trade.
Although it is not an easy read, Business Ethics: An Economically Informed Perspective provides a comprehensive overview of the essential concepts of business ethics and a wide-ranging analysis of the issues and tools that corporations need to be aware of as they consider the ethical and moral dimensions of their activities.”
The Wealth of Religions by R. M. McCleary and R. J. Barro
The Wealth of Religions (published 2019) is an unusual book. It explores both the interplay between religion and economic growth and issues associated with the connection between religion and the political economy. There is an element of miscellany about it but it addresses interesting and thought provoking questions and the diversity of its material should ensure that a wide range of readers will be interested in at least some parts of it.