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Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in an Age of Diminished Expectations
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Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in an Age of Diminished Expectations

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  444 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
This wonderfully received book finds him in top form, observing the years he's dubbed "the age of diminished expectations." The past twenty years have been an era of economic disappointment in the United States. They have also been a time of intense economic debate, as rival ideologies contend for policy influence. But strange things have happened to economic ideas on thei ...more
Paperback, 303 pages
Published April 17th 1995 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 1992)
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G. Branden
Jan 22, 2009 G. Branden rated it really liked it
Krugman's Peddling Prosperity is a lucid deconstruction of supply-side economics; a strident (and sensible, as far as I can tell) defense of Keynesian theory after its purported demolition by Milton Friedman in the 1970s; an acknowledgment of what conservative economists got right in the 1960s and 1970s; a case against the assertion that Ronald Reagan's economic policies were catastrophic, as opposed to merely harmful; a plea for economic policy to be better informed by actual economists as oppo ...more
Feb 18, 2009 Gill rated it it was amazing
This is a good book for those interested in economic ideas from an economic history standpoint, though it does an admirable job of explaining many economic principles and failed understandings of economic principles. I like this book because it goes beyond the trite debates we have in popularized versions of faulty economic principles: We're either Keynesian or pro-free markets... that's rubbish and one of the many politicized false dichotomies of our time. The way risks to economies and societi ...more
Aaron Arnold
Aug 06, 2016 Aaron Arnold rated it really liked it
I always feel the same way after I finish one of his books: "Man, that makes total sense, how could anyone reasonably disagree that inequality is skyrocketing/we need universal health care/China needs to revalue it's currency/the Republican Party is insane/free trade rules?" Even his detractors, like the Wall Street Journal editorial crew, or the legions of bloggers who exist only to find fault with his writing, readily admit that he's been immensely successful as a popularizer of economics and ...more
Nov 07, 2015 Ari rated it really liked it
What makes this book so great is its honesty. Krugman, despite being an outspoken liberal, is entirely detached in his examination of policy and concedes a vast number of points that serious conservative economists make, while attacking the snake oil of both the right and left - with the latter condemnation probably being even more severe, probably due to it being more relevant at the time that the book was written. Parts of it are no longer all that relevant, especially for European readers lik ...more
Jan 24, 2015 Regina rated it really liked it
Krugman's intelligence and sense always come shining through--it's a delight.

This book is about earlier economic issues--particularly the rise of the nutty "supply-siders" (it was published in 1994), but it is excellent reading as it provides a base from which to understand so much of the economic nonsense still being peddle.
Lucas Johnson
Jan 30, 2016 Lucas Johnson rated it really liked it
Krugman has become more partisan since, but this book is balanced and reasonable. I learned a whole lot about economics from reading this account, and the fact that Krugman writes with incredible clarity is partly responsible. This book has inspired me to learn more about the subject and that is the best compliment one can give to such a work.
Ville Kokko
Sounds compelling, but I can't even rate it with my lack of background knowledge.
Vipul Vivek
Mar 09, 2015 Vipul Vivek rated it liked it
What pain it was to read Krugman blow Galbraith into smithereens!
Justin Tapp
Jul 29, 2016 Justin Tapp rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics, politics
Peddling Prosperity: Economic Sense and Nonsense in the Age of Diminished Expectations by Paul Krugman (1995). This book and the previous one I reviewed were not read with an e-reader, and it's a shame because I would have liked to have highlighted passages for easy copying & pasting here as I can with a Kindle book. I have now sold just about every book I own that is available as an ebook somewhere.

Early Krugman is remarkable for his bi-partisan criticism and attempts to give his opponents
Seth Wilpan
Jun 13, 2007 Seth Wilpan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: seth
The stated aim of this book is to demonstrate that economic policy is the product of political expediency much more than the of the wisdom of learned economists. Along the way he gives fairly detailed descriptions of the policies that were in effect, primarily during the period that brackets the years of Reagan administration. He demonstrates that when economic policy had any effect at all, it was generally not the effect that was claimed by the ascendant political proponents. The most effective ...more
Jul 16, 2008 Tim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, politics
I know next to nothing about economics, so I grabbed this from my father-in-law's bookshelf (he's a professional economist) because I like Krugman's NYT columns. Krugman is excellent at sketching out the major trends in economic thought from Keynes onward, but because the book was written in 1994 he's pretty dated on a lot of current economic issues.

