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The Economist's View of the World (2021)

(Publisher : Cambridge University Press)

Author(s) : Steven E. Rhoads

Steven E. Rhoads, University of Virginia
Steven E. Rhoads is professor emeritus in politics at the University of Virginia. He received his AB in history from Princeton University in 1961. Steve then spent time in the US Navy, and at the US Bureau of the Budget as the Secretary of the Director's Review. At Cornell University he studied economics, American politics and the history of political philosophy, receiving the PhD in government in 1973. Steve and his wife Peggy live just outside Charlottesville, Virginia.


Released in 1984, Steven E. Rhoads' classic was considered by many to be among the best introductions to the economic way of thinking and its applications. This anniversary edition has been updated to account for political and economic developments - from the greater interest in redistributing income and the ascendancy of behaviorism to the Trump presidency. Rhoads explores opportunity cost, marginalism, and economic incentives and explains why mainstream economists - even those well to the left - still value free markets. He critiques economics for its unbalanced emphasis on narrow self-interest as controlling motive and route to happiness, highlighting philosophers and positive psychologists' findings that happiness is far more dependent on friends and family than on income or wealth. This thought-provoking tour of the economist's mind is a must read for our times, providing a clear, lively, non-technical insight into how economists think and why they shouldn't be ignored.

  • Explains economics with accessible language without using diagrams or equations
  • Simultaneously explains and critiques various facets of economics
  • More ideologically balanced than most treatments, contrasting economic thinking with positive psychology and virtue ethics

Table of contents

Part I. Useful Concepts:
1. Opportunity Cost
2. Marginalism
3. Economic Incentives
Part II. Government and Markets, Efficiency and Equity:
4. Government and the Economy
5. Economists and Equity
6. Externalities and the Government Agenda
Part III. The Limits of Economics:
7. The Economist's Consumer and Individual Well-Being
8. Representatives, Deliberation, and Political Leadership
9. Conclusion.

Bibliographic Information

Rhoads, S. (2021). The Economist's View of the World: And the Quest for Well-Being. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781108991421


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