My Journeys in Economic Theory
by - Edmund Phelps
Edmund Phelps is among the most important economists of his generation. He developed a new understanding of unemployment and inflation and went on to rethink the roots of innovation. His work represents a lifelong project to put “people as we know them” into economic theory.
In this book, Phelps tells the story of his role in reshaping economic theory, offering a powerful personal account of a creative and rewarding career. My Journeys in Economic Theory charts two major phases of Phelps’s work, illuminating the breadth of his contributions to the field. First, introducing the expectations of wage setters and cofounding the “equilibrium” rate of unemployment, he built the microeconomic foundations for the employment theory pioneered by Keynes and Hicks. More recently, he conceived a theory of “mass flourishing” superseding Schumpeter and Solow’s conception of the process of innovating―a theory in which individuals’ creativity and society’s dynamism fuel grassroots innovation and generate job satisfaction in the process.
Phelps recounts his vivid experiences in the world of economics―fierce arguments, competition and collaboration, and the good fortune of time spent among some great figures―as well as his relationships with luminaries such as John Rawls, Thomas Nagel, Paul Samuelson, and Paul Volcker. At its core, this book shares the joy of intellectual achievement: the excitement of coming up with a new idea that radically departs from prevailing views and the satisfaction of exercising one’s own ingenuity instead of applying or developing others’ models. Telling the story of a life packed with intellectual adventure, My Journeys in Economic Theory provides a profound vision of a dynamic, modern economy that offers lives rich with creativity and meaning.
About the Author
Edmund Phelps, born in 1933 in Evanston, spent his childhood in Chicago and, from age six, grew up in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. He earned his B.A. from Amherst in 1955 and his Ph.D. from Yale in 1959. He is the winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Economics and the Director of the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University. In 2010 he became Dean of the New Huadu Business School in Fuzhou, Shanghai, Beijing and Zurich. He has written a dozen full-length books on growth, unemployment, slumps, innovation and job satisfaction.
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