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Contending Economic Theories: Neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  108 ratings  ·  18 reviews
A systematic comparison of the three major economic theories, showing how they differ and why these differences matter in shaping economic theory and practice.

Contending Economic Theories offers a unique comparative treatment of the three main theories in economics as it is taught today: neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian. Each is developed and discussed in its own chapter, yet also differe/>Contending
Paperback, 406 pages
Published September 7th 2012 by Mit Press (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 4.06  · 
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 ·  108 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Sep 08, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm the president of a local union and have been teaching myself the basics of economics through self-directed studies for the purpose of being able to up my rhetoric in regards to supply sided b.s. I read Wolff's Occupy the Economy and Democracy at Work. I LOVED them so much I went ahead and purchased Contending Economic Theories. This book is the same high quality as the others, and I would have given it a four or five stars except that for an economics layman, such as myself, this one got a l ...more
Randal Samstag
Feb 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: economics
This is a bit of a strange book. It is an update of a book whose purpose the authors say was, first, to explain Marxism and especially current work in Marxian economics to modern students and, second, to compare this to the dominant approach of the neoclassical schools. In the current update, they include Keynesian economics as a third paradigm. There is a marked difference in style and tone between the discussions of neoclassical, Keynesian and Marxian bits. Presumably Wolff wrote the Marxian b ...more
Mar 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a really good introductory primer on the three competing economic theories: neoclassical, Keynesian, and Marxian. Although Wolff and Resnick are Marxists - of the Althusserian variety - they do an impeccable job of being completely neutral and unbiased in their assessment of the aforementioned theories. However, they do spend the majority of the book explaining the Marxian view. And, they make sure the Marxian view can be sustained in the 21st century, by adapting issues of corporate str ...more
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On numara ders kitabı. İktisadi bir geçmişi olmayan insanların zevk alacağını sanmıyorum. Aslında iktisadi geçmişi olanların da zevk alacağını sanmıyorum. :) Ama öğrenmek istiyorsanız, öğretir. Temel iktisadi yaklaşımların hemen hepsinin bir arada olması, karşılaştırılması falan güzel.
Griffin Wilson
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Overall a good general introduction to these three economic theories. If one is completely unfamiliar with the basic economic and social concepts the theories presuppose they may find the reading somewhat difficult, although not inaccessible.

Dr. Wolff is himself a Marxist, but I was glad to see him treat the Neoclassical and Keynesian views fairly and exhaustively (for a somewhat introductory text).
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: politics, econ, owned
An easy to read introduction to three of the most influential economic theories.
Rosie K.
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
A hundred stars for this book! I read it at the behest of my mom, who's always asking that I read more than just fiction, and despite having spent the last several weeks of summer break freedom making progress on this book, it was fully worth it.

Richard Wolff speaks and writes with elegance and clarity, and treats the contending theories very fairly. The neoclassical and Keynesian chapters were a breeze, as I'd already learned the content via high school and college classes, but I en
Sett Wai
Aug 14, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted a guided introduction into the field of economics to better understand the various schools of thought in the "dismal science". Having skimmed through Piketty's "Economics of Inequality" with only rudimentary understanding accumulated from various internet resources, I thought it would be best to obtain a better conceptual grasp before tackling the tome that is "Capital in the 21st Century" that's been sitting on my shelf for years.

Richard D. Wolff is known to be an outsider
Mitch Anderson
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
In an incredibly informative compilation, Professor Richard Wolff and Professor Resnick provide an updated comparative study of "The Big Three" economic models – Neoclassical, Keynsian and Marxian.

The book is summarized as an introductory economics text and certainly meets such expectations. From the seemingly unquestionable mathematics of Neoclassicism to the social and political analyses of Marxism and all the mediating principles of Keynsian theory in between – indeed, nearly ever
Ricardo Hernández
Nov 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the few books that cover the three major economic theories in a single volume. An excellent text that provides the entry points to each theory as well as their logic and object of analysis (human decisions for neoclassical, market stabilization for Keynesian and class for Marxian). Perhaps, the most valuable aspect of the book is its detailed treatment of the Marxian theory given the disdain that modern academics give to this complex theory.

Besides the broad comparison of the
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. There are more than three theories in the field of economics. This is an entry level theory of economics book and should be so understood for it is simply put too undergrad. I would have liked an engagement with the fourth revolution by which a surplus of workers will mean they are no longer exploited. But rather ignored. What does that contemporary transnational context mean to economics and people? This question went largely unanswered as if the authors were at odds with their l ...more
Joseph Peters
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent introduction to major economic theories for people like me who hate traditional textbooks. It's also refreshing to read about economics from someone who hasn't bought into all of the assumptions of micro/macro economics and can consider them critically.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great intro book for anyone newly interested in Economics and the three primary contending economic theories.
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A surprisingly dense book on three of the major schools of economic thought. Took me a very long time to work through it, as it is most definitely academic in tone and therefore not at all a light read. That being said, worth the time investment 100%. I've come out the other side with a nuanced understanding of neoclassical theory, Keynes' critique of Smith and Ricardo's work, and some special topics on "late neoclassical theory," which include some sections on topics like game theory. I would s ...more
John Duff
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘Contending Economic Theories’ is a hyper-examination of the world’s three major economic theories and their implications for economic success. While focusing on the fundamentals, Resnick and Wolff do a wonderful job at breaking down entry points and assumptions entailed in each theory, meticulously juxtaposing them in the process. This textbook is a little technical but extremely informative for its size. I suggest familiarization with elementary economics prior to reading this, or maybe read t ...more
J.A. Strub
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Interesting comparative text by Wolff. Definitely most worthwhile for the bit on new Marxian economics. His description of classical economics is standard and unsympathetic, and Keynesian economics gets super short-shrifted, but we know who Wolff is. Important to get these perspectives out there. A good personal resource though I'd be hesitant to assign it as a central text in a class.
William Pate II
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great introduction to neoclassical, Keynesian and Marxian economic theories.
Dec 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Repetitive and overlong, but not a bad summary.
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Richard D. Wolff (born April 1, 1942, Youngstown, Ohio) is an American economist, well-known for his work on Marxian economics, economic methodology, and class analysis. He is Professor of Economics Emeritus, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and currently a Visiting Professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs of the New School University in New York. Wolff has also taught econo ...more