In Drive, Daniel Pink describes the characteristics of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. He reveals that many companies rely on extrinsic motivation, even though this is often counterproductive. The book explains clearly how we can best motivate ourselves and others by understanding intrinsic motivation.
The Bottom Billion (2007) focuses on the specific problems of the 50 poorest states in the world and the traps that keep them impoverished. These states are drastically behind even developing nations and are in serious need of help from wealthier nations if they are to ever achieve economic self-determination. Drawing on his original research, Collier points out the pitfalls of the conventional methods for dealing with this extreme poverty and offers unique policy recommendations that cater to the unique struggles faced by the world’s poorest nations.
The Undercover Economist explains how economics defines our lives. From the price of a cappuccino to the amount of smog in the air, everything is tied to economics. The book shows us how economists understand the world and how we can benefit from a better understanding of economic systems.
As pessimists talk of an economic development crisis, author Charles Kenny is optimistic in his assessment that in fact, all over the world, we’ve made enormous progress in overall quality of life. Getting Better shows that the spread of technology and ideas has fostered a revolution of happiness and standard of living unprecedented in human history. Kenny provides evidence to make us enthusiastic about the progress we’ve attained so far, and offers suggestions on what is to be done if we want to keep this progress alive.
The Origin of Wealth shows us the inadequacies of the economic theories that underpin our understanding of economics. The book argues that economic actors shouldn’t be seen as rational consumers that act on their self-interest. Rather, economics is best understood as a complex system of adaptation, similar to evolution, where products, ideas, and ideology compete for survival.
In 23 Things They Don’t Tell You About Capitalism Ha-Joon Chang destroys the biggest myths of our current economic approach. He explains how, despite what most economists believe, there are many things wrong with free market capitalism. As well as explaining the problems, Chang also offers possible solutions which could help us build a better, fairer world.
Immigrants offers a compelling case for a total revamp of the way most people view immigration and immigrants. It provides a detailed description of the case against immigration, while providing solid evidence for the great benefits, both social and economic, that migration provides.
Economics: The User’s Guide lays out the foundational concepts of economics in an easily relatable and compelling way. Examining the history of economics as well as some critical changes to global economic institutions, this book will teach you everything you need to know about how economics works today.
In Fault Lines, author Raghuram Rajan unveils the global economy’s hidden fractures that led to the 2008 financial crisis. These blinks show that greedy bankers weren’t the only ones to blame; our economic system had deep systemic flaws as well. Importantly, they outline what we can do as a society to prevent similar crises in the future.
Treasure Islands offers insight into one of the darkest parts of the financial world: tax havens. It explains how wealthy people and corporations are able to avoid paying taxes by relocating their assets offshore. Tax havens are highly damaging to all but the tiny percentage of people who can afford to use them, and they contribute to the growing gap between rich and poor.
Dealing With China reveals China’s journey to becoming the economic superpower it is today. These blinks explain the advantages and disadvantages of this rapid growth, and offer insights into how the US and China should work together to face today’s global challenges.
China's Second Continent (2014) is about the mass wave of Chinese migrants who have relocated to Africa in the last few decades. These blinks trace the origins of this migration and outline the profound impact it has on both regions, Chinese-African relations and the world at large.
In Who Gets What – and Why (2015), Nobel Prize winner Alvin Roth brings his groundbreaking research on market design to a broader, nonspecialist audience, explaining how markets work, why they sometimes fail and what we can do to improve them. Using contemporary examples, Roth outlines the nonfinancial factors that shape markets and shows how we can make more informed marketplace decisions.
Small is Beautiful (1973) is a collection of essays by renowned British economist E. F. Schumacher outlining his critique of the Western economic system. First published in 1973, this classic collection, which is now considered to be one of the most influential books published since World War II, is as relevant today as it was in the ‘70s.
Every Nation For Itself (2012) discusses the consequences of the lack of international leadership we face today. With no nation economically fit enough, or even willing, to head the response to global challenges, we live in what could be called a G-Zero world; these blinks reveal how we got here, and what comes next.
Postcapitalism (2015) offers a close examination of the failures of current economic systems. The 2008 financial crisis showed us that neoliberal capitalism is falling apart, and these blinks outline the reasons why we’re at the start of capitalism’s downfall, while giving an idea of what our transition into postcapitalism will be like.
