The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity, and the Radical Remaking of Economics

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Random House Business Books, 2007 - Complexity (Philosophy) - 526 pages
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Economics is changing radically. This paradigm shift, the biggest in the field for over a century, will have profound implications for business, government and society for decades to come.

In this groundbreaking book, economic thinker and writer Eric Beinhocker surveys the cutting-edge ideas of the leading economists, physicists, biologists and cognitive scientists who are fundamentally reshaping economics, and brings their work alive for a broad audience.

These researchers argue that the economy is a 'complex adaptive system', more akin to the brain, the internet or an ecosystem than to the static picture of economic systems portrayed by traditional theory. They claim it is the evolutionary process of differentiation, selection and amplification, acting on designs for technologies, social institutions and businesses that drives growth in the economy over time. If Adam Smith provided the inspiration for economics in the twentieth century, it is Charles Darwin who is providing it in the twenty-first.

If we can understand how evolution creates wealth, then we can better answer the question 'How can we create more wealth for the benefit of individuals, businesses and society?' Beinhocker shows how 'Complexity Economics' turns conventional wisdom on its head in areas such as business strategy, the design of organisations, the workings of stock markets and public policy.

As sweeping in scope as its title, The Origin of Wealth is a landmark book that shatters orthodox economic theory, and will rewire our thinking about how we came to be here - and where we are going.

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User Review  - jerry6030 - LibraryThing

I can’t recall having ever read an author with the clarity of exposition and the depth and breadth of erudition that is demonstrated by Dr. Beinhocker in this book. It is an impressive work. The ... Read full review

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User Review  - brett_in_nyc - LibraryThing

While I don't agree with the opening story that someone in NYC earning $30,000 is implicitly better off than someone living in the Amazon on $0, in principle, I agree with the book in total and ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Eric D. Beinhocker is a partner at McKinsey & Company and is one of the leaders of its Global Strategy Practice. He has also worked as a venture capitalist, entrepreneur, and has held research appointments at the Harvard Business School, the MIT Center for Organizational Learning, and the Santa Fe Institute.

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