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."
"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."
"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."
"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!"
"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)."
"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."
"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"."
"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."
"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..."