1994 is barely post-Clinton, but it's pre-NAFTA, pre-internet, pre-Gingrich, pre-globalization-protests, pre-Wal-Mart, pre-dot-com-bust, pre-Bush. O
H. Ryan
Jan 16, 2009 H. Ryan rated it really liked it
Although erudite at times, I appreciated when Krugman refused to boil down some concepts of economics beyond the point where they still have meaning, instead presenting them in their necessary complexity. One important thing I learned from this book was that although the President is often judged by the performance of the economy during his regime, he (or she) really doesn't have nearly as much of an effect on it as general business trends and the actions of the Fed. Many times a natural upswing ...more
Jun 07, 2007 trivialchemy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This is a fine example of brilliant scholarship available to the layman. Krugman carefully explains the gap between academic economics and policymakers, and demonstrates the historical incompetency of the latter. Most of the book is dedicated to debunking the myth of so-called "Reaganomics" or, supply-side economic theory; however, it would be impossible to call this a partisan effort, as it just as fluently pokes holes in the competitive internationalist paradigms of Clinton and later Democrats ...more
Christina Kent
May 25, 2013 Christina Kent rated it really liked it
An interesting overview on economic policy from the 70's to the early 90's, from the perspective of a Keynesian economist. Although Krugman pointed out the deficiencies of classical economics and real business cycle theory, he emphasized that the greatest issue is "policy entrepreneurs" who claim economist credentials and sell policy recommendations that have no support in academia to politicians looking for easy answers. These policy entrepreneurs are all too common, and their misguided "theori ...more
Sep 10, 2010 BC rated it really liked it
It speaks volumes that Krugman attempts to make complexity simple, but not simplistic. He does not try to boil down complex ideas into campaign slogans, or easy ways to fix the economy. Instead, he presents the history of the easy fixes presented by both the left and right in the US over the past several decades. This book isn't the most recent, and thus would benefit from an addendum discussing the Bush and Obama Presidencies. I have a feeling that Krugman wouldn't be kind to either of them!
Mohammad Rahman
Nov 21, 2016 Mohammad Rahman rated it it was amazing
An amazingly knowledgeable insight into Economic successes/ failures of our time. Although Economics is not my concentration & the boo, was published when Bill Clinton had just assumed office, I found Professor Paul KrugmanPaul Krugman's observations especially relevant keeping in mind Donald Trump's recent election win on a wave of nationalist sentiment & a possible return to Republican supply-side / strategic trade policies.
Sebastian Uribe
Mar 13, 2013 Sebastian Uribe rated it really liked it
Krugman se luce en estos libros como uno de los economistas mas brillante de la epoca, no solo por su capacidad de explicar cuestiones que parecen complejas al publico en general, sino por adelantarse a los problemas que acontecieron en los 90 y la primera decada del siglo 21. Brillante y sin pelos en la lengua para señalar los males y dar posibles soluciones, este es un manual que todo economista de pregrado o funcionario publico deberia leer
Jul 21, 2007 Chris rated it really liked it
Krugman gives an overview of the most influential economists of the past few generations (Keynes, Friedman, Lucas etc) and then explains how policy makers have exploited these ideas for their own idealogical gains (criticizing the supply-siders on the right and the strategic traders on the left). While his contempt for all ideas not born in academia gets a little old, his writing about difficult concepts is clear and concise -- even for people with no background in economics.
Jul 24, 2007 Danielle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics
I read this book for a class in public policy and will forever be grateful to the prof for assigning it. I fell in love with Krugman, and my eyes were opened to how informative economic analysis can be - as long as it's written in a way that the average person can understand.
Oct 20, 2008 Allisonperkel rated it it was amazing
Ideally anyone who wants to get an overview of economic policy in the 70s, 80s and early 90s should read this book. Krugman does an amazing job of describing supply side, strategic trading and general trends over that 30 year period - and he does it in a very fair, readable and humorous way.

Oct 05, 2013 Toru marked it as to-read
Shelves: econ, liberals
supposed to be a very good primer on econ for the layperson (although probably from a Keynesian perspective?)
Nov 12, 2010 John rated it liked it
Nice intro to Keynesians, Monetarists, Supply-Siders and others. See review at RAHF.
Noah Howe
Apr 26, 2014 Noah Howe rated it did not like it
Shelves: economics
The lack of scholarship displayed in this book made it hard to read. Krugman often resorts to personal attacks to discredit his intellectual opponents. This book sucked.
Jim Fetzer
Aug 27, 2007 Jim Fetzer rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all
Shelves: economics
Krugman does a great job placing the debates of economic policy in 80's and early 90's into perspective.
David Armillei
David Armillei rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2011
Azim rated it really liked it
May 17, 2012
Max Mendez
Max Mendez rated it liked it
Jul 08, 2013
Dominic rated it liked it
Apr 02, 2013
Vince rated it it was ok
Aug 09, 2015
Justin rated it really liked it
Feb 14, 2012
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Paul Robin Krugman is an American economist, liberal columnist and author. He is Professor of Economics and International Affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University, Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics, and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. In 2008, Krugman won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics for his contributions ...more
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