How Asia Works examines the economic development of nine Asian countries and, in the process, sketches a blueprint for other developing nations seeking to achieve sustainable economic growth. Joe Studwell explains why some Asian economies have boomed while others have fallen behind, revealing what history has proved works – and what doesn’t.
A few decades ago, India seemed poised to become a major player in the global economy. Today, a number of serious problems hold the country back. Restart (2015) explains what caused India’s decline and offers insights about what could be done to fix it.
The Box (2006) tells the tale of modern transportation’s poster child, the container, and how it revolutionized the shipping industry and enabled globalization. These blinks will take you on a detailed journey through this seemingly simple but revolutionary change in global systems of trade.
Today, the United States has a stronghold as the global superpower, but the world is changing at a historically unprecedented rate. These blinks to The Accidental Superpower (2014) outline the reasons the United States came to politically and economically dominate the planet, and what we can expect in the coming decades, both in the United States and the world at large.
False Economy (2009) offers a fresh perspective on how and why some nations of the world have become economic powerhouses and others have ended up as financial disasters. You’ll see that nations aren’t handcuffed by fate. Rather, their economic success or failure is based on the choices they make.
Two Nations Indivisible (2013) tells the story of the United States’ relationship with its neighbor to the south: Mexico. These blinks explain the profound connections between the two countries as well as the misunderstandings that keep them apart, with an emphasis on political and economic relations.
The Hidden Wealth of Nations (2015) reveals the truth about the decades of deceitful business practices that have added to today’s economic turmoil. Trillions of dollars worldwide go untaxed, and nations put the burden on innocent citizens, which only increases economic tensions. So what can be done to stop tax evasion and get corporations to start paying their dues?
The Haves and the Have-Nots (2010) shows how inequality throughout history has made its mark on society at large. These blinks explore three types of inequality: inequality among individuals in a single country; inequality among countries; and global inequality, or inequality among all the world’s citizens.
Were You Born on the Wrong Continent? (2010) examines the true nature of the American economy as revealed by an eye-opening investigation that compared living standards in the United States with countries in Europe. By examining differences in health benefits and employee rights, among other issues, these blinks reveal how European nations such as Germany have quietly taken the lead when it comes to economic health and prosperity.
The 2008 financial crisis dramatically changed the global economic landscape. Central banks now play a very different role than they did previously, and we now face a set of new economic risks and problems. The Only Game in Town (2016) outlines the roots of these risks and problems, and what we can do to start overcoming them.
In America’s Bank (2015), you’ll discover the gripping story of the US Federal Reserve, or “Fed.” These blinks trace the history behind the development and unification of the American banking system and show the complex web of interests and players that continue to shape the system today.
On Saudi Arabia (2012) gives a fascinating overview of a country rife with contradictions. Despite being immensely wealthy, Saudi Arabia is filled with people who live in abject poverty. And although on its way to being counted among the world’s most powerful countries, it has an education system that’s received execrable rankings. Add to this a liberal dose of religious fanaticism and a complex royal family and you’ll begin to see why Saudi Arabia has struggled to come to terms with itself.
Rare (2015) sheds light on the common but elusive chemical elements beneath the earth’s surface – elements that play an increasingly important role in the development of modern technology. Get a better sense of what’s really driving the geopolitical struggles between the world’s superpowers, and what a group of rare earth metals has to do with the future of our energy sources, gadgets and military technology.
Brazillionaires (2016) exposes the true story behind Brazil’s tumultuous economy. By tracing the rise and fall of billionaires like Eike Batista, these blinks take you through the country’s history of inequality and corruption, and explain how the nation’s politics and business have become inseparable.
Empire of Cotton (2014) chronicles the long and complex history of that fluffy plant – cotton. These blinks detail how the cotton industry connected the world from Manchester, England, to rural India, while describing the incredible impact that cotton production has had on the development of economic systems.
The Evolution of Money (2016) offers an insightful look at the history of currency in civilized society, from shells and coins to the digital ones and zeroes of an online bank account. Find out how monetary systems have always functioned much like religion – without faith and belief, they’d collapse – and learn what the future may have in store.
Jean Tirole’s Economics for the Common Good (2017) is a wide-ranging look at the contemporary economy, packed with plenty of insights into the theory and practice of modern-day economics. Deconstructing the supposed opposition of state and market, Tirole explores their many interconnections in fields ranging from climate change to property rights and the new digital economy.
