Can economic theory shed some light into social dynamics?

A Listmania! list by A. Panda (Guadalajara, Mexico)
The list author says: "Does economic policy shape our actions and interactions or is it the other way around, does the interaction of the individual agents shape the economy? These books give interesting insights and introduce you to some research fields like "the psychology of decision making and of markets", neuroeconomics, etc."
The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What it Means for Business and Society
1.  The Origin of Wealth: The Radical Remaking of Economics and What it Means for Business and Society by Eric D. Beinhocker
The list author says:
  "According to the author, the economy is not a closed system, but a complex adaptive system, so the system (economy) inffluences the individuals, and the individuals' activities create patterns that shape the whole system. "Social capital" and trust are covered nicely."
$16.77   Used & New from: $5.29
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

The Undercover Economist
2.  The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford
The list author says:
  "This book gives interesting insights into various economic topics, like the importance of institutions and trust ("social capital") in the creation of wealth, different health care systems, and a lot of different topics some as seemingly irrelevant (or not) as why we are willing to pay over $2 for a cup of coffee that costs less than $1."
$11.71   Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

Happiness: Lessons from a New Science
3.  Happiness: Lessons from a New Science by P. R. G. Layard
The list author says:
  "Excellent book on what makes us happy from an economist's perspective. This makes this book rather down to earth and free of the usual "cliches" or "magic formulas" found in other books on the topic. How does happiness relate to wealth and how social factors inffluence it. Have you ever seen the happiness levels vs wealth of different countries on a graph? Only economists do such things!"
$11.17   Used & New from: $3.93
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Revolutionary Wealth: How it will be created and how it will change our lives
4.  Revolutionary Wealth: How it will be created and how it will change our lives by Alvin Toffler
The list author says:
  "How does knowledge create wealth. Knowledge is a resource that the more it is "used" the more there is (it is not deployed when used). "Prosumption" is economic activity (production) performed by consumers themselves that creates wealth, like internet forums or altruistic social help, (not measured by GDP, by the way)."
$13.76   Used & New from: $0.01
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures
5.  Cannibals and Kings: Origins of Cultures by Marvin Harris
The list author says:
  "Not an economics book, but cultural anthropology has also interesting insights to contribute. It reveals interesting insights to cultural traits of different societies, as well as some rituals and beliefs, based on the resources available to the specific cultures. This book explains why something is perceived as "sacred" or as "evil" in different religions."
$10.97   Used & New from: $0.01
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

The Wisdom of Crowds
6.  The Wisdom of Crowds by James Surowiecki
The list author says:
  "Decisions taken by crowds can have important impact on our economy and social structure. It is a relief to know that heterogeneous crowds normally take better decisions than individuals, but beware of "biased" crowds or "lemmings"."
$10.64   Used & New from: $0.01
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions
7.  Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
The list author says:
  "Conventional economics assumes that we are all rational, that we compute the value of all the options we face and then follow the best possible path of action. But we are far from rational, in fact we are systematically and predictably irrational which is what the new field of behavioral economics is trying to explain."
$8.78   Used & New from: $4.13
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (729 customer reviews)

The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making (McGraw-Hill Series in Social Psychology)
8.  The Psychology of Judgment and Decision Making (McGraw-Hill Series in Social Psychology) by Scott Plous
The list author says:
  "Or the other way around: Can social dynamics shed some light into economic theory? Find out about a psychologist who won the Nobel Price in Economics and gave birth to new economic thought. Conventional economics assumes that we are all rational; that we compute the value of all the options we face and then follow the best possible path of action. Psychologists disagree..."
$107.79   Used & New from: $4.45
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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A. Panda (Guadalajara, Mexico)
Qualifications: I'm just interested in understanding my environment
Last updated: 11/1/10
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