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    Contributors | September 15, 2015

    Mary Karr: IMG Memoir Tutorials with Mary Karr, Lena Dunham, and Gary Shteyngart

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The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society


The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What It Means for Business and Society Cover

ISBN13: 9781422121030
ISBN10: 1422121038
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Over 6.4 billion people participate in a $36.5 trillion global economy, designed and overseen by no one. How did this marvel of self-organized complexity evolve? How is wealth created within this system? And how can wealth be increased for the benefit of individuals, businesses, and society? In The Origin of Wealth, Eric D. Beinhocker argues that modern science provides a radical perspective on these age-old questions, with far-reaching implications. According to Beinhocker, wealth creation is the product of a simple but profoundly powerful evolutionary formula: differentiate, select, and amplify. In this view, the economy is a "complex adaptive system" in which physical technologies, social technologies, and business designs continuously interact to create novel products, new ideas, and increasing wealth. Taking readers on an entertaining journey through economic history, from the Stone Age to modern economy, Beinhocker explores how "complexity economics" provides provocative insights on issues ranging from creating adaptive organizations to the evolutionary workings of stock markets to new perspectives on government policies. A landmark book that shatters conventional economic theory, The Origin of Wealth will rewire our thinking about how we came to be here—and where we are going.

About the Author

Eric D. Beinhocker is a Senior Fellow at the McKinsey Global Institute. Fortune magazine named him a Business Leader of the Next Century, and his writings on business and economics have appeared in a variety of publications, including the Financial Times.

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groblewis, August 22, 2015 (view all comments by groblewis)
When I see something described as "radical new thinking about economics," my skeptic's antennae go on full alert, as such things are almost always the province of charlatans and cranks (or simply of people who are ignorant of history).

But not this time. Beinhocker starts with a condensed but complete account of the history of economics, and then proposes a view of the economy, and of organizations operating within it, as complex adaptive systems that use evolutionary algorithms to survive and grow. Beloved concepts of traditional economics like "equilibrium" and "rational actors" are out the window, and rightfully so. To survive in the constant turmoil of the economic ecosystem, companies need to replace top-down, fixed strategies with a flexible portfolio of small experiments, to be nurtured and scaled up if they succeed, and need to replace rigid hierarchies with a culture of flexibility and innovation.

Concisely stated, wealth is knowledge, and is arrived at through evolutionary processes.

Beinhocker's insights have important implications for things like corporate governance, finance, and public policy. They should not be ignored.
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Product Details

Beinhocker, Eric D.
Harvard Business School Press
Economics - Theory
Economics - General
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
9.2 x 6.1 in 23 oz

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