Us vs. Them (2018) explores how globalism has created both winners and losers and explains how the losers are now looking to set things right. In countries from the United States to China, from Venezuela to Turkey, unhappy citizens are making new demands of their governments, and populist politicians are promising easy answers. Us vs. Them offers a lucid take on the forces disrupting societies around the world and suggests potential solutions for the future.
The End of Poverty (2005) is a guide to ending extreme poverty once and for all. These blinks explain how little investment is actually required to transform the lives of millions. That is, as long as it’s spent wisely.
Adults in the Room (2017) is a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of what it’s like to deal with the European Union establishment, as experienced by the former Minister of Finance of Greece. This scathing exposé shows that, when it comes to global politics, the best interests of weaker nations aren’t always of the utmost importance to those in charge.
Doughnut Economics (2017) is a call to arms for a fresh approach to economics. As inequality soars and environmental crisis looms, the book’s central question has never seemed more relevant. How can we build a just economic system that allows us to thrive while preserving the planet? A good place to start, Kate Raworth suggests, is to do away with the old myths that have shaped economic thinking for so long. Zeroing in on the doughnut-shaped “sweet spot” in which our needs can be sustainably met, this is a thought-provoking read which might just help save the world.
The Silk Roads (2015) is a comprehensive history of the world, written with an eye to the networks of trade that shaped it. The networks of trade first established in ancient Persia and later linked with Chinese trade routes created a great network between the East and the West. But these Silk Roads are not relics of the past. They have morphed and changed, and their impact can be felt today, right down to America’s fateful engagement in the region where it all began.
Edge of Chaos (2018) examines the key challenges that liberal democracies around the world are facing today. Aging populations, limited resources and increasing debt are all threats to these countries’ economic well-being – but so too are the “remedies” of short-term policies and protectionism. Author Dambisa Moyo examines that misguided agenda and presents a radical blueprint for economic growth in the twenty-first century.
India after Gandhi (2007) chronicles the story of post-independence India. For centuries, the country was ruled by colonial overlords, but that changed in 1947. After a long struggle for independence, Indians gained self-rule. Since then, the journey hasn’t been easy, but India remains a persevering and determined democracy – and the largest the world has ever seen.
The New Silk Roads (2018) explores current affairs and political trends from an Eastern perspective. Using up-to-date examples and staggering statistics, the blinks explain the complicated global relationships and alliances at play in international relations today.
The AI Economy tackles the most pressing economic questions surrounding the rise of Artificial Intelligence. How will the development and spread of smart machines’ age affect our jobs, wages and work hours? How will it impact investment, interest rates and inequality? Acclaimed economist Roger Bootle applies his knowledge of history, technology and macroeconomics to investigate how the fourth industrial revolution will transform the global economy.
The Third Pillar (2019) traces the evolving relationship between the three “pillars” of human life – the state, markets and communities – from the medieval period to our own age. Economist Raghuram Rajan argues that, throughout history, societies have struggled to find a sustainable balance between these pillars. Today is no different: caught between uncontrolled markets and a discredited state, communities everywhere are in decline. That, Rajan concludes, is jet fuel for populist movements. But a more balanced kind of social order is possible.
The Anarchy (2019) details how the East India Company, an English joint-stock corporation, came to rule the British economy – and the fates of 200 million South Asians. From its founding in 1599 by privateers and pirates to its time as master of the largest standing army in South Asia, the Company fanned the flames of anarchy, then used the resulting chaos as an opportunity to loot an empire.
Open (2020) traces the progress of ancient and modern human accomplishments, and reveals that behind all of our major advancements is a policy of openness, tolerance, and free trade. You’ll see how, from the Phoenicians to the Dutch East India Trading Company, the free flow of commerce and ideas has led to wealth, innovation, and problem-solving that would have never been possible otherwise.
The Value of Everything (2018) presents an argument for redefining value in the economy so that we can better understand who really creates value, and who extracts it.
The Promise of Bitcoin (2021) is an introduction to the financial revolution that began in 2009 – the year an anonymous coder who called himself Satoshi Nakamoto launched Bitcoin. Rooted in the conviction that old monetary systems have failed us, this digital currency promises a more trustworthy, decentralized, and democratic alternative. How does it work? Few people can explain that better than Bobby Lee, a Bitcoin pioneer who’s been on the barricades since the revolution’s earliest days.
Economic Facts and Fallacies (2008) takes some common assumptions about economics and politics and reveals them as fallacies. It’s only by facing uncomfortable truths, the book argues, that we can begin to solve the problems in front of us.
Drive (2009) points out that many organizations still follow a “carrot and stick” approach, using external incentives to motivate people. It explains why this is a bad idea and introduces a more effective solution: sparking engagement by catering to the psychology of intrinsic motivation.
Shutdown (2021) explores the unprecedented shock COVID-19 dealt the world economy. The story begins with the revelation of the disease in January 2020 by Chinese President Xi Jinping and ends precisely a year later with the inauguration of US President Joe Biden, and through this history, Shutdown shows how markets and governments reeled from the blow, how they regained their footing, and what we might learn for the next worldwide crisis.
The Raging 2020s (2021) is an autopsy of the American social contract, which once kept companies, governments, and individuals in stable harmony but has since broken down. In particular, it describes how the power of corporations has expanded in recent years while federal might has waned – and how the result is that companies have more control over people’s lives than ever before. We must work to restore the balance and write a new social contract for the modern age.
Earth for All (2022) is more than a book – it’s a survival guide. After centuries of industrialization, population growth, and rising inequality, our planet is now at a tipping point. We are already learning to live with pandemics, war, wildfires, and more. This guide offers timely, practical solutions for the urgent problems facing humankind.
Slouching Towards Utopia (2022) examines the “long century” between 1870 and 2010, during which technological progress, globalization, and the advent of social democracy opened a new horizon of human progress. Barring the horror years of World Wars I and II, humanity seemed to be on a slow, uneven crawl toward utopia. But in 2010, the tables turned. Economic progress in the Global North ground to a halt.
How the World Really Works (2022) tackles a paradox at the heart of the modern world: we’ve never had so much information at our fingertips and never known so little about how things actually work. Of course, we can’t be experts in everything. But, Vaclav Smil argues, it’s our duty as citizens to be informed about the basics – the big questions that shape our societies and their futures.
MegaThreats (2022) delves into the ten most pressing potential threats to humanity's future. The author examines the evidence and potential consequences for each threat, questioning whether we are doing enough to prevent or prepare for them.
The End of the World Is Just Beginning (2022) asks what happens if or when the United States stops policing the global order it established after the Second World War. The short answer is that the world as we know it will come to a grinding, potentially violent halt. The longer answer takes us on a thrilling ride through the politics and economics of trade, energy, and foreign policy.
Profit Over People (1999) is a deep dive into the often hidden world of neoliberalism, revealing how global power structures and US policies are influenced by corporate interests. You’ll be taken on a journey that uncovers an economic system geared toward the affluent, often to the detriment of the many.
Logistics and Supply Chain Innovation (2021) maps the current pain points and inefficiencies in global supply chains while charting the innovations and new technologies poised to transform the system. It provides an insider's perspective on the practical challenges facing warehouses, ports, and logistics networks, along with realistic ideas for how leaders can leverage emerging tools like Internet of Things sensors and AI to make supply chains sustainable, resilient, and responsive.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century (2013) offers a deep dive into the historical trends and dynamics of income and wealth inequality. Drawing from centuries of data, it examines how capital concentration perpetuates inequality and proposes bold solutions to address this growing divide.
You Will Own Nothing (2023) challenges you to confront a possible future where global elites dictate what you do and don’t have. Dive into an investigation of the forces striving to reshape our very notions of ownership, and discover strategies to ensure your autonomy and assets aren't just safe but thriving. Brace yourself: it's time to redefine your future.
To Dye For (2023) exposes how the fashion industry harms human health and exploits workers through its use of toxic dyes and lack of supply chain transparency. It delves into the environmental and human costs behind our clothes, while also spotlighting companies innovating health-conscious dyes and production methods. Ultimately, it challenges consumers to make informed choices in order to pressure brands to clean up one of the world’s dirtiest industries.
Visa (2001) chronicles the humble beginnings of the founder of the Bank of America whose vision to financially empower the people gave rise to an idea that today connects over 22,000 banks and financial institutions.
Prediction Machines (2018) delves into the transformative impact of artificial intelligence on the economics of decision-making. It highlights how AI reduces the cost of predictions, reshapes business problems, and influences decision-making amid uncertainty. The work further explores the value of data in today’s AI-driven economy and the changing dynamics between human labor and